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Eric Gill Paperback – 6 Nov 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; New Ed edition (6 Nov. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571143024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571143023
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 263,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

A well-known broadcaster and critic, Fiona MacCarthy established herself as one of the leading writers of biography in Britain with her widely acclaimed book Eric Gill, published in 1989. Her biography of Byron was described by A. N. Wilson as 'a flawless triumph' and William Morris won the Wolfson History Prize and the Writers' Guild Non-Fiction Award. She most recently published Last Curtsey, a memoir of her early life as a debutanteFiona is a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Hon. Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She was awarded the OBE for services to literature in 2009.

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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Angelica on 4 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best biographies I have ever read. Eric Gill was a tough subject for the writer 'the problems and contradictions of Gill the man and Gill the artist are examined'. As well as his wife he slept with his family, his friend's wives, and even with a friend's husband, but the author does not let this cloud the fact he was a Genius. The illustrations of the numerous Gill typefaces are art in themselves. The story of the pudenda on Ariel outside the BBC in London is worthy of a film. 'The BBC Governors where invited to a preview. They were startled by what seemed to them a palpable exaggeration in the size of Ariel's pudenda. A meeting was called to discuss the matter.' If that does not tempt you to read the book nothing will? HIGHLY recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In her Introduction Fiona MacCarthy sketches out a picture of Eric Gill (1882 to 1940) which differs greatly from reverent earlier biographies written by fellow-Catholics. These were reluctant to dwell on the contradictions in Gill’s character - the guru of a simple and spiritual life on the one hand and his rampant sexual life on the other. The author brings out these and many other contradictions very well, and the reader will be torn between admiration and dislike. The book also has many illustrations and photographs, some of which perhaps come out better in the printed edition than they do on the Kindle. They make us familiar with the Gill style.

He was the second of thirteen children of a Protestant clergyman who was very Victorian: patriarchal, strict, admonitory, but warm. Although Eric would turn against most of what his father had stood for, MacCarthy traces many of his later interests and attitudes back to his childhood.

At the age of 15 he went to an art school in Chichester, where he developed an interest in lettering, which would become intensified and which he practised in both its calligraphic and its carved form when he moved to London at age 18 to study architecture. (It was not until he was in his fifties, in his last years, that he actually designed a building: a church at Gorleston-on-Sea.) He was at that time committed to the Arts and Crafts philosophy and to William Morris’ socialism, and he saw himself as a working man. He soon got enough lettering commissions (the diplomat Count Harry Kessler, a lover of fine books, was a great patron) to enable him to marry Ethel, the daughter of a Chichester florist, at the age of 22.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hinge on 25 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
Having never heard of Eric Gill, I found this book well researched, informative and at the same time easy to read. Furthermore it's non-judgemental when it comes to the more colourful aspects of his life.
There are a good few illustrations throughout the book. When reading about a person, drawing or sculpture, in most cases there is an associated photo or print included. Very helpful indeed.
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