Authors
Janice Hadlow Elizabeth Peyton-Jones Tony Juniper Catherine Barter Alun Withey Elizabeth Day Louise Johncox E J Rolstone Barney Campbell Melanie Southerden Rebecca Thornton Tiffany McDaniel Steve Heaney, MC J Sheekey Cook Book Clare Penate Mark Vanhoenacker Caroline Lea Lara Silverstone Christopher Bland James Bannon Ayisha Malik Emily Elgar S.E Moorhead Sharbari Ahmed Jason Morgan Elizabeth Fullerton Jeremy Hackett Ed Burstell Kate Sundara Alex Andreou Jem Lester Kathryn Alton Louise Mangos Tony Edwards Janet Todd Jamie Bartlett Natasha Garnett John Bromley-Davenport Lara Silverstone Kate Bevan Laura Tisdall Sarah Vincent Emily Chappell Nikki Owen Helen Rappaport Gill Wyness Barney Norris Richard Maher Vanessa Manko Adam White Catherine Chanter Jake and Victor Maymudes Jessica Fellowes Edward Young Spela Strukelj Michael Halperin David Varela Jonathan Goodwin Daniel Stevens Eamonn Griffin Gilly Macmillan Gaylene Gould Selina Mills Ruby Wax Celia Imrie Revd Richard Coles Gareth Rubin Maxine Clark Graham Masterton Beryl Kingston Buffalo Pictures (Doc Martin) Dr. Elizabeth Foyster David Francis Xenobe Purvis Iman Verjee Bryony Gordon J. Kent Messum Cath Bore Poppy Campbell Robert Elms Cecilia Ekbäck Joanne Strasser Matthew Specktor John Gordon Sinclair The Gentle Author Brian Cathcart Paul Conroy Daisy Goodwin Michael Waterhouse Paula Weideger Georgie Thompson Professor Simon Schama Peter Hain Gus Casely-Hayford Aoife Walsh Neal Street Productions Michael Winner Amanda Prowse David Heathcoat-Amory Phil Hardy Maria Anderson Kishwar Desai Jesse Norman MP Tom Wilkinson Sheena Byrom Hanna Jameson Carnival Films (Downton Abbey) Harriet Sergeant Michael Heppell David Blakeley Kriss Russman Peter Sissons Sir Alistair Horne Professor Sir Peter Hall Patricia Leroy Richard Foreman Silvena Rowe Kaushy Patel Wade Davis General Sir John Wilsey Derry Moore Clive Aslet Harry Benson Phil Campion Richard Charlton Mark Dawson Lorraine Gamman Glenn Haybittle John Lahutsky Ebony McKenna Lucy Lord Peter Moore James Palumbo Allison Pearson Mark Pearson Mary Quant K.A.S Quinn Sarah Raven John Rendall Mark Rice-Oxley Geoffrey Robertson Jill Shaw Ruddock Sean Ryan Robert Sackville-West Laura Santtini Samantha Scott-Jeffries Roger Scruton James Shepherd-Barron Silver River Productions William Sitwell Helen Slavin Joan Smith Norman Stone John Sweeney Niall Williams Jeanette Winterson Jonathan Zittrain Sandy Nairne Karl Miller Shireen Jilla Simon Kelner Deborah Mattinson David Linley (Viscount Linley) Twiggy Lawson Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner Ion Trewin Patrick Tilley Simon King Professor Lord Skidelsky Sir Tim Rice Christine Webber Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes Philip Norman Michael Nicholson Nicholas Mosley Russell Miller Professor David McLellan Sunny Jacobs and Peter Pringle Christopher Martin-Jenkins Fiona MacCarthy Tony Lewis Angela Huth Martin Langfield Harriet Harvey-Wood Professor Henry Kamen Hammer Films Rt Hon Lord Hurd of Westwell Baroness Susan Greenfield Sandra Howard Philip Hook Lynda Gratton Peter Florence Rt Hon Lord Heseltine Rt Hon Lord Healey of Riddlesden David Loyn Mike Dowling Max Hastings Tony Fitzjohn Rt Hon William Hague Damien Lewis Ffion Hague David Gentleman General Sir David Fraser Ilana Fox Karen Dolby Professor M.R.D. Foot David Faber Dr Christopher Duffy Terry Coleman Alex Chance Professor Christopher Bellamy Louise Bagshawe Paddy Ashdown Neal Ascherson Charlie Ellingworth Rowan Walker Mark Diacono Maria Eitel E B Peirse Roland Vernon Maureen Lindley Leander Deeny David Davies Matthew d'Ancona Xanthe Clay Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles Hugh Cornwell Marianne Curley Francis Cottam Jackie Clune Jonathan Franklin Paul Burke Nick Weston Colonel Stuart Tootal Alec Russell Glyn Prysor Pauline Prescott George Obama Brian Moynahan Adrian Fort Lord (Sebastian) Coe Evgenia Citkowitz Caroline Charles Emma Calder Rosie Boycott Pattie Boyd Peter Bowles Kay Burley Richard Attenborough Sarah Winman Marius Brill Alan Philps Bear Grylls Patrick Bishop Jimmy Burns
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Lisa Eldridge Mark Diacono Louise Mensch Paula Weideger Emma Wilson Lucy Wadham Oliver Rowe Antonia Quirke Jonathan Pett Rebecca Howard Newby Hands David Gritten Sebastian Gibson Tim Atkin Jackie Clune Professor Simon Schama Sandra Howard Stacey Duguid Lorraine Candy Zoe Lewis
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John Creasey Michael Innes Eric Ambler Anthony Masters Josephine Johnson Gabriel Fielding George Bellairs H. M. Tomlinson R.C. Hutchinson Georges Simenon Mazo de la Roche Denis Mackail Lettice Cooper John B. Sanford Dennis Wheatley Jean Saunders Raymond Postgate Alistair Mair Leonard Gribble Nicolas Freeling Edmund Crispin Margery Allingham Jane Aiken Hodge Hammond Innes Hilaire Belloc Alan Clark Colin Clark Ivy Compton-Burnett C. Day Lewis/Nicholas Blake Monica Dickens C. S. Forester E. M. Forster Clement Freud Margaret Irwin Robin Jenkins H. R. F. Keating Arthur Koestler Eric Linklater Gavin Lyall Frank O'Connor Mervyn Peake Evelyn Prentis V. S. Pritchett Bernice Rubens Margery Sharp Edith Sitwell Anthony Storr Catherine Storr Marie Vassiltchikov Rebecca West W. Bridges Adams Kenneth Allsop Martin Armstrong Nora Barlow Clifford Bax Phyllis Bentley Ludwig Bemelmans Marcel Boulestin Ann Bridge
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Lorraine Candy Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles Tony Juniper Carla Buzasi Tom Wilkinson Jamie Bartlett Mark Hix Annie Gray Martin Dorey Stuart Tootal Janet Reibstein Steve Peters Susie Orbach Susan Greenfield Deana Puccio and Allison Havey Allison Pearson Kay Burley Clive Aslet Tim Hayward Philip Hook Ruby Wax Sandra Howard Jackie Clune Max Hastings Harry Cliff Harriet Sergeant Jessica Fellowes Jeanette Winterson Tim Atkin Paddy Ashdown Gus Casely-Hayford Twiggy Lawson Nick Weston Helen Rappaport William Sitwell John Rendall Phil Campion Mark Diacono Oliver Cox Nev Wilshire Jonathan Goodwin Grant Harrold
Speakers
Lorraine Candy Tony Juniper Carla Buzasi Tom Wilkinson Jamie Bartlett Ed Burstell Catherine Fisher David Blakeley Sherard Cowper-Coles Jacqueline Yallop Janice Hadlow Mark Hix Annie Gray Martin Dorey Sarah Raven Philip Norman Graham Masterton Philip Hook Daisy Goodwin Jesse Norman Steve Peters Sandra Howard Grant Harrold Janet Reibstein Susie Orbach Susan Greenfield Harry Cliff Deana Puccio and Allison Havey Deeyah Khan Michael Howard Michael Heseltine Paddy Ashdown Stuart Tootal Phil Campion Allison Pearson Kay Burley Clive Aslet Mark Diacono Robert Sackville-West Helen Rappaport Max Hastings Oliver Cox Nick Weston William Sitwell Tim Hayward Francesca Fox Tim Atkin Jonathan Zittrain Nev Wilshire Lynda Gratton Jeanette Winterson Ruby Wax John Rendall Twiggy Lawson Jonathan Goodwin Ilana Fox Jessica Fellowes Jackie Clune Emily Chappell Gus Casely-Hayford

 
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fiona

Fiona MacCarthy

Fiona MacCarthy is a  British biographer and cultural historian best known for her studies of 19th and 20th century arts, crafts and design.She is art critic for Observer & Guardian and a regular contributor to TLS, NY Review of Books and BBC Radio arts programmes. Previous works include biographies of Eric Gill, William Morris, Stanley Spencer and Byron.

 

She is writing a biography of Walter Gropius, the architect and Bauhaus School founder, for Faber and Harvard University Press.

 

- Contact -

MICHAEL SISSONS & FIONA PETHERAM

E-mail: msissons@pfd.co.uk

or fpetheram@pfd.co.uk

Telephone number: 020 7344 1064


 
 
Publications
Fiona MacCarthy
 

THE LAST CURTSEY


‘In 1958 – the year in which Krushchev came to power in Russia, the year after Eden’s resignation over Suez, two years after John Osborne’s ‘Look Back in Anger’ – the last of the debutantes, myself among them, went to the Palace to curtsey to the Queen.’

Fiona MacCarthy and her fellow ‘debs’ were taking part in one of the final rituals of aristocratic power. The system had been in operation almost unchanged since the eighteenth century. It was a female rite of passage, an elaborate initiation ceremony marking the emergence of the virgin out of the schoolroom and into society at the marriageable age of seventeen. But that year, in 1958, it was drawing to a close.

Under pressure to shine – not least from their mothers – the girls were somewhere between teenagers and clones of the Queen herself. The focus for newspaper diarists and society photographers, these young women participated in a party season stretching for months among the great houses of England, Ireland and Scotland. Yet behind all the grandeur lay anxiety and making-do, as many families struggled to maintain the splendour of former times.

Fiona MacCarthy traces the stories of the girls who curtseyed that year, and shows how their lives were to open out in often very unexpected ways – as Britain itself changed irreversibly during the 1960s, and the certainties of the old order came to an end. Sharp, witty and beautifully observed, Last Curtsey is a triumph both as memoir and as social history.


PUBLISHER: Faber & Faber

PUBLICATION DATE: October 2006

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Fiona MacCarthy
 

THE LAST PRE-RAPHAELITE: A BIOGRAPHY OF EDWARD BURNE-JONES

 

 From the prize winning author of William Morris comes a new biography of Edward Burne-Jones, the greatest British artist of the second half of the nineteenth century.

The angels on our Christmas cards, the stained glass in our churches, the great paintings in our galleries — Edward Burne-Jones’s work is all around us. The most admired British artist of his generation, he was a leading figure with Oscar Wilde in the aesthetic movement of the 1880s, inventing what became a widespread ‘Burne-Jones look’. The bridge between Victorian and modern art, he influenced not just his immediate circle but artists such as Klimt and Picasso.

In this gripping book Fiona MacCarthy explores and re-evaluates his art and life — his battle against vicious public hostility, the romantic susceptibility to female beauty that would inspire his art and ruin his marriage, his ill health and depressive sensibility, the devastating rift with his great friend and collaborator William Morris as their views on art and politics diverged.

With new research and fresh historical perspective, The Last Pre-Raphaelite tells the extraordinary, dramatic story of Burne-Jones as an artist, a key figure in Victorian society and a peculiarly captivating man.


“MacCarthy’s many gifts as a biographer include an eye for scenes around which a whole story crystallises…The Last Pre-Raphaelite is a living panorama as much as a biography” John Carey, Sunday Times


“A magnificent and deeply felt biography of the enigmatic Edward Burne-Jones” Guardian






Buy it here.


PUBLISHER: Faber & Faber

PUBLICATION DATE: 1st September 2011

RIGHTS CONTROLLED:  Serial, Audio, Translation

 

 


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WILLIAM MORRIS: A LIFE FOR OUR TIME


Since his death in 1896, William Morris has come to be regarded as one of the giants of the nineteenth century. But his genius was so many-sided and so profound that its full extent has rarely been grasped. Many people may find it hard to believe that the greatest English designer of his time, possibly of all time, could also be internationally renowned as a founder of the socialist movement, and could have been ranked as a poet together with Tennyson and Browning.


With penetrating insight, Fiona MacCarthy has managed to encompass all the different facets of Morris’s complex character, shedding light on his immense creative powers as artist and designer of furniture, fabrics, wallpaper, stained glass, tapestry and books, and as a poet, novelist and translator; his psychology and his emotional life; his frenetic activities as polemicist and reformer; and his remarkable circle of friends, literary, artistic and political.


Buy it here.


PUBLISHER: Faber & Faber

PUBLICATION DATE: 5 August 2010

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Fiona MacCarthy
 

ERIC GILL


Eric Gill was perhaps the greatest English artist-craftsman of the twentieth century: a typographer and lettercutter of genius and a master in the art of sculpture and wood-engraving.


Buy it here.


PUBLISHER: Faber & Faber

PUBLICATION DATE: 1989

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BYRON: LIFE AND LEGEND


Fiona MacCarthy’s Byron: Life and Legend is a breakthrough in reinterpreting Byron’s life and poetry for a new generation, showing him as a formative figure in European romanticism, as Byron described himself, ‘the Napoleon of Rhyme’. MacCarthy brings a fresh eye to Byron’s short but brilliant life, from his embattled relations with his mother, his early travels in the Mediterranean and the East, his relationships with adolescent boys, to the tragicomedy of his marriage, his incestuous love for his half-sister and the clamorous attention of his female fans.


Buy it here.


PUBLISHER: John Murray

PUBLICATION DATE: 7 November 2002

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Fiona MacCarthy
 

THE SIMPLE LIFE: C. R. ASHBEE IN THE COTSWOLDS


In the spring of 1902, when the back-to-the-land movement was at its height, an exodus began to Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds. East End London workmen – jewellers, silversmiths, enamellers, cavers, modellers, blacksmiths, cabinet-makers, book-binders and printers – fled from the rushed and crowded life of the big city to a rural idyll of craftsmanship and husbandry which was, at the time, all good socialists’ dream.


This extraordinary idealistic movement was to have a lasting impact not only on the lives of the 150 London immigrants and their leader, the architect, Charles Robert Ashbee, but also on the nature of the little town they occupied.


The Guild of Handicraft had been formed in Whitechapel in 1888. It blended an attitude to art, design and manufacture with a view of how society might be changed for the better. This book traces its fortunes and misfortunes, hilarious and grave, and the many eccentrics, idealists and men of letters and the arts who were involved, including William Morris, Roger Fry, Mrs Patrick Campbell, Edward Carpenter, Holman Hunt, Frank Lloyd Wright, Lowes Dickinson and Sidney and Beatrice Webb.


Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, Fiona MacCarthy’s account of this attempt to resolve the dilemma faced by artists and craftsmen working in a mass-produced society, documents one delightful and intriguing experiment in utopian social history.


Buy it here.


PUBLISHER: Lund Humphries

PUBLICATION DATE: 1981

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Fiona MacCarthy
 

STANLEY SPENCER: AN ENGLISH VISION


Stanley Spencer, a central figure in the current revival of European figurative painting and a precursor of such artists as Lucian Freud, is among the most important English painters of the twentieth century. In this book, Fiona MacCarthy investigates Spencer’s life, sets his work in its cultural context, and emphasizes the links between his life and his paintings. With extensive commentary — edited from Spencer’s own writings by Judith Collins of the Tare Gallery — on each of sixty beautiful reproductions of Spencer’s paintings, this volume provides a comprehensive account of a profoundly original artist and his work.


Finding inspiration in his quiet village on the river Thames, Spencer drew on his familiar world to arrive at an art of epic grandeur. Though he denied it, Spencer was a supreme landscape artist, MacCarthy contends. Like William Blake, Spencer found the miraculous in everyday things. Like his twentieth-century contemporaries — including sculptors Eric Gill and Jacob Epstein and writers D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce — Spencer was searching for a new expressiveness of sex, says MacCarthy. Contrary to the public perception of him, he was also a deeply political artist, affected by life around him and by his own involvement in world events. The magnificent wall paintings he created at the Sandham Memorial Chapel at Burghclere, for example, reflect his experiences as a hospital orderly and as a private in World War I.


Stanley Spencer’s extreme combination of the homely and the weird has baffled viewers of his paintings. This book, delving more deeply than ever before into Spencer’s personality, sheds new light on this sensitive and enigmatic artist.


PUBLISHER: Yale University Press

PUBLICATION DATE: 10 October 1997

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Fiona MacCarthy
 

A HISTORY OF BRITISH DESIGN, 1830-1970


PUBLISHER: Allen & Unwin

PUBLICATION DATE: 8 February 1979

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Fiona MacCarthy
 

ALL THINGS BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL: DESIGN IN BRITAIN 1830 TO TODAY


PUBLISHER: Allen & Unwin

PUBLICATION DATE: 11 May 1972

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