The Rare And The Beautiful

Like the better-known Mitfords, the Garman sisters took center stage in Bohemian London during the first half of the twentieth century. Beautiful, flamboyant, and headstrong, they broke away from middle-class conventions, seducing and inspiring a generation of artists. Kathleen, an enigmatic artist's model and aspiring pianist, was the lover and, later, wife of controversial American-born sculptor Jacob Epstein. Mary married the maverick poet Roy Campbell, whose verse attack on the Bloomsbury group following Mary's affair with Vita Sackville-West was the literary scandal of the epoch. Lorna, the youngest and most beautiful of the sisters, was the lover of both the painter Lucian Freud and the poet Laurie Lee.

The Rare and the Beautiful offers the first portrait of a beguiling band of eccentric siblings who possessed an uncanny ability to turn heads, break hearts, and spark creative genius. Set against the exciting backdrop of London's decadent subculture, it evokes their extraordinary milieu of high culture, drama, and scandal.


"sparkling...Connolly’s account of these exotic siblings opens a fascinating window onto the cultural scene of the time."
Sunday Times

"A rollicking mix of the familiar and surprising."
Sunday Times

"Paints some wonderfully vivid pictures of how difficult the Garmans must have been to live with."
Sunday Telegraph

"Connolly writes with great elegance and perception about this ruthlessly sensual family."
Literary Review

"A sobering coda and an often hilarious tale."


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