National Portrait Gallery Companions

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Various Authors

The National Portrait Gallery’s series of compact, fully illustrated, historical guides to literary and artistic personalities and themes. Written by well-known contemporary writers, they use works from the Gallery’s Collection to examine the lives, thoughts and relationships within each selected group.


The Bloomsbury Group by Frances Spalding
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Bloomsbury Group transformed British culture with their innovative approach to art, design and society. In this book Frances Spalding presents over twenty fascinating biographies, all of which are illustrated with paintings and intimate photographs created by members of the group.

Oscar Wilde and his Circle by Simon Callow
One of literature’s most witty personalities, Oscar Wilde captivated London society. In this perceptive appraisal of Wilde and those around him – including Aubrey Beardsley, Sir Max Beerbohm and Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred Douglas (‘Bosie’) – Simon Callow captures the spirit of one of Britain’s most feted, but ultimately tragic literary figures.

The Pre-Raphaelite Circle by Jan Marsh
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood lent its name to one of the most significant and innovative artistic movements of the Victorian age. Jan Marsh’s lively and revealing account of these remarkable men and women explores the individual personalities, the close friendships and the artistic force that bound this diverse group together.

The Romantic Poets and their Circle by Richard Holmes
The ideal of the ‘inspired’ artist owes its origin to the figures of the Romantic period, who revolutionised English art and literature. In this book, Richard Holmes explores the portraits and lives of such key poets as Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats, and assesses the impact of their work on contemporary culture and society.


Simon Callow is an award-winning British actor and writer. His autobiography My Life in Pieces was published in 2011.

Richard Holmes is best known for his biographies of key figures of British and French Romanticism. His book The Age of Wonder won the Royal Society Science Book Prize for 2009.

Jan Marsh is a writer specialising in Victorian artists and poets, who has published books on several women in the Pre-Raphaelite circle.

Frances Spalding is an authority on Bloomsbury and has written biographies of many of its members. Her most recent book is Prunella Clough (2009).

Pub. Autumn 2013
Price: £9.99

978 1 85514 476 7
(Oscar Wilde)
978 1 85514 478 1
978 1 85514 479 8
(Romantic Poets)
978 1 85514 477 4
Format: 140 x 197mm
Extent: 120 to 136pp
Illustrations: 30 to 70 per title
Binding: Paperback with flaps
Category: Literary/Art/History
Word count: 30,000 per title

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