Stanley Spencer by Ken Pople
A Biography

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This is the first biography of Stanley Spencer to be written with the full co-operation of Spencer's family, and access to his letters and diaries. Kenneth Pople's method is to advance biographically by examining the pictures in detail. His analysis demonstrates that there never was an artist for whom life and art were so much of a piece, and that without understanding Spencer's doings and circumstances, we have no hope of understanding the paintings. He reveals for the first time, for example, the complexity of Spencer's thinking behind his divorce of his first wife and life-long inspiration, Hilda, his marriage to his lesbian second wife, and his desperate attempts therafter to establish a menage a trois. Spencer was, as is well-known, born, brought up, and for the whole of his life rooted in the tiny community of Cookham on the Thames. The sense of place which is everywhere prevalent in Spencer's paintings is examined in this biography. This work integrates biography, analysis of paintings and extracts from Spencer's own writing.

About Ken Pople

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Published January 14, 1991 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. 544 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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No man exists in isolation, even one of Spencer's unorthodox views, but Pople, locked into his pursuit of what he terms Spencer's ""inner pageant,"" fails to connect the art with influences that swirled around the British modernists, nor does he provide an adequate context for Spencer's beliefs.

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London Review of Books

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