Miranda Seymour

Building A Life

Pevsner: The Early Life – Germany and Art

By

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‘A Nazi in England’ screamed the Evening Standard headline that flagged up the appearance, eight years ago, of a collection of Sir Nikolaus Pevsner’s radio talks on art and architecture. The book’s editor was Stephen Games, and – thanks to that deceptive headline – it was assumed that he had opportunistically seized his moment to besmirch the name of one of England’s most revered figures. Games had a biography of Pevsner in the pipeline (the fine book under review is the first of that two-part project). Evidently (or so a bunch of over-excited critics and journos chose to assume), he hoped to win interest for it by making sensational claims; for this, Games deserved a thorough, and public, dressing-down.

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