Splendours and Miseries: The Roy Strong Diaries, 1967-87
By Roy Strong
The first volume of diaries from a bestselling author and former director of both the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
'The Alan Clark diaries of cultural politics' Sunday Times
'At every word a reputation dies' A. N. Wilson
Roy Strong is best known as the flamboyant former director of two great cultural institutions - the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum. In his first volume of diaries, he takes the reader into the heart of his career, revealing himself to be not just a mercurial and brilliant administrator, but also a shrewd observer of the glittering and political milieu into which he was drawn.
We encounter David Hockney in his studio, the poignant figure of Cecil Beaton in decline, Nureyev fizzing with ideas and the Philistine Mrs Thatcher among many others, including a bevy of the Royal Family. And throughout the diaries runs the thread of an exceptional marriage, following his elopement with the designer Julia Trevelyan Oman.
Splendours and Miseries provides a unique panorama of the world of the arts, fashion and society, taking us from the outrageous Swinging Sixties to the hard-edged glitz of Thatcher's Britain.
Sir Roy Strong CH, historian, diarist and gardener, was director of the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum. He is author of some forty books on a wide variety of subjects. In 1982 he was knighted for his services to the arts, and in 2016 he was made a Companion of Honour in recognition of his contribution to the country's cultural life. He lives, writes and gardens in Herefordshire.
- Other details
- Publication date:
10 Aug 2017
- Page count:
The Alan Clark diaries of cultural politics — SUNDAY TIMES
At every word a reputation dies — A. N. Wilson
Society loves an eccentric as long as he delivers the goods, and Sir Roy Strong unquestionably has delivered them. The diaries are compulsive reading — Hugo Vickers