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Anthony Blunt: His Lives
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Anthony Blunt: His Lives

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  98 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The first full biography of the notorious spy-- and an X-ray of the British ruling class that produced him.
Once an untouchable member of England's establishment-- a world-famous art historian and a man knighted by the Queen of England-- in a single stroke Anthony Blunt became an object of universal hatred when, in 1979, Margaret Thatcher exposed him as a Soviet spy.
In "A
Hardcover, 592 pages
Published January 15th 2002 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published November 9th 2001)
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"Anglican parishes abroad are often disconcertingly large: when the Bishop of Gibraltar described the extent of his diocese to Pope Pius VI, His Holiness observed, 'Then I’m a parishioner.'"

Public school sex education in the 1920s:
"You might find some white matter exuding from your private parts. Don’t worry about it. It’s only a sort of disease like measles."

Blunt review:
"Mr Wilneski has clearly attempted the impossible. But he need not have failed so grossly."

Burgess on Blunt:
"The trouble with
Michael Soros
Just add one more voice to the praise for this very well researched book. I knew nothing really about this man other than he was some sort of spy for the Russians. Having read the book - and it is the best part of 500 pages - I feel I not only know the man (in as much as he could ever allow himself to be known) but I also know about the culture and background which inspired men like him to pass information to the Russians during the war and feel that they were in fact contributing to the fall of ...more
Most people may well be able to associate with multiple lives rather than one life when considering an autobiography, or when someone chooses to write a biography of them, but it is doubtful that many such lives will be quite so diverse as those of Sir Anthony Blunt.

Miranda Carter captures them all perfectly from Cambridge student, through not-so-good military man, to MI5 representative, to spy for the Russians, to art historian, to art expert, to curator of the Queen's pictures, to Knighthood.
David Manuel
Quite a few books have been written about the Cambridge spies, and there are other books about Anthony Blunt. All that I have read focus on espionage and tend to the polemical. Carter's treatment of Blunt it different. Painstakingly researched, this book delves into much more than Blunt's treason, discussing in depth his academic career, personal relationships, and much more. What results is a detailed portrait of a very enigmatic man; still not a particularly flattering portrait, in my opinion. ...more
Hmm hmmm hhmmmmm, very odd book. Completely obsessive details of everyone this man attended a party with, kind of reminded me of college who went to what party culture except I never cared then and these guys care up until the day they die and it makes it so boring! Even if the people he was going to parties with were famous poets, which I can't say that half the people I went to college with even read a poem unless forced. I honestly did not know who he was before reading the book, kind of thou ...more
Having just read The Untouchable by John Banvile, a roman a clef, in which the book's central character is based on the art historian and notorious spy, Anthony Blunt, I had to know more about the latter. And so I went to Miranda Carter's award winning biography.
It is a longish book and I am dipping into different chapters rather than starting at the beginning. So far it is proving very absorbing and informative.
I used to read a lot of spy non-fiction, but decades ago. Picked this up on a whim. It's very well-researched and reasonably well-written. Quite an enjoyable and informative read, although I must admit that I find Blunt and his whole milieu more than a little distasteful (I've read little about the whole Bloomsbury circus).
Becky Walker
The perfect biography. Well researched and impartial, as well as providing just the right amount of background knowledge of the various worlds Blunt inhabited to stay engaging when dealing with clearly complex areas. Brilliant.
For my JP research.
I kept getting sidetracked by the supporting characters, though. Anthony Blunt is fascinating, but doesn't seem like a very nice guy.
A fair-minded, interesting assessment of a great art historian with a well-hidden personal history.
One of the best and most surprising biographies I ever read.
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Jan 19, 2015
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