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The Lamberts

Andrew Motion

Newly jacketed reissue of Motion’s award-winning biography of this high-achieving yet tragically self-destructive family.

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‘Families are societies in miniature.’

The Lamberts: George, Constant and Kit
won a Somerset Maugham Award in 1987. A lesson in the fragility of fame, it tells the tragic story of three generations: George, one of Australia’s leading painters; his talented composer-conductor son Constant; and grandson Kit, who managed the pop group The Who.

‘Motion’s project is not just to tell the story of passing generations, which he does very readably and well, but necessarily also to describe and evaluate aspects of English culture – revivalist painting, classical music in the Twenties and Thirties, the foundation of a native ballet, pop music in the Sixties – which he does with considerable confidence and resource.’ London Review of Books

‘The story of the three Lamberts is as cruel and horrifying as any Greek tragedy… Its portrayal of the way in which the Lamberts instinctively yet unintentionally assisted in the destruction of their own offspring makes for truly compulsive reading.’ Harpers and Queen

‘An exemplary piece of research’ (Sunday Times).

‘A biographical triumph.’ Observer


Andrew Motion was UK Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2009 and is co-founder of the online Poetry Archive. In 2015 he was appointed Homewood Professor in the Arts at Johns Hopkins University; he lives in Baltimore.

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