Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

by Nancy Milford

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Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a supremely well written biography. Edna St. Vincent Millay's spellbinding personality will draw you in immediately, and reading about the remarkable life and times of this fascinating woman is a pleasure from start to finish. I can't recommend highly enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i was very disappointed that the eBook did not have the photos of the hardcover. B&N should warn us if this is the case.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a read! What a life!! Thank you Nancy Milford for your genius and your back breaking work in writing this wonderful biography for your readers. I hated to put it down and couldn't wait to pick it up again and be in Edna St. Vincent Millay's strange and absorbing life. The book is stunning!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was not a good book or worth the money I paid. I think the subject, Edna St. Vincent Millay is a fascinating person who lived an incredible life. And yet, the way this book was written left me bored and barely able to make it to the end. If you are insistent on reading it, go find it at the library.
The_Searcher More than 1 year ago
Edna St Vincent Millay hit my radar while in High School English class in Tucson, Arizona with her poem "Renascence". I liked the poem enough to remember it after all this time and become curious about the author. It was simply amazing to discover how popular poetry once was throughout the world and how much her work contributed to that popularity! This book was well written without being sentimental or gossipy. The book reveals much about Millay's work and the background from which it grew. Millay was born 1892 the eldest of three daughters. Mother Millay earned her living as a live in nurse which made her an absent custodial parent, Papa Millay having been banished from the family until "he could do better". Their lives were full of struggle and sacrifice but though impoverished, the girls were rich with a cultural legacy of good poetry through the influence of their mother. Millay always wished to be called Vincent rather than Edna; she enjoyed the confusion the name caused as well as being entirely her own name unlike any other woman. The reader knows immediately this is no ordinary girl. She obtained a degree at Vasser College and went on to establish herself in Greenwich Village in 1917. She knew everyone and traveled extensively. Her life was unconventional, brave and and sometimes painful. Millay's story was full of struggle, adventure and eventually success; it is one of a driven spirit with a zest for life that endures past the grave through her poetry, sonnets and plays. I loved this book and hope others will pick it up and meet Vincent as I did. NOTE: There is a soundbyte of Millay doing a reading on YouTube. A very nice touch to go with this marvelous story.
olderreads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read quite a few biographies on her and by far, I think this one to be the most informative and enjoyable to read.
DonnaMarieMerritt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating glimpse into the life of the poet whose candle "burned at both ends." I highly recommend it.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nancy Mitford presents a thorough, insightful, compelling, and penetrating look at one of America's premier poets. Working with Ms. Millay's sister Norma, who holds most of the papers not in the Library of Congress, she was able to construct an impressive and deeply detailed biography. In fact, I often felt at times like shouting "Too much information!" Millay, her husband, her sisters, her mother, and most of her lovers/friends of both sexes seemed to be inveterent letter writers. Not only did they write letters, they often left numerous drafts of those letters giving us an intimate portrait of emotions, intentions, and life in the first half of the twentieth century.In addition, there are numerous samples of her poetry, used to illustrate the various passions and favorites in her life. Alas, our herione led a less than stellar life depending on one's perspective. At times I tired of her pouting promiscuity, her incessant mooching on the generosity of others, the constant indebtedness, and the incredible selfishness which most who knew her seemed to regard as part of her genius. In spite of the subject's tragic life and end, the author presents us with her life in an objective yet sympathetic way without passing judgment. That made it easy to read and recommend the book to others.
majorbabs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like this book, but can't recommend it. (I loved the author's biography of Zelda Fitzgerald, however.) While the book is certainly well-researched, and well-written, it needs a good editor to (a) fill in the cracks of information the author left out, but which are vital to understanding a setting or a person; (b) make information consistent -- e.g. she's called by several different names throughout the book with no explanation as to the change -- and (c) generally improve the structure. Someday when I feel more dedicated to Ms. Millay's memory, I'll finish it.And it's MILFORD, not Mitford, which is another family altogether. :)
onefear on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Read it first, then picked up Epstein's bio of Millay, published the same year, after reading some on-line reviews. Many don't like Milford's book because of its length and, I would say, her tendency to report rather than process the results of her in-depth research. I enjoy both bio's and see them as companions to each other, but if you don't want to spend that much time learning about Millay, I would recommend Epstein's book over Milford's book. Both authors used essentially the same resources, although Milford had the added advantage of personal interviews with Millay's sister Norma before her death in 1986. Milford is a better researcher than an author, but both are well-researched; Epstein is a better writer.
Caffeinated on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So much spirit, though lagging a little two-thirds in; Milford does a wonderful job with showing us the liveliness of the subject, not only in the details/facts presented but in Milford's writing as well. (4)
writestuff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a wonderfully written biography of one of the greatest and most controversial writers of our time. Recommended.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I have just finished this book and I am glad that I can put in my opinion! Loved it and was glad that Nancy Milford wrote another book that matched Zelda. Keep up the "good books" for people like me. When will you be writing another?