ROBERT ELLIS HOSMER, Jr.
Anita Brookner, born in London on July 16, 1928, the only child of middle-class Polish Jews, was educated at James Allen's Girls' School, King's College, London, and the Courtauld Institute, and first made her mark as an art historian. She spent three postgraduate years in Paris, her only extended time out of Britain, researching her dissertation on Jean-Baptiste Greuze. Her mentor, Anthony Blunt, himself a distinguished scholar of the work of Nicholas Poussin, encouraged her Francophile leanings. She ascended the academic ladder quickly, moving from the University of Reading (1959–64) to the Courtauld Institute, where she taught from 1964 until her retirement in 1988. Her tenure at the Courtauld was interrupted only by her appointment to the Slade Professorship at Cambridge (1967–8); she was the first woman to hold the position. Her distinguished work on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French artists, particularly Greuze, David, and Ingres, and her considerable talents as an instructor earned Brookner a first-class reputation at the Courtauld and among generations of students, many of whom went on to hold major appointments at great museums and universities in the UK and abroad. Challenged by a summer break in her schedule in 1981, Brookner decided to write a novel. The result, A Start in Life (1981), is the first of 24 published; she produced one a year until 1999 – the year ... log in or subscribe to read full text
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