Lead book review

Sam Leith

The Artist Formerly Known As Whistler

When James Whistler was two years old, he was asked why he’d disappeared from company and hidden under a table. ‘I’s drawrin,’ he replied. He started as he meant to go on. Daniel E. Sutherland’s well-appointed new biography of the American-born painter — whom Henry James described as a ‘queer little Londonised Southerner’ — keeps

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Christianity is the foundation of our freedoms

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Hillary, Obama, Osama — and a hapless Bill

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The Old Man Comes Out With an Opinion

This long orchestral piece records a day the composer spent one summer meditating in Dibnah’s yard on the sounds of dereliction, or possibly the dereliction of sound: the settlement of rust, the flake and drift toward the earth of forged and hammered things, the creak of shiny flanges in the wind, and the occasional crash