After Us the Savage God. "Charles Conder: The Last Bohemian" by Ann Galbally. [review]
Ann Galbally's splendid new biography of Conder evokes the various artistic and literary milieux between which this sad, beautiful man moved with ease - sleeping for weeks on other people's sofas, surviving on handouts, fossicking for old clothes (dandyish, from the 1830s), fascinating men and women alike, sometimes to the point of frenzy, hanging around louche bars in Dieppe, getting into drunken scrapes, being tortured by successive stages of syphilis; yet still managing to paint exquisitely delicate silk fans and other decorations (occasionally using a bottle of Pernod as a medium for his brush, as well as a source of refreshment), while marking with rose petals favourite passages in his copy of Claude Phillips's monograph about Antoine Watteau. This book is handsomely bound, beautifully printed and, despite a few dreadful typographical errors, a pleasure to read.