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1 August 1985
Diplomacy and Intelligence during the Second World War: Essays in Honour of F.H. Hinsley 
edited by Richard Langhorne.
Cambridge, 329 pp., £27.50, May 1985, 0 521 26840 0
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British Intelligence and the Second World War. Vol. I: 1939-Summer 1941, Vol. II: Mid-1941-Mid-1943, Vol. III, Part I: June 1943-June 1944 
by F.H. Hinsley, E.E. Thomas, C.F.G. Ransom and R.C. Knight.
HMSO, 616 pp., £12.95, September 1979, 0 11 630933 4
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... There are at least three books at present being written on Anthony Blunt and the Cambridge Spies. Already the sleuths are nosing out the Fifth Man – the master control, an older don who must have recruited them. In 1977 the Times proclaimed to a sceptical public that he was Donald Beves, the delightful tutor of King’s known to generations of undergraduates who performed on stage in the ADC, the Marlowe or the Musical Society, and whose interest in politics or indeed in ideas was negligible: clearly his bonhomie disguised an Iago ...


Malcolm Bull

23 March 1995
Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665 
by Pierre Rosenberg and Louis-Antoine Prat.
Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 560 pp., frs 350, September 1994, 2 7118 3027 6
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Nicolas Poussin 
by Anthony Blunt.
Pallas Athene, 690 pp., £24.95, January 1995, 1 873429 64 9
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Nicolas Poussin 1594-1665 
by Richard Verdi, with an essay by Pierre Rosenberg.
Zwemmer, 336 pp., £39.50, January 1995, 0 302 00647 8
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Roma 1630: Il trionfo del pennello 
edited by Olivier Bonfait.
Electa, 260 pp., July 1994, 88 435 5047 0
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Poussin before Rome 1594-1624 
by Jacques Thuillier.
Feigen, 119 pp., £40, January 1995, 1 873232 03 9
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The Expression of the Passions 
by Jennifer Montagu.
Yale, 256 pp., £35, October 1994, 0 300 05891 8
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L’Ecole du silence 
by Marc Fumaroli.
Flammarion, 512 pp., frs 295, May 1994, 2 08 012618 0
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To Destroy Painting 
by Louis Marin, translated by Mette Hjort.
Chicago, 196 pp., £31.95, April 1995, 0 226 50535 9
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... foundation. The villain of the piece (now typecast by his starring role in other dramas) is Anthony Blunt, who wrote the standard monograph on Poussin’s paintings (now republished), co-authored the five-volume catalogue of the drawings, and, in 1960, wrote the catalogue for the largest Poussin exhibition ever seen. At the time, it seemed that the ...

All This Love Business

Jean McNicol: Vanessa and Julian Bell

24 January 2013
Julian Bell: From Bloomsbury to the Spanish Civil War 
by Peter Stansky and William Abrahams.
Stanford, 314 pp., £38.95, 0 8047 7413 7
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... joy of reading the letter’ containing what Julian called ‘great news’: he was sleeping with Anthony Blunt – his ‘first love affair’. She realised then that he ‘meant to tell me things. I had never expected it.’ After Blunt Julian’s affairs were heterosexual, but there were quite a few of them, they ...
23 April 1987
Selected Literary Criticism of Louis MacNeice 
edited by Alan Heuser.
Oxford, 279 pp., £19.50, March 1987, 0 19 818573 1
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... The strings are false (1965). One of MacNeice’s closest friends at Marlborough was Anthony Blunt: ‘He considered it very low to talk politics.’ Then to Oxford, and the rest is literary history, of a sort. He often went back to Ireland for vacations or to see rugby matches in Dublin; his poems about Ireland present the place as ...

Our War

Nicholas Hiley

7 March 1996
Changing Enemies: The Defeat and Regeneration of Germany 
by Noël Annan.
HarperCollins, 266 pp., £18, November 1995, 0 00 255629 4
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... he was identified as one of the Cambridge spies’. Long was a Cambridge graduate recruited by Anthony Blunt, who kept the NKVD supplied with secret intelligence from 1941 onwards, but this keen sense of shame may have been sufficient punishment for his crimes. For Annan the treason which began the long post-war decline derived from another source. As ...

Cowboy Coups

Phillip Knightley

10 October 1991
Smear! Wilson and the Secret State 
by Stephen Dorrill and Robin Ramsay.
Fourth Estate, 502 pp., £20, August 1991, 9781872180687
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... have been.’ That was the extent of the revelations. Needless to say, I wrote nothing, but when Anthony Blunt, Keeper of the Queen’s Pictures and her third cousin once removed, was finally publicly exposed three years later as a onetime Soviet spy, I wondered if the luncheon had not been some convoluted MI5 way of trying to get the Sunday Times ...

My Little Lollipop

Jenny Diski: Christine Keeler

22 March 2001
The Truth at Last: My Story 
by Christine Keeler and Douglas Thompson.
Sidgwick, 279 pp., £16.99, February 2001, 0 283 07291 1
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... a regular visitor to Ward’s flat, as were Roger Hollis, head of MI5 and mole extraordinaire, and Anthony Blunt. They spoke freely in front of Keeler, she claims, about nuclear warheads. They weren’t worried about her apparently. Ward knew she was safe. ‘The only gossip was about fashions, the new French and Italian underwear, ladders in ...

Just a Way of Having Fun

Eleanor Birne: John Piper

29 March 2017
The Art of John Piper 
by David Fraser Jenkins and Hugh Fowler-Wright.
Unicorn, 472 pp., £45, June 2016, 978 1 910787 05 2
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... 10s a week he still got from his mother. He was 35. Eager for extra income, he took over from Anthony Blunt as the art critic at the Spectator. And he also took on work for the Ministry of Information. His first commission was to paint pictures of the control rooms for the ARP, the air raid precaution service. Where some of the older war artists ...
6 December 1990
The KGB: The Inside Story of the Foreign Operations 
by Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky.
Hodder, 704 pp., £20, October 1990, 0 340 48561 2
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Inside the KGB: Myth and Reality 
by Vladimir Kuzichkin.
Deutsch, 406 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 233 98616 2
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... talents in mid-Thirties Vienna; and the Cambridge-educated ‘Magnificent Five’ – Philby, Blunt, Burgess, Maclean and the ‘fifth man’ (‘revealed’ with too much fanfare by Andrew/Gordievsky), John Cairncross. These men, and others, performed prodigies of courage and treachery, yet their work was more often than not ignored, misinterpreted or ...
4 July 1996
The Kincora Scandal: Political Cover-Up and Intrigue in Northern Ireland 
by Chris Moore.
Marine, 240 pp., £6.99, June 1996, 1 86023 029 6
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... have never been disclosed. Moore wonders whether some of them were friends of Anthony Blunt, who spent long periods in Tyrone and Belfast with Peter Montgomery, once Vice-Lieutenant for County Tyrone, and was known to be interested in ‘rough trade’ supplied from local state homes. But there is no proven link between this circle ...


A.J.P. Taylor: Birthdays and Centenaries

5 May 1983
... me off his visiting-list because I had opposed the witch-hunt at the British Academy against Anthony Blunt. I am glad to record that Blake has now forgiven me, or perhaps he thinks I have purged my offence. At any rate, I am now restored to favour. Of course, I am pleased to provide an occasion when other people enjoy themselves – it is a bit hard ...


Nicholas Penny

2 April 1981
Bernini and the Unity of the Visual Arts 
by Irving Lavin.
Oxford, 255 pp., £45, October 1980, 0 19 520184 1
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... be particularly interesting to have his views on the brilliant theory put forward recently by Anthony Blunt about the difference between the swooning of Teresa and the swooning of ...

Aestheticise, Aestheticise

Benjamin Markovits: ‘Shroud’

2 January 2003
by John Banville.
Picador, 408 pp., £16.99, September 2002, 0 330 48315 3
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... so as to put the emphasis on the lying and not the betraying, just as he did in his account of Anthony Blunt in The Untouchable. Besides masks and shrouds, there are a smattering of references to the Harlequin, Cass’s nickname for her older lover, and the subject of her academic research: ‘No moral praise seems appropriate for him, since this ...

Adam to Zeus

Colin Burrow: John Banville

11 March 2010
The Infinities 
by John Banville.
Picador, 300 pp., £7.99, March 2010, 978 0 330 45025 6
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... or academics with high aesthetic ideals and dodgy personal histories, like Victor Maskell, the Anthony Blunt-ish hero of The Untouchable, or the murderer Freddie Montgomery in The Book of Evidence, or the unnamed narrators of the string of novels which followed. These men are set apart from other people by a massive sense of self-worth and a coldly ...
20 January 2000
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Picasso, Provence and Douglas Cooper 
by John Richardson.
Cape, 320 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 224 05056 7
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... the Courtauld Institute – this was much discussed, we learn here, over whisky late at night with Anthony Blunt (the Headmistress of the Courtauld School for Girls, as he was addressed in violet ink on Cooper’s postcards) but nothing came of it. Since this memoir is about his life with Douglas Cooper, Richardson has to tell us something about how it ...

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