When Anthony Blunt died in 1983, he was a man about whom almost anything could be and was said As Surveyor of the Queen s Pictures and Director of the Courtauld Institute, Blunt s position was assured until his exposure in 1979 left his reputation in tatters Miranda Carter s brilliantly insightful biography gives us a vivid portrait of a human paradox Blunt s totally discrete lives, with their permanent contradictions, serve to remind us that there is no one key to any human being s identity we are all a series of conflicting selves....
|Title||:||Anthony Blunt: His Lives|
|Publisher||:||Pan Books New Ed edition October 11, 2002|
|Number of Pages||:||608 pages|
|File Size||:||693 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Anthony Blunt: His Lives Reviews
Exhaustingly detailed to the point where I would often skip pages. Blunt was not all that interesting as an individual, but Carter's book fills in the
Anthony Blunt was a brilliant art authority, teacher and critic. He also betrayed his country -England - to the Communist world. Just about every angry British and American biographer able to rent a typewriter has blasted the man. And you can waste an awful lot of time, and ingest an awful lot of fiction and misinformation reading them.
this is a terrific book which I am reading in preparation for a Road Scholar tour, The Spying Game. Well beyond the topical interest of the fve Cambridge spies, Carter rebuilds the entire pre to postwar world that I grew up with, never quite able to understand how the Anglo European world was coming apart. The treatment is heavily British, as one would expect, and the clubby familiarity of the text can be wearying when it centers on Cambridge and Trinity Hall in particular. But it is nothing if not a denser portrait of the world Waugh made come alive and with which millions of Americans are familiar through the PBS Brideshead Revisited. Carter's work, through its broader almost exhaustive sweep makes it all far more grim, tawdry, frantic. It feels very uncomfortable to an American born in 1936, so far removed, isolated, from the desperation of Europe in the 30's, bankrupt and prostrate in the 40's and 50's. It is a sad story from beginning to end.
Carter is a very talented writer. In any biography, there is a lot to slog through before getting ot the juicy parts, but Carter makes the world in Blunt's early days come alive. You can imagine being there. This is a rare skill.
Excellent condition. Pleased with experience.
Anthony Blunt (1907-1983) deserves a longish footnote in the history of modern Britain. Son of a low-Church clergyman, educated in a British "public" (i.e. private) school, he rose to the very heights of British academia, as an art historian, apparently mainly by dint of high intelligence, talent, and hard work. One of the Cambridge group of young Communists in the 1930's, he also became a spy for Soviet Russia, but was not exposed until many years later, during the Thatcher years. He was also famously, promiscuously homosexual. His story allows for a variety of treatments. One would be low-brow, highlighting its inherent prurience. Carter's book isn't that, I am happy to report. Another treatment would be high-brow, with informative discussions of the British worlds of art and politics in the 20th century. Carter's book isn't that, either, I am sorry to say. It lies somewhere in between, and that is an opportunity lost.
Just add one more voice to the praise for this very well researched book. I knew nothing really about this man other than he was some sort of spy for the Russians. Having read the book - and it is the best part of 500 pages - I feel I not only know the man (in as much as he could ever allow himself to be known) but I also know about the culture and background which inspired men like him to pass information to the Russians during the war and feel that they were in fact contributing to the fall of Fascism.