James Stourton

The attributions game

Many art historians have written their own story of the making of an aesthete: Ruskin, Berenson and Kenneth Clark to name just three in the Anglo-Saxon world. The pattern varies, but typically it might include being bullied at school, a mentor, an epiphany in Italy, and the de rigueur discovery of Piero della Francesca. The

Scotland’s phoenix

The late squarson, Henry Thorold, was fond of pointing out that his Shell Guide to Lincolnshire was the bestselling of the series, not because of any intrinsic merit but because no guide to the county had been produced since the early 19th century. The same might turn out to be true of the latest volume

Living it up in Paris

The French no longer keep diaries or go in much for social memoirs. They take their secrets with them to the grave, which is why so many of the best accounts of postwar Paris social life are Anglo-Saxon. It is therefore all the more extraordinary to read this memoir dictated from the pinnacle of Parisian