Vita Sackville-West

1892 –

Vita Sackville-West, an English poet, novelist, journalist, diarist, member of the Bloomsbury Group, and muse of Virginia Woolf, was born Victoria Mary Sackville-West in Knole, Kent, England on March 9, 1892. 

West was the author of seventeen novels and nine works of nonfiction, particularly books about gardening. By the time she was eighteen, she had written eight novels and five plays. She published her first poetry collection, Poems of West and East (John Lane Company), a volume of twenty-one poems, in October 1917. Her other works of poetry include her Collected Poems (Hogarth Press, 1933) and the pastoral epic The Land (William Heinemann Ltd., 1926), both of which separately won the Hawthornden Prize for Imaginative Literature. She also translated a volume of Rainer Maria Rilke’s elegies into English. 

In the 1940s, West was named Companion of Honor for her contributions to literature. 

West died at home at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, England on June 2, 1962.