The photographs in illustrated versions of Orlando are of the real Vita Sackville-West.
Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf were members of the Bloomsbury Group, an English group of intellectuals well known for their modernist bent, literary works, and sexual explorations.
Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf were lovers. Their relationship was often tumultuous. Although they both had husbands, at one point they made a pact to have sex exclusively with each other. When Sackville-West supposedly broke the pact by getting it on with her husband, she and Woolf broke up.
Vita Sackville-West’s son Nigel Nicholson described Orlando as "the longest and most charming love letter in literature."
The character of Rosina Pepita is thought to have been inspired by Vita Sackville-West's grandmother, who was a Spanish dancer.