About the author

Words and pictures:

(p.4) Woman in White
(p.7) Stanley Spencer
(p.31) Augustus John
(p.41) Cranach 's Eve
(p.140) Gainsborough
(p.166) Mrs Dalloway
(p.188) Lucio Fontana
Gwen John

 Publisher and agent

 After Anjelica (detail)     Ann Bone   

‘The curve of pavement brought her into view, heading uphill towards me. She was walking confidently, taking large steps. At first I saw her as a silhouette. Her shoulders were thrown back by her movement, the line of her neck left clear by the wide, gathered opening of her blouse. Her skirt tumbled like the tide around her striding legs. As she came nearer I was aware of her hair. It was ringleted and blond and stood out round her head, picking up the sunlight and refracting it. Even before I saw her in any more detail, I had the sense that she was claiming a freedom. From her dress she could be a gypsy or a Bloomsbury intellectual. She was going to be anything she wanted...’

When Anjelica arrives barefoot at the doorstep of Laura’s bohemian Hampstead house, she is on a pilgrimage: she has left her dour northern origins to see for herself the magnificent oil painting that dominates the kitchen. No one can resist the gifted and beautiful young artist: an artistic community needs artists, even devours them. Anjelica's new 'family' both love her and fatally endanger her – and no one more so than Brigid, the narrator, the shadow to Anjelica's light. In a sweeping psychological drama, this group of artists, journalists and intellectuals move through the years from the carefree excesses of the 1950s to the nemesis of the 1990s.

book cover