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Outsider always almost, never quite: an…
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Outsider always almost, never quite: an autobiography (2011)

by Brian Sewell

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The first half of Brian Sewell’s autobiography. In 1942, art historian and outspoken art critic Brian Sewell was an eleven-year-old pupil at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hampstead School. He was sexually abused by a maths tutor and by a football coach. ( )
  TonySandel2 | Mar 20, 2014 |
Maybe I'm being a bit mean with my "stars" - this is a great read, but it's not great literature. I really have trouble with the star rating on this website. ( )
  iamamro | Oct 16, 2013 |
This first volume of Brian Sewell's memoirs takes him through school, National Service in the Army, his studies at the Courtauld Institute and his career at Christie's, concluding with his departure from that company in 1967. Startlingly and refreshingly frank, this is a beautifully-written evocation of London and the art trade in the 1950s and 1960s: a world that has now virtually disappeared. Sewell is brutally honest not only about his contemporaries but also about himself, discussing the impact of his illegitimacy and homosexuality and his efforts to find a place in the world where he belonged. He is at his absolute best when discussing art, and for me this was an exciting glimpse into a time when student art historians could rub shoulders with such characters as Anthony Blunt, A.E. Popham, Philip Pouncey and John Pope-Hennessey. Sewell is sometimes angry, sometimes shocking, sometimes romantically nostalgic, but never anything less than a thoroughly engaging storyteller. As someone who doesn't read memoirs very often, I was entirely won over and will be going eagerly in search of the recently-published second volume.

For a longer review and thoughts on other books, please visit my blog:
http://theidlewoman.blogspot.com/2013/01/outsider-always-almost-never-quite.html ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Jan 16, 2013 |
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For Gillon Aitken, without whose persistent persuasion for twenty years, this book would not, at last, have been written.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0704372495, Hardcover)

Outsider is the life of a child, boy, adolescent, student and young man in London between the Great Depression of the 30s and the sudden prosperity and social changes of the 60s, affected by the moral attitudes of the day, by the Blitz, post-war austerity and the new freedoms of the later 50s that were resisted with such obstinacy by the old regime. It is about education in the almost forgotten sense of the pursuit of learning for its own sake. It is about the imposed experiences of school and National Service and the chosen experience of being a student at the Courtauld Institute under Johannes Wilde and Anthony Blunt. It is about sex, pre-pubertal, in adolescence and in early adulthood, and the price to be paid for it. It is about art and the art market in the turbulent years of its change from the pursuit of well-connected gentleman to the professional occupation of experts.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Outsider is the life of a child, boy, adolescent, student and young man in London between the Great Depression of the 30s and the sudden prosperity and social changes of the 60s, affected by the moral attitudes of the day, by the Blitz, post-war austerity and the new freedoms of the later 50s that were resisted with such obstinacy by the old regime. It is about education in the almost forgotten sense of the pursuit of learning for its own sake. It is about the imposed experiences of school and National Service and the chosen experience of being a student at the Courtauld Institute under Johannes Wilde and Anthony Blunt. It is about sex, pre-pubertal, in adolescence and in early adulthood, and the price to be paid for it. It is about art and the art market in the turbulent years of its change from the pursuit of well-connected gentleman to the professional occupation of experts.… (more)

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