English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper
Was it a betrayal of the modern movement to be in love, as John Piper was, with old churches? Harris finds the engagement of artists and writers with the English countryside during the interwar years ‘an expression of responsibility – towards places, people and histories too valuable and too vulnerable to go missing from art’. Among the now much-admired figures discussed are Paul Nash, Edward Bawden, Gertrude Hermes, John Betjeman and Daphne du Maurier, and the book features carefully chosen quotations and reproductions of their works.
An Adventure History of Paris
Paris is one of the most alluring cities in the world; however well we know it, it never ceases to surprise. Reading this book, which retells its history through the lives of its inhabitants from Balzac to Baudelaire, Sartre to Sarkozy, is like stumbling upon a tiny restaurant frequented by eccentric locals. Robb is both a scholar and an adventurer, and from 250 years of urban history, he weaves a dazzling tapestry of fact and fantasy, memory and myth. Slightly off-mint.