Harold Nicolson was a lifelong, unapologetic, snob. He favoured aristocratic ways, though he was not himself an aristocrat. He was a man of many talents and of real if limited accomplishments. If his extraordinary marriage to Vita Sackville-West had not been exposed by his son to public view in a notorious book, he would have been known to most people today as the husband of the originator and co-custodian of the justly celebrated garden at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent. But Nicolson was much more than that and he had one overriding talent – he could write with great facility and zest about almost any subject and often did so in order to help keep his aristocratic lifestyle on the road. For Harold depended to a slavish extent on the financial resources of Vita and she in turn upon those of her mother; he had talent but little money, or at least not as much as his lifestyle demanded.