Woolf first met Edward Sackville-West (1901-1965) around the same time that she first became acquainted with his cousin in December 1922. It seems to have taken several years for her to warm to his often "peevish" company, perhaps because of some resentment born towards him as the heir of Knole, the Sevenoaks mansion which Vita had grown up in and adored.
However, by the late twenties the pair had become friends, with "Eddy" (as he was always known) appearing often in her diaries and letters and one occasion lending her a piano on which she intended "to break up the horror of human intercourse with music" (letter to Vita, 23 September 1925). By the time she came to write Orlando, which drew strongly on the history of Knole and the Sackville family, Woolf felt enough affection towards Eddy to tell him about the book and the affair with his cousin, writing "I feel it awkward to spring the whole thing on him without warning-Would he keep it a secret?" (letter to Vita, 4 May 1928).
Luckily, having apparently received a copy of the London edition, Eddy so admired the book that he requested a copy of the true first from the author, who was "overjoyed that you like it". She continued, "I have been waiting for the American copies to come to send you what you rightly demanded - a three guinea copy. But they never came. At last, 4 weeks late, one miserable specimen, on pale green paper like a widows hymn book, has arrived. I dont think you can wish for this; so I'll wait for the white paper ones, and send you what I trust may be less cadaverous. The Americans have surpassed themselves, in pretention (sic), fuss, and incompetence." (letter to Eddy, 22 October 1928).
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