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Anne Seymour Damer: the female Bernini?

Anne Seymour Damer (1748–1828) was virtually the only female sculptor working in Britain during her lifetime. Contemporary artists may have dismissed her as a well-connected dilettante with curiosity value as a woman. But her most important connection was her uncle, Horace Walpole. He warmly praised his niece’s abilities: her terracotta ‘Shock Dog’ of 1780 (see



In defence of Puccini

During my opera-going lifetime the most sensational change in the repertoire has, of course, been the immense expansion of the baroque repertoire, with Monteverdi, Rameau and above all Handel being not only revived but also seen now as mainstays in most opera houses. To think that only 50 years ago it was regarded as daring



Futurism’s escape to the country

Futurism, with its populist mix of explosive rhetoric (burn all the museums!) and resolutely urban experience and emphasis on speed, was a force to be reckoned with (at least in Italy) for longer than one might imagine. It was launched in Paris in 1909 by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, poet and performer, a superb propagandist for



Ambridge recovers its sense of humour — finally

‘Isn’t that charming!’ Carol declares at the height of the great Home Farm cocktail party, after being subjected to Jennifer’s somewhat over-enthusiastic description of her wine storage unit. Just three words but such a lot of meaning. Carol Tregorran’s resurrection in Ambridge after decades of silence is a stroke of genius by The Archers team