MUSEUM PIECE by James Laver


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A thoroughly civilized autobiography suits the life led by busy James Laver, a London gentleman of many accomplishments and acquaintances. We are treated to the early years at grandmother's house, when Gustave Dore's Don Quixote impressed, then move on to the influence of the mysterious, magnanimous L.D.H., who gave the author 1000 pounds on the condition that he use it to go Oxford. Oxford years, years at war when he first met Paris, sweep on to a twenty-seven year stint at the Victoria and Albert Museum in the Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design. Mr. Laver's duties there were somehow adroitly dovetailed with his activity in theatre-- his Nymph Errant starred Gertie Lawrence and was scored by Cole Porter. His own writings ranged from this novel-play to biographies of Whistler, Wesley, Nostradamus (for which he explored the wonder-worlds of the occult). Duty during World War II, diversions in the art of eating and drinking, an entree to fashion all form a part of this attractive memoir, of a life fully spent amidst the successful in the arts.

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1963
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin