Anne Thackeray Ritchie, daughter of the author of Vanity Fair and step-aunt of Virginia Woolf, was also a fine writer. Based on new and original research, this enchanting and evocative memoir paints the world of Anny's intricate web of relations and friends: children's parties with the Dickens family, holidays with Julia Margaret Cameron and the Tennysons, intimate scenes with Browning in Rome and Ruskin on Lake Coniston.
In addition we read about Anny's own inner life: her near-obsession with her father: William Makepeace Thackeray, her escape into writing, her startling marriage to her second cousin and her godson, and the story of her sister Minny's passionate marriage to Leslie Stephen. We also learn of Stephen's second wife, Julia Jackson, mother of Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf.
Meticulously researched, this intimate story draws not only on a wealth of letters, journals, hitherto unpublished sketches and photographs, but also on family legends passed down to the author through four generations. Illuminating, comic and touching, Anny reads like a novel, presenting a unique portrait of the rich literary world that formed the bridge between the Victorians and Bloomsbury.