Who Was Sophie?

The Two Lives of My Grandmother: Poet and Stranger

By the end of her life, Sophie Curly was essentially a bag lady you might have walked past on a park bench, or ignored, as she looked for something over and over again in her handbag. She was blown about the streets of Nottingham, one of those crumpled figures, half frightening, half pitiful . . . Kids threw stones at her. But this was only one of my Grandmother's lives: she hadn't always been Sophie Curly. Back in the 1930s she was Joan Adeney Easdale, a teenage girl with two volumes of poetry published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press. She grew up in Hampstead and in a cottage in Kent with her mother Gladys and her brother Brian, who later won an Oscar for writing the music for The Red Shoes.'

From the British literary world of the 1930s to first-hand experience of post-war emigration, psychiatric practices in the 1950s and 1960s and the grim realities of modern day city life this a granddaughter's beautifully told account of the search for the truth about her grandmother's extraordinary life.
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