Piers Paul Read

Rich Bitch

Out of this Century

By

Andre Deutsch 396pp £7.95 order from our bookshop

To reminisce about Peggy Guggenheim in the way she reminisces about others in this book, she was a great friend of my father, Herbert Read. ‘He became a sort of father in my life and behind his back I called him Papa. He treated me the way Disraeli treated Queen Victoria. I suppose I was rather in love with him, spiritually.’ He would stay with her when in Venice to judge the Biennale and once or twice as children we went with him. I remember on one occasion that my parents slept in grandeur on the main floor of the Palazzo Venier dei Leone while we were put in a damp basement room which their famous dogs (one of which she had dubbed ‘Sir Herbert’ pour encourager la Reine) used as a lavatory. Embarrassed Italian servants in white jackets came down to sweep up their turds. She was almost the only very rich friend my father had: I was not impressed by her way of life.

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

    • Stuck for a gift idea for Father's Day? Subscribe to Literary Review and get a FREE copy of 'An Impeccable Spy' –… ,
    • 'Gone. All gone. The ease, the pleasure, the effortless eloquence' From May 1995, Margaret Forster's withering rev… ,
    • RT : SO excited to tell you about this event! 😆 The amazing digital colourist, will be joining w… ,
    • 'Peters was unashamed and evidently unshamable, an impostor who wholly inhabited his fabrications and who indignant… ,
    • ‘At every waking moment Barbara Hepworth was aware of herself as a woman paving the way in a man’s world’ From the… ,
    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,