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Cauldrons for Helmets

Barbara Newman: Crusading Women, 13 April 2023

Women and the Crusades 
by Helen J. Nicholson.
Oxford, 287 pp., £25, February, 978 0 19 880672 1
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... penance and imitation of Christ in his Passion, especially in the very lands where he suffered.Helen Nicholson’s project in Women and the Crusades is to consider all dimensions of women’s participation, both on campaign and on the home front. She casts a very broad net. Like other recent historians, ...

Consulting the Furniture

Rosemary Hill: Jim Ede’s Mind Museum, 18 May 2023

Ways of Life: Jim Ede and the Kettle’s Yard Artists 
by Laura Freeman.
Cape, 377 pp., £30, May, 978 1 78733 190 7
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... Laura Freeman, first encountered the work of Miró and David Jones, Henry Moore, Brancusi, Ben Nicholson, Alfred Wallis, Gaudier-Brzeska and others. Like Ede’s life it spans the century; but, more than that, for those of us who had not grown up in houses where there were grand pianos or interesting pebbles thoughtfully arranged to catch the light, it was ...

At Kettle’s Yard

Eleanor Birne: The Reopening, 22 March 2018

... Morocco and France; and while working at the Tate in the 1920s and early 1930s, he and his wife, Helen, had lived in Hampstead, where Braque, Naum Gabo, Diaghilev and Nijinksky were among their many visitors – along with artist friends from closer to home, particularly Ben and Winifred Nicholson. In 1956, the Edes ...

Put a fist through it

Harriet Baker: The Hampstead Modernists, 8 October 2020

Circles and Squares: The Lives and Art of the Hampstead Modernists 
by Caroline Maclean.
Bloomsbury, 296 pp., £30, April, 978 1 4088 8969 5
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The See-Through House: My Father in Full Colour 
by Shelley Klein.
Chatto, 271 pp., £16.99, April, 978 1 78474 310 9
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... In September​ 1931, Barbara Hepworth invited Ben Nicholson to Happisburgh on the Norfolk coast. Both artists were married: Hepworth to the sculptor Jack Skeaping, whom she had met while on a scholarship in Rome, and Nicholson to the painter Winifred, who stayed behind at their farmhouse in Cumbria to look after their two small children and new baby ...

Old Gravy

Mark Ford, 7 September 1995

Robert Graves: Life on the Edge 
by Miranda Seymour.
Doubleday, 524 pp., £20, July 1995, 0 385 40423 9
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Robert Graves and the White Goddess 
by Richard Perceval Graves.
Weidenfeld, 618 pp., £25, July 1995, 0 297 81534 2
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Robert Graves: His Life and Work 
by Martin Seymour-Smith.
Bloomsbury, 600 pp., £25, June 1995, 0 7475 2205 7
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Robert Graves: Collected Writings on Poetry 
edited by Paul O’Prey.
Carcanet, 560 pp., £35, June 1995, 1 85754 172 3
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Robert Graves: The Centenary Selected Poems 
edited by Patrick Quinn.
Carcanet, 160 pp., £15.95, April 1995, 9781857541267
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... not this phantasma. Graves sought release from his own ‘phantasma’ in marriage to Nancy Nicholson, with whom he had four children, but, as poems like ‘Song of Contrariety’ or ‘Love in Barrenness’ testify, the relationship failed to provide Graves with the justification of his existence that he yearned for. The marriage was already faltering ...

At Charleston

Emily LaBarge: Nina Hamnett, 1 July 2021

... for which she served as model.A trio of early still lifes are apparently influenced by William Nicholson, who taught Hamnett at the London School of Art, though her paintings have none of his opulence and clarity. Rather, they are tightly cropped compositions in which objects and forms are flattened and simplified. Planes shift and tilt in compressed ...

The Method of Drifting

Ian Patterson: John Craske, 10 September 2015

Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske 
by Julia Blackburn.
Cape, 344 pp., £25, April 2015, 978 0 224 09776 5
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... or at least he’s just as good, a bit different, less savage. Wallis was taken up by Hepworth and Nicholson and all the St Ives lot, but Craske’s been ignored.’ He proves an elusive subject. His life was almost entirely uneventful. Blackburn explains that he ‘was born in 1881 and in 1917, when he had just turned 36, he fell seriously ill. For the rest ...

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