Elizabeth Longford

Six of the Best

Eminent Victorians

By A N Wilson

BBC Books 240pp £15 order from our bookshop

 

Apart from his talents as biographer and novelist, A N Wilson is the best literary interpreter now writing. I may have got the knack of generalisation from his own book: The Diary of a Nobody he calls ‘the best comic novel in the language’, Cardinal Newman is ‘incomparably the most flawless English stylist’ and Branwell Brontë’s painting of his sisters in the National Portrait Gallery is ‘one of the most inescapably emotional portraits of the whole gallery’ – nevertheless I think all four generalisations are true.

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