Shadows & Secrets
Michael Jenkins, A House in Flanders
In 1951, a shy and solitary 14-year-old boy was sent by his parents to spend the summer with ‘the aunts in Flanders’. His account of those months in the dignified old French country house on the edge of the Flanders Plain has an idyllic, dream-like quality. Yet all was not as idyllic as at first it seemed. Gradually he teases out the history of the family and of the surrounding area and finally uncovers the secret at the heart of the book – the reason he has been sent there.
Michael Holroyd, Basil Street Blues
Well-known for his frank biographies of such controversial figures as Augustus John and Lytton Strachey, Holroyd teases out the story of his own distinctly problematic family in this delightful and original book. His volatile father, always busy with his own enterprises, and his glamorous Swedish mother with her succession of exotic husbands, had only walk-on parts in his life. It was only after both his parents had died that he was overcome by a desire to find the ‘connecting story’ which his fragmented childhood had so lacked. The result is a very personal detective story, subtle, funny and poignant.
Hunt the Biographer
Michael Holroyd is the most distinguished biographer of his generation, chiefly on the strength of three monumental works – Lytton Strachey, Augustus John and Bernard Shaw, published between 1967...Read more
One Golden Summer
There are some books, not necessarily the longest, in which the author’s intention is so perfectly realized, a seminal experience of life so beautifully recorded that the book becomes a small icon...Read more