Splendours and Miseries
The flamboyant Director of the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A has been at the heart of Britain’s high society for half a century. Amusing and often acerbic, his diaries chronicle two decades of parties, meetings and tussles over funding, with a cast of characters including Margaret Thatcher, the Royal Family, David Hockney, Mick Jagger and Rudolph Nureyev. This new edition includes entries omitted when the diaries were first published.
The Story of Britain
From the Romans to the Present Day
This introduction to British history begins with the geographical description of the island itself which, Roy Strong believes, has shaped the nation, its people and its politics. Invasions, migrations, civil wars, and two world wars have all been influenced by Britain’s uneasy relationship with mainland Europe, while a desire for self-sufficiency produced the empire and the Industrial Revolution. This new edition has been extended to cover the years from 1996 to the 2016 EU referendum.
Scenes and Apparitions
As Director of the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A, Sir Roy Strong was a leading figure in Britain’s cultural life. His second volume of diaries begins as he leaves the public stage to devote himself to writing and his love of gardening. With a rich and diverse cast of characters including Tony Blair, Judi Dench, Elton John, Laurence Olivier, Harold Pinter, Margaret Thatcher and the Queen, it casts a wryly humorous eye over the turn of the millennium.
Visions of England
What does it mean to be English? In a post-imperial age of devolution and multiculturalism, the question has taken on a new urgency. In this searching, deeply felt book, the art historian Roy Strong argues that the national psyche has been shaped by the rural arcadia celebrated by poets and painters such as Wordsworth and Constable. Drawing on both high art and popular culture, he identifies an enduring national identity that is inclusive and free of chauvinism or political partisanship.
Remaking a Garden
The Laskett Transformed
In over 30 years, Sir Roy Strong and his wife Julia Trevelyan Oman created a stunning historical garden at their home, The Laskett in Herefordshire. After his wife's death in 2003, Sir Roy decided to remodel the garden, which had become overgrown and closed in on itself. In a book to inspire fellow gardeners, he records the remaking of The Laskett garden in his own words, accompanied by the before-and-after and action photographs of Clive Boursnell.