Michael Shelden

Michael Shelden has written Cyril Connolly and the World of ‘Horizon’ and Orwell: The Authorised Biography.

Art and Men

Michael Shelden, 5 December 1991

Rich and eccentric, Edward Perry Warren was used to indulging his whims. After seeing Rodin’s The Kiss in 1900, he was determined to have a replica carved by the sculptor himself. It was to be exact in every respect except one. He asked Rodin to provide a full view of the nude man’s genitals. Four years later the piece was completed and delivered to its new owner. But Warren was disappointed. As his biographer reports, ‘the man’s genitals though visible were hardly distinct.’ The sculpture eventually went to the Tate, but not before it had spent some months gathering dust in a corner of Edward Perry Warren’s stables.

Letter

Sonia Brownell

24 October 1991

In his letter (Letters, 7 November) Francis Wyndham accuses me of being unfair to Sonia Brownell in my biography of her first husband, George Orwell. He says that she was an exceedingly generous woman who gave little thought to Orwell’s ‘modest fortune’ when she married the dying novelist in October 1949. I leave the question of her generosity to others, but I think it is dishonest...

Full of Teeth

Patricia Beer, 20 July 1995

‘It is obviously the same person.’ The words of Lady Bracknell, one of the wisest characters in English literature, may eventually be echoed by readers when and if they have worked...

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Cockaigne

Frank Kermode, 24 October 1991

There is already a lot of biographical writing about Orwell, including the memoir of Richard Rees and The Unknown Orwell by William Abrahams and Peter Stansky (lamed by the late Soni...

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The war is a long way back and young people take little interest in it, or in the feel of what was being said and written at the time. Lawrence, Yeats and Eliot go marching on, attracting...

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