Dear Lad

Penelope Fitzgerald

  • The Simple Life: C.R. Ashbee in the Cotswolds by Fiona MacCarthy
    Lund Humphries, 204 pp, £7.95, January 1981, ISBN 0 85331 435 7
  • Philip Mairet: Autobiographical and Other Papers edited by C.H. Sisson
    Carcanet, 266 pp, £7.95, February 1981, ISBN 0 85635 326 4

Charles Ashbee – C.R.A., as he asked to be called – must be counted as a successful man. He was an architect whose houses stood up, a designer whose work has always been appreciated, a homosexual who in his fifties became – almost absent-mindedly, it seems – the father of four daughters, and a dreamer who, by founding the Guild of Handicrafts, put his ideals into practice and then kept them going for twenty years. He has not many competitors there.

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