Christopher Wood, a beautiful young Englishman, decided to be the greatest painter the world had seen. He went to Paris in 1921. By day he studied, by night he attended the parties of the beau monde. He knew Picasso, worked for Diaghilev and was a friend of Cocteau. In the last months of his 29-year life, he fought a ravening opium addiction to succeed in claiming a place in history of English painting. Richard Hilary, confident, handsome and unprincipled, flew Spitfires in the Battle of Britain before being shot down and horribly burned. He underwent several operations by the legendary plastic surgeon, A H McIndoe. His account of his experiences, The Last Enemy, made him famous, but not happy. He begged to be allowed to return to flying, and died mysteriously in a night training operation, aged 23. Jeremy Wolfenden was born in 1936, the son of Jack, later Lord Wolfenden. Charming, generous and witty, he was the cleverest Englishman of his generation, but left All Souls to become a hack reporter. At the height of the Cold War, he was sent to Moscow where his louche private life made him the plaything of the intelligence services.
A terrifying sequence of events ended in Washington where he died at the age of 31.
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(198mm x 129mm x 24mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
The author of Birdsong here chronicles balked lives of three brilliant men - artist Christopher Wood, spitfire pilot Richard Hillary and journalist Jeremy Wolfenden. Each of these lives is poignant on its own terms but Faulks's achievement is to show how each man was emblematic of the ethical climate of the era in which he lived and died. (Kirkus UK)
US Kirkus Review » Cinematically inclined English novelist Faulks (Charlotte Gray, 1999, etc.) mourns the beautiful, talented sons of Albion, doomed to early graves. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Sebastian Faulks
Sebastian Faulks was born and brought up in Newbury, Berkshire. He worked in journalism before starting to write books. He is best known for the French trilogy, The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and Charlotte Gray (1989-1997) and is also the author of a triple biography, The Fatal Englishman (1996); a small book of literary parodies, Pistache (2006); and the novels Human Traces (2005) and Engleby (2007). He lives in London with his wife and their three children.