Portrait of the Artist as an Old Fraud

Mary-Kay Wilmers

  • Life with Lowry by Tilly Marshall
    Hutchinson, 260 pp, £7.95, February 1981, ISBN 0 09 144090 4

‘I’m not a very nice man, you know,’ L.S. Lowry said of himself. Mrs Marshall, his friend, would not disagree. Although for the last 14 years of his life she and her husband spent some part of almost every day in his company, she now describes him as having been ‘a millstone round our necks’. No blame attaches to her for not subscribing to the old idea that if you are creative you need not be nice, but it’s usual for people to like their friends. In 14 years Mrs Marshall seems to have had one moment of fondness for Lowry, which was when he fell downstairs: ‘I can feel again the overwhelming sense of pity and affection for him as I recall him lying crumpled on the floor.’

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