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Hugh Kingsmill

Michael Holroyd
Date Published
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Hugh Kingsmill should be better known. Here is a striking passage from Richard Ingrams’ God’s Apology. ‘In Malcolm’s (Muggeridge) study there was a row of books more thumbed and battered than the rest and a rather blurred photograph showing a man striding through a park, his arm swung forward, his air confident and jaunty. Malcolm called him Hughie. In his conversation he referred to him constantly, with great affection and in a manner quite unlike his usual rather disparaging one when talking of his friends. He seemed to be almost the only man in Malcolm’s life of whom he had not a harsh word to say.’

Hugh Kingsmill was a novelist, a biographer of note and a talker of outstanding verve and brilliance. He died in 1949 and to mark the sixtieth anniversary Faber Finds is reissuing Michael Holroyd’s biography. It was Michael Holroyd’s first book, originally published in 1964.

‘A remarkably good book .’ John Davenport, The Observer

‘It is a positive pleasure to recommend Michael Holroyd’s splendid biography of this exceptional personality.’ Kay Dick, BBC ‘The World of Books’

‘A well-written study of a laughing, witty, clearly lovable man behind whose wreathed smiles despair lurked.’ Anthony Hern, Evening Standard

‘An admirably balanced and complete portrait, the criticism fair, the likeness true . . . I congratulate the author on a remarkably good book.’ Hesketh Pearson, in a letter

‘ . . . impressively authoritative . . . entrancing and singularly profound.’ William Gerhardie, The Spectator