Miranda Seymour

Family Affairs

The Rare and the Beautiful: The Lives of the Garmans


Fourth Estate 281pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

It was a visit to the remarkable collection of modern art given by Jacob Epstein’s widow to the hitherto unloved and overlooked West Midlands town of Walsall that started Cressida Connolly’s researches into the Garman family. Lady Epstein was born Kathleen Garman. Memories of a blissful turn-of-the-century childhood, in a rambling Jacobean house near Walsall which had belonged to their father, caused Kathleen to choose the town as a home for the paintings and sculpture collected by herself and a rich American called Sally Ryan, together with a generous number of her late husband’s own works. Tate Modern might have seemed the more obvious choice, but Kathleen, as Connolly’s warm, understanding and generous-hearted book reveals, was a woman who had never allowed convention to dictate her choices.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,
    • 'The day produced countless stories of chance, of people taking one route or another without realising that the dec… ,
    • In this month's 'Silenced Voices', looks at the case of Azimjon Askarov, the journalist and human rights… ,