Saturday, June 6, 2015

Savage Beauty : The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay, by Nancy Milford

Read and reviewed in February-March, 2005. Sent to another Bookcrosser

I started this book a few days ago. I had not known much about Edna St. Vincent Millay - read a couple of her poems in high school, including the famous "burn my candle at both ends" one.
She was born in 1892; her mother and grandmother were both divorced. She was one of three sisters, and was called "Vincent."

This book is an interesting story of a brilliant, talented woman, who was not kidding when she said she burnt her candle at both ends. She had a difficult childhood, a promising young adulthood, but her health was always fragile. She didn't help that by her self-destructive habits of smoking, drinking, promiscuity, and later, addiction to prescribed painkillers.

To read watchcat's excellent and perceptive review, click here


  1. I'm not that familiar with the life of Edna St. Vincent Millay either.... The lives of famous authors are fascinating aren't they?? Especially when what we learn may be unexpected to what we think we may learn. Who would have guessed back in the 1800s that Edna St. Vincent Millay's mother and grandmother were both divorced!

    1. You're right; it was very rare then, and considered disgraceful and shameful. Since it was more than 10 years ago when I read the book, I have forgotten if any details or reasons were given.


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