Reviews and Reports

Helen Southworth. Fresca. A Life in the Making. A Biographer’s Quest for a Forgotten Bloomsbury Polymath

  • Heleen van Duijn NEN Delft
Keywords: book review


The subject of Southworth’s book is Francesca (Fresca) Allinson (1902–1945), a puppeteer, choral conductor, writer and creator of folksongs, whose life was cut short by drowning. She grew up in a gifted and thoroughly non-conformist family. Her brother Adrian, a painter, studied at the Slade school. Her father worked as a doctor at his practice in London, obtaining and practising his own unorthodox convictions about hygiene and diet. As a radical pacifist Fresca helped provide alternative communities for conscientious objectors (COs). Her fictional autobiography A Childhood was published in 1937, by the Hogarth Press, the publishing house of Leonard and Virginia Woolf.

Reviews and Reports