Anthony Blunt : His lives

by Miranda Carter

Hardcover, 2001




New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, c2001.


"When Anthony Blunt died in 1983 be was a man about whom almost anything could be - and was - said. He was accused of everything from causing the death of Allied agents during the war to conspiring to suppress the reputation of British art; from blackmailing the Royal Family to paedophilia. He was a blank screen on which fantasy and delusion were projected." "Anthony Blunt: His Lives reveals the man behind the myths and rumours: aesthete, communist, homosexual, spy. As Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures and Director of the Courtauld Institute, Blunt's position as a stellar member of the Establishment had seemed utterly assured. But, in 1979, Margaret Thatcher exposed him as a former Soviet spy, and Blunt was stripped of his knighthood and became a figure of universal opprobrium."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

Media reviews

The Cambridge Five have always been regarded as traitors - they handed over government files to the Soviet Union - but the real cause of the scandal they created, and the reason why they are remembered when others are forgotten, is that they were perceived as traitors not so much to their country as to their class. Like "going native" during the empire, this class treachery was their truly unforgivable sin.
3 more
Kirkus Reviews
Carter has assimilated the massive and often unreliable literature on espionage to produce an authoritative and often hilarious account of this period.
The author's research appears impeccable, and her tone is evenhanded and straightforward. It is possible to read much between the lines of Blunt's life, but Carter stays away from facile explanations for his complex behavior.
Publishers Weekly
The biggest challenge any Blunt biographer faces is Blunt himself, a man of almost legendary emotional detachment. Blunt revealed little about his personal life, yet Carter has managed to bring readers as close to this enigmatic man as humanly possible. Thoroughly researched and carefully crafted, this is sure to be the definitive biography.

User reviews

LibraryThing member willmurdoch
A sad ending to a interesting life of the more talented of the "Cambridge Spies". Blunt was manipulated by the stronger personality of Guy Burgess but made the choice to help the Soviets and lived to regret not knowing the truth about them. In the thirties he saw the Soviet Union as the only country to stand up to the European fascists and fight for the Republic in Spain, for one example. His upper class in Britain was quite guilty of appeasement; the treason he embarked upon was against his class as well as his country. This was a time homosexuals kept secrets as a matter of survival. Compartmentalization was necessary for personal as well as political life; and as such contributed to his tragic decision to spy for the NKVD.… (more)



Page: 0.2855 seconds