May 13, 2011
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Cyril Connolly

by Jeremy Lewis

Dirda steered me to this brilliantly readable and extensive biography of the British editor and critic of the Mitford-Waugh-Auden-Spender generation. Eton and Oxford, Connolly was a strange fish, an ardent homosexual who discovered women in early mid-life, adored them, had three wives and nearly always had a second woman nearby. He had wonderful taste in food and wine, adored the gentry, was always desperately short of money, and could never quite manage to make himself sit down and work. Still, he managed to create an important magazine, write several significant books, and to retain the friendship of the cadre of difficult men with whom be romped at school and who shaped the artistic taste of a generation.