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All about Me

Kevin Kopelson: Don Bachardy

8 April 2015
by Don Bachardy.
Glitterati, 368 pp., £45, October 2014, 978 0 9913419 2 4
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... book, I was most struck by some portraits – reproduced in full colour – that had been done of Strachey; there’s one by Simon Bussy, drawn in 1904 (the year of Isherwood’s birth); there’s one by Henry Lamb, painted in 1914; there’s one by Dora Carrington from 1916. In Meade’s book, I was most struck by the following passage about a party ...

Back to Byzantium

John Thompson

22 January 1981
by Jan Morris.
Oxford, 242 pp., £7.95, July 1980, 0 19 502708 6
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The Venetian Empire 
by Jan Morris.
Faber, 192 pp., £9.50, October 1980, 9780571099368
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... areas – India in the Emergency, post-Watergate Washington, Southern Africa, Panama, even London with its National Front marches – then screams off again for a further twenty culturally-absorbent pages elsewhere. As Ms Morris says, Rolling Stone is an ‘urgent kind of magazine’, so all this rushing around is what we would expect. But she didn’t ...

At Home in the Huntington

John Sutherland: The Isherwood Archive

10 June 1999
... been stable – not to say, dull. There was just one executor: his long-time companion, the artist Don Bachardy. A substantial parcel of Bachardy’s art-work and papers are incorporated in the Isherwood package and may well have been a deciding factor. As an art gallery and library, the Huntington is well placed to ...
6 February 2014
Becoming a Londoner: A Diary 
by David Plante.
Bloomsbury, 534 pp., £20, September 2013, 978 1 4088 3975 1
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The Animals: Love Letters between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy 
edited by Katherine Bucknell.
Chatto, 481 pp., £25, September 2013, 978 0 7011 8678 4
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... they do in private can be the thing that makes one special. He is 28 years old when he comes to London from the US (a little younger than his beloved Henry James) and meets the love of his life, a unique Greek called Nikos Stangos. The boys were fascinated by Bloomsbury – the books, the people, the scarves, the gossip – which led them to venerate Stephen ...

I am a cactus

John Sutherland: Christopher Isherwood and his boys

3 June 2004
by Peter Parker.
Picador, 914 pp., £25, May 2004, 0 330 48699 3
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... The other is to put together a portrait ‘from the life’, which is what Parker has done. This book is not, primarily, about Isherwood’s career, but about Isherwood. And Isherwood was all about Isherwood. His ‘principal subject’, Parker argues, ‘was himself’; or, if he was feeling expansive, ‘Christopher’s kind’ – himself and ...

A Little Bit of Showing Off

Adam Phillips: Isherwood’s 1960s

6 January 2011
The Sixties: Diaries 1960-69 
by Christopher Isherwood, edited by Katherine Bucknell.
Chatto, 756 pp., £30, November 2010, 978 0 7011 6940 4
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... a period without glamour,’ Isherwood writes in a diary entry for 18 May 1962, apropos his lover Don Bachardy’s birthday. ‘He blames me because his birthday isn’t marvellous, and I would blame him under the same circumstances.’ Isherwood feared these times without glamour – if they were without glamour – because he was about to be in his ...

Tiff and Dither

Michael Wood

2 January 1997
Diaries. Vol. I: 1939-60 
by Christopher Isherwood, edited by Katherine Bucknell.
Methuen, 1048 pp., £25, October 1996, 0 413 69680 4
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... day I feel worse. Miserable loneliness’; ‘Elsa Lanchester to supper last night. Not a success. Don had fixed shrimp jambalaya and Elsa immediately said she couldn’t eat garlic and implied a reproof because I hadn’t remembered this’; ‘Well, of course, everything is all right today – it really is, I believe.’ Certainly anyone who has kept a diary ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 1996

2 January 1997
... me how, as a child, finding this forerunner of the kebab on the doormat she had scoffed the lot. I don’t think there were such itinerant characters in Leeds, possibly because it wasn’t affluent enough or because this was during the war when cats had to pull in their belts along with everyone else. 2 March, Venice. Fur much in evidence in Venice, where they ...
4 January 1996
Stravinsky: Chronicle of a Friendship 
by Robert Craft.
Vanderbilt, 588 pp., £35.95, October 1994, 0 8265 1258 5
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... character, popping in and out of the narrative, usually when there is eating and drinking to be done, table-talking like a true Augustan. He provides the new, as the old, Chronicle with its unforgettable opening tableau in March 1948: Washington D.C. Arriving at the Raleigh Hotel for my appointment with Stravinsky this morning, I find Auden pacing the ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2016

5 January 2017
... I give him a quid, saying that I bet it’s a good pitch. He’s so set on giving me his spiel I don’t think he even hears. But I’m sure it is a good spot: people who’ve just got the all-clear giving him something out of gratitude and those who haven’t giving him something because they’re hoping for some luck in their treatment.1 April. It occurs ...

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