Angelica Vanessa Garnett
(née Bell, born
25 December 1918) is a British writer and painter.
She is the illegitimate daughter of the painters Duncan Grant
and Vanessa Bell
, niece of Virginia Woolf
, and was a member of the
Her mother's husband, Clive Bell
, was not
her biological father, but was fully supportive of her mother's
love affair with Grant, and willingly allowed Angelica to bear his
name and to regard him as her father in order that his conservative
family not disinherit her. She was not told of her true parentage until
she was seventeen, although she had grown up living with Grant and
her mother at Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex/England, which her mother had rented and
shared with other members of the Bloomsbury Group.
farmhouse is now a museum.
She had two half-brothers: poet Julian
, who was killed during the Spanish Civil War
in 1937; and art
historian Quentin Bell
She married David Garnett
, the former
lover of her biological father, Duncan Grant, in 1942, but they
later separated. They had four daughters: Amaryllis Virginia
(1943-1973), an actress; Henrietta
, a writer and custodian of the family legacy (b. 1945);
and twins Nerissa Stephen (1946-2004), called Nel, a painter,
photographer and ceramics artist; and Frances, called Fanny (also
Angelica Garnett is the author of a memoir, Deceived with Kindness
focuses on her relationship with both of her biological parents.
Its somewhat bitter view of both Bell and Grant has proven
controversial. The memoir was awarded the J. R. Ackerley Prize for
- The Papers of Angelica Garnett (née Bell),
King's College, Cambridge.
- Malcolm, Janet: Sisters, Lovers, Tarts and Friends,
The New York Times, 3 March 1996.
- Past J.R. Ackerley Prize winners, English