“Musil once thought he might construct a person from nothing but quotations”. Thomas Mann (of his Lotte in Weimar): “He said it was a rich fabric of references, much of which is compilation and appropriation, exploiting of sources”. The last word should go to Virginia Woolf, the secret heroine of this book, the control in this sample of beings, who once wanted to learn German, the most natural reader and writer of all those on display, a Bloomsbury visitor to Berlin once (Vita’s Harold was at the embassy), a lover of moths, married (like Juers) to a publisher: “Virginia thought the first person singular – the I – was now irrelevant, without audience or echo. This signified a kind of death. Paris fell. I have my morphia in my pocket, she wrote. And wondered, if this was the end, whether she should be reading Shakespeare. The corn was flowing with poppies in it, and she thought it might be her last walk. People were killed in night raids on the English coast. We pour to the edge of a precipice . . . .
-- quoted in Michael Hofmann's TLS review of Evelyn Juers' House of Exile: The Life and Times of Heinrich Mann and Nelly Kroeger-Mann