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.166) Mrs Dalloway
(p.188) Lucio Fontana
(p.264) Gwen John
Publisher and agent
After Anjelica (detail)
'Up the road the Heath was scrubby with wild places reaching back to Wilkie Collins and his Woman in White . . . (p. 4)
From Wilkie Collins, The
Woman in White (1860), ed. Julian Symons (Penguin English Library,
'The moon was full and broad
in the dark blue starless sky, and the broken ground of the heath looked wild
enough in the mysterious light to be hundreds of miles away from the great city
that lay beneath it.'
. . .
'I wound my way down slowly
over the heath, enjoying the divine stillness of the scene, and admiring the
soft alternations of light and shade as they followed each other over the
broken ground on every side of me.'
. . .
'I had now arrived at that
particular point of my walk where four roads met – the road to Hampstead, along
which I had returned, the road to West End, and the road back to London. I had
mechanically turned in this latter direction, and was strolling along the
lonely high road ... when, in one moment, every drop of blood in my body was
brought to a stop by the touch of a hand laid lightly and suddenly on my shoulder
from behind me.'
. . .
'There, in the middle of the
broad, bright high-road – there, as if it had that moment sprung out of the
earth or dropped from the heaven – stood the figure of a solitary Woman,
dressed from head to foot in white garments, her face bent in grave inquiry,
her hand pointing to the dark cloud over London, as I faced her.'