Frances Spalding, Daily Mail
'Haycock's narrative of this entangled, war-defined group is so strong that it often has the force of a novel, hard to put down . . . We should call for a joint exhibition of [their] work, to complement the moving portrayal of their lives in this engrossing and enjoyable book.'
Jenny Uglow, Guardian BOOK OF THE WEEK
'A lucid study of the lives behind the art . . . What gives Haycock's book its freshness is that, through skilful use of letters and memoirs left by his five subjects, he injects it with the anxiety, ambition, self-doubt and jealousy that possessors of youth and talent are fated to feel'
John Carey, Sunday Times
'What a fascinatingly tangled mess of human lives! Haycock tells the whole story engagingly and unpretentiously: the human conflicts, the clashes of ideas, and the terrible disruptions of war beneath it all.'
'A sad tale, wonderfully told… [Haycock] fades the many different narratives in and out with ease'
'Boyd Haycock sets the story of Nash, Spencer, Dora Carrington, Mark Gertler and Richard Nevinson against the backdrop of Britain before and during the war, and he delineates it all with real vigour. Recommended.'
'There is something endlessly appealing about a group of artists behaving badly while simultaneously creating their best work...Depression, doubt, love triangles and the horrors of war all conspire against their ambitions, causing their fortunes to diverge wildly... [Haycock's] research provides rich context, with personal letters supplying detail to every squabble or concern'
'A vintage decade of early twentieth century British art, told in vivid and entertaining detail through the adventures of five highly gifted young painters ... I greatly enjoyed it'
Sir Michael Holroyd
'Truly fascinating from every angle - almost a work of art in itself'
'An extraordinary book. I read it avidly ... The familiar cast is handled in a quite new and original way. They have been made fresh and vulnerable once more, and their work re-evaluated, made new to us'
'Haycock's narrative teems with colourful characters and dramatic detail.'
Simon May --...