Art & Photography Books:

Augustus John

The New Biography


Paperback / softback

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Augustus John by Michael Holroyd

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Born in Tenby in 1878, Augustus John studied at the Slade with his sister Gwen, and in Paris. He lived a passionate and unruly life and died in 1961. The success of Holroyd's 1st edition of AUGUSTUS JOHN encouraged the John family to auction his papers which, with MH's assistance, were bought in 1988 by the National Library of Wales. The collection includes letters from Joyce, Dylan Thomas, Shaw, Oskar Kokoschka, the Sitwells and Sean O'Casey, plus many others, and reveals John to be a pivotal cultural figure in the first quarter of this century. Using this material, new correspondence and drawing on numerous new studies of Gwen John, Epstein and others, Michael Holroyd can now tell the full and true stories behind the life of this archetypal bohedemian and artist-reprobate. Proto-feminist sub-plots involving Gwen, Ida and Dorelia John (his wife) also bring the book thoroughly up to date for the 1990s reader.

Author Biography

Besides the biographies of Augustus John, Bernard Shaw and Lytton Strachey (which was filmed as Carrington), Michael Holroyd has written two volumes of memoirs, Basil Street Blues and Mosaic. He is the current president of the Royal Society of Literature and the only non-fiction writer to have been awarded the British Literature Prize. He lives in London and Somerset with his wife, the novelist Margaret Drabble.
Release date NZ
December 1st, 2011
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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