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Dorothy Bussy (1865–1960)

Forfatter af Olivia

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Disambiguation Notice:

(eng) Do not combine with the LT entry for Olivia. She was not known under that name.

Værker af Dorothy Bussy

Associated Works

Den umoralske (1902) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver; Oversætter, nogle udgaver3,347 eksemplarer
Falskmøntnerne (1925) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver1,401 eksemplarer
Vatikanets kældre (1914) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver1,380 eksemplarer
Den snævre port (1924) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver1,377 eksemplarer
If It Die (1920) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver516 eksemplarer
The Penguin Book of Lesbian Short Stories (1993) — Bidragyder — 298 eksemplarer
Travels in the Congo (1927) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver154 eksemplarer
Hustruskolen (1929) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver74 eksemplarer
The living thoughts of Montaigne (1929) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver48 eksemplarer
Strait is the Gate / The Vatican Cellars (1909) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver48 eksemplarer
A Crime Without A Motive — Oversætter, nogle udgaver1 eksemplar

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Andre navne
Strachey Bussy, Dorothy
Bussy, Dorothy
Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne, Île-de-France, France
London, England, UK
Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne, Île-de-France, France
Allenswood Academy, England, UK
Marie Souvestre School, Les Ruches, Fontainebleau, France
letter writer
Strachey, Lytton (brother)
Strachey, James (brother)
Strachey, Marjorie (sister)
Strachey, Ray (sister-in-law)
Kort biografi
Dorothy Strachey Bussy was one of 10 children of Lt.-Gen. Sir Richard Strachey, an officer in the British colonial armies and his wife Jane Grant, a leader in the women's suffrage movement. She was educated at Marie Souvestre's school for girls in Fontainebleau, France, and later in Allenswood Academy, near London. She became a teacher at Allenswood, where one of her students was the young Eleanor Roosevelt, on whom she had a strong influence. In 1903, Dorothy married Simon Bussy, a French painter five years her junior. Dorothy Bussy anonymously published one novel, Olivia (1949), printed by the Hogarth Press, the publishing house founded by Leonard and Virginia Woolf.
Oplysning om flertydighed
Do not combine with the LT entry for Olivia. She was not known under that name.



Dedicated to the memory of Virginia Woolf, Olivia was Dorothy Strachey’s only novel. Published under the pseudonym ‘Olivia’ it is a subtle classic of lesbian literature. It is more of a novella really at just 114 pages in this edition, and I’ll be honest – I picked it mainly for its length as I near the end of my A Century of Books. The Afterword reveals that the French school featured in this novella is loosely based on Marie Souvestre’s Allenswood Academy, attended by both the author and Eleanor Roosevelt, which in itself is rather fascinating. I’m not sure why – but I wasn’t altogether certain that I would enjoy Olivia – perhaps I read a review of it somewhere which put me off – however, I enjoyed it enormously. What a shame it is that Dorothy Strachey only ever published this. Dorothy Strachey’s writing is beautiful, and there is a lot that is very quotable from this slim volume.

“Was this stab in my heart, this rapture, really mine or had I merely read about it? For every feeling, every vicissitude of my passion, there would spring into my mind a quotation from the poets. Shakespeare or Donne or Heine had the exact phrase for it. Comforting, perhaps, but enraging too. Nothing ever seemed spontaneously my own.”

A woman recollects the final year of her education, a year when she discovered life at its fullest, found passion and in a sense, herself.

Olivia is sixteen when she is sent to Les Avons a finishing school near Paris, run by two mademoiselles. This is a school of an entirely different kind. It is a school where there are few rules, where laughter and passionate discussion are actively encouraged. Olivia revels in this atmosphere so unlike anything she has experienced before.

However, the freedom and fun of Les Avons is superficial, beneath the surface are raw emotions, jealousies and destructive allegiances.

“How hard it is to kill hope! Time after time, one thinks one has trodden it down, stamped it to death. Time after time, like a noxious insect, it begins to stir again, it shivers back again into a faint tremulous life. Once more it worms its way into one’s heart, to instil its poison, to gnaw away the solid hard foundations of life and leave in their place the hollow phantom of illusion.”

The school is run by Mademoiselles Julie and Cara, once so close, the two are each acting against the other. Each of the headmistresses have their circle of acolytes – powerful emotions have been unleashed beneath the roofs of this French school. Olivia doesn’t really understand the nuances of everything that is going on at Les Avons, the tension between Julie and Cara, is a puzzle to her but she has no understanding for what their relationship might have been. Olivia; fresh from England is too caught up in a complete infatuation for Mademoiselle Julie.

“Love has always been the chief business of my life, the only thing I have thought—no, felt—supremely worth while, and I don’t pretend that this experience was not succeeded by others. But at that time, I was innocent, with the innocence of ignorance, I didn’t know what was happening to me.”

The girls regularly gather around Mademoiselle Julie for impassioned debate, to present their essays and to hang upon her every word. Olivia waits for the headmistress’s visits to her room, for the slightest look, the touch of her hand.

While Olivia is wrestling with these new and unexpected feelings for her headmistress and making an unexpected friendship with another of Mademoiselle Julie’s favourites, Mademoiselle Cara is plotting one final act of betrayal.

I am surprised that this delicate little novella isn’t better known. I know vintage books brought out a new edition of this one a few years ago, which has hopefully raised its profile a little.
… (mere)
Heaven-Ali | 6 andre anmeldelser | Feb 16, 2019 |
"...And first of all that face. There was that to look at. A long way off, at the end of a table...Why should the mere sight of it make my heart stand still?"-from Olivia

Olivia: A Novel is not necessarily something you'll ever want to experience again. It's a book truly painful to read at times, no matter where you're coming from personally, but particularly so if you ever had an intense crush that pretty much broke your heart.

I didn't expect the writing to be so deep and raw, so pretty and easy to connect with...a crush may not be on the full scale of mutually reciprocated mature love, but it's no less real or painful for being what it is.

Anyone who has ever felt completely gaga over someone else will get what Olivia is going through, no matter how over the top her emotions may seem at the time. ("If it depended on altering the feelings in my heart, I was no more capable of doing that than of plucking the heart out of my breast." So many wonderful quotes that just really speak to you.)

Dorothy Strachey Bussy first published this anonymously under the name Olivia and based it loosely on things that happened to her when she was a teenager away at school and fell in love with one of her teachers. This is something that has been written been many times before, but somehow here it seems fresh and just a little too much to bear at times.
… (mere)
booksandcats4ever | 6 andre anmeldelser | Jul 30, 2018 |
"This stab in my heart, this rapture"
By sally tarbox on 21 November 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
A short (107p) read, following young Olivia and her year at a finishing school in Victorian Paris. Here she falls under the spell of lovely Mlle Julie, co-principal. But despite Julie's apparent affection for her, there are other players in the story: her jealous assistant, Mlle Cara - and two other teachers, waiting in the wings for power or love.
The author does a convincing job of portraying that sudden adolescent awareness of life:

"I awoke to a new world - a world of excitement - a world in which everything was fierce and piercing, everything charged with strange emotions, clothed with extraordinary mysteries, and in which I myself seemed to exist only as an inner core of palpitating fire."
Not a massively memorable work, but kept me reading it in one sitting.
… (mere)
1 stem
starbox | 6 andre anmeldelser | Nov 20, 2016 |
Complex with a lot of ambiguities and unanswered questions between teacher/student. A decent read. 3 stars.
Feleciak | 6 andre anmeldelser | Aug 4, 2015 |



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