Vita Sackville-West was a prolific poet, novelist, biographer and gardener. She was a member of the Bloomsbury Group and the inspiration for Virginia Woolf's Orlando.
She died in 1962, leaving behind a literary archive documenting every aspect of her extraordinary life, comprising more than 8,500 autograph and typescript pages.
Her son Nigel Nicholson has now decided to put this collection up for auction at Sotheby's this week.
Judy Herman went to Sissinghurst Castle in Kent to meet Nigel Nicholson, to find out why he has decided to sell his mother's writings now including some of the intimate sonnets she wrote to Mary Campbell. The auction takes place on Thursday 10 July at Sotheby's, Bond Street at 10.30 am.