Family Group Sheet
Family Group Sheet
NameDavid “Bunny” GARNETT CBE
FatherEdward William GARNETT (1868-1937)
MotherConstance Clara BLACK (1861-1946)
SpouseAngelica Vanessa BELL
FatherDuncan James Corrowr GRANT (1885-1978)
MotherVanessa STEPHEN (1879-1961)
Notes for David “Bunny” GARNETT CBE
David Garnett (9 March 1892 – 17 February 1981) was a British writer and publisher. As a child, he had a cloak made of rabbit skin and thus received the nickname "Bunny", by which he was known to friends and intimates all his life.

Early life

Garnett was born in Brighton, the only child of Edward Garnett and his wife Constance, a translator of Russian. As a conscientious objector in the First World War, David worked on fruit farms in Suffolk and Sussex with his lover, Duncan Grant.


A prominent member of the Bloomsbury Group, Garnett received literary recognition when his novel Lady into Fox, an allegorical fantasy,[1] was awarded the 1922 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. He ran a bookshop near the British Museum with Francis Birrell during the 1920s. He also founded (with Francis Meynell) the Nonesuch Press. He wrote the novel Aspects of Love (1955), on which the later Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical was based.

Personal life

His first wife was illustrator Rachel "Ray" Marshall (1891–1940), sister of translator and diarist Frances Partridge. He and Ray, whose woodcuts appear in some of his books, had two sons, but she died relatively young of breast cancer.

Garnett was bisexual, as were several members of the artistic and literary Bloomsbury Group, and he had affairs with Francis Birrell and Duncan Grant. He was present at the birth of Grant's daughter, Angelica (by Vanessa Bell, and accepted by her husband Clive Bell), on 25 December 1918, and wrote to a friend shortly afterwards, "I think of marrying it. When she is 20, I shall be 46 – will it be scandalous?". When Angelica was in her early twenties, they did marry (on 8 May 1942), to the horror of her parents.

They had four daughters, in order, Amaryllis, Henrietta, and twins Nerissa and Frances; eventually the couple separated. Amaryllis Garnett (1943–1973) was an actress. Henrietta Garnett married Lytton Burgo Partridge, her father's nephew by his first wife Ray, but was left a widow with a newborn infant when she was 18[2]; she oversees the legacies of both David Garnett and Duncan Grant. Nerissa Garnett (1946-2004) was an artist, ceramicist, and photographer. Fanny Garnett resides in France.

After his separation from Angelica, Garnett moved to France and lived at the Château de Charry,[citation needed] Montcuq (near Cahors), where he died in 1981. David Garnett was also known as Bunny Garnett. He lived in a pleasant house in the grounds of the Chateau de Charry leased to him by the owners, Jo and Angela D'Urville. He made friends among the local English community of the locality and lived there until his death, continuing to write.
Notes for Angelica Vanessa BELL
Angelica Vanessa Garnett, née Bell (25 December 1918 – 4 May 2012), was a British writer

Early life

Angelica Garnett was the daughter of the painters Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell (sister of Virginia Woolf), and was a member of the Bloomsbury Group.[2] She had two half-brothers, the poet Julian Bell, who was killed during the Spanish Civil War in 1937, and the art historian Quentin Bell.[2]

Her mother's husband, Clive Bell, was not her biological father, but was fully supportive of his wife's love affair with Grant, and willingly allowed Angelica to bear his name and to regard him as her father in order that his conservative family would not disinherit her. She was not told of her true parentage until she was 17,[1] although she had grown up living with Grant and her mother at Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex, England, which her mother had rented and shared with other members of the Bloomsbury Group. The farmhouse is now a museum.[2]

Angelica Garnett spent the last 30 years of her life in Forcalquier in the South of France. She died in Aix-en-Provence on 4 May 2012.

Personal life

In 1942 she married David Garnett, a former lover of her biological father, Duncan Grant, although she did not know this for some time. They separated in 1967. They had four daughters: Amaryllis Virginia Garnett (1943–1973), an actress, Henrietta Garnett, a writer and custodian of the family legacy (b. 1945), and the twins Nerissa Stephen Garnett (1946–2004), called Nel, a painter, photographer and ceramics artist, and Frances Garnett, called Fanny (b. 1946).[2]


Angelica Garnett was the author of a memoir, Deceived with Kindness, which focuses on her relationship with both of her biological parents. Its somewhat bitter view of both Bell and Grant has proved controversial.[5] The memoir was awarded the J. R. Ackerley Prize for Autobiography in 1985.[6]
Last Modified 1 Sep 2012Created 28 Jan 2018 using Reunion for Macintosh