A GREAT TASK OF HAPPINESS: The Life of Kathleen Scott
Hydraulic Press of London, £10
This is a new and revised edition of Louisa's biography of her grandmother (first published by MacMillan in 1995), in honour of the centenary of Captain Scott's last expedition. Famous for being his widow, Kathleen was also a talented professional sculptor who studied in Paris with Rodin. She led a very adventurous and unusual life for a woman of her time, and made friends with people as diverse as Bernard Shaw, Fritjof Nansen, the WW1 Prime Minister Herbert Asquith and dancer Isadora Duncan.
Her sons were Sir Peter Scott the naturalist and writer, and politician Wayland Young, Lord Kennet. The biography is based on diaries Kathleen started in 1910 for Scott to read on his return; after his death she continued writing them, covering politics, exploration, art and her friends and family.
Kathleen makes a cameo appearance in Louisa's best-selling novel My Dear I Wanted to Tell You.
2012 is the 100th anniversary of Scott's last expedition, and this new and revised edition is published in celebration.
From the press:
'Kathleen Scott died in 1947, famous for being an explorer's widow rather than a formidably gifted sculptress. This fascinating, racy book should set the record straight, presenting her as a personality in her own right and an artist to boot' - Beryl Bainbridge, The Spectator
'Her life was one with depth, richness and resonance - worth writing and worth reading about' - Martin Gayford, Sunday Telegraph
'It is impossible to put this book down... A woman of large horizons [Kathleen Scott] gallops through these pages unforgettably, large in character and spirit' - Frances Spalding, Sunday Times
'An enthralling life' - Flora Fraser, The Times
'Written with the brio of a latterday Mitford' - Miranda Seymour, the Independent
From a reader:
An extraordinary biography of an extraordinary woman, 16 April 2010
A Great Task of Happiness: Life of Kathleen Scott (Paperback)This biography of Kathleen Bruce is a loving testament by a grandaughter (Louisa Young) to her gifted independent, almost outrageous grandmother. It is probably the most riveting biography I have ever read. Very well researched and positively delightful to read. The enthralling adventures of this adventurous but very serious-minded woman are so fascinating. Every modern young woman who wishes to lead an independent life and engage in a serious profession should read this book. It is truly inspirational.