In this comprehensive history, Roy Strong describes the growth and development of painting, poetry, music, architecture, theatre, literature and all related subjects which give British intellectual life its unique character. Pursuing a narrative form from the Celts to the present day, Sir Roy highlights the political, social and economic forces that have driven the course of the arts. In addition he has inserted cameos of people such as Cardinal Wolsey in Tudor England and Kenneth Clark in the 20th century whose taste and influence have reached beyond their individual lives. The book is magnificently illustrated with well over three hundred pictures chosen by the author to complement the text.
Sir Roy Strong was educated at the University of London, and the Warburg Institute. He joined the staff of the National Portrait Gallery in 1959 and became its director from 1967 to 1973. He was director of the Victoria & Albert Museum from 1974 to 1987, when he resigned to become a full-time writer, broadcaster and consultant. His books include The Cult of Elizabeth, Gloriana, Painting the Past, The Arts in Britain, Feast, Coronation, and A Little History of the English County Church (2007).