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Anthony Blunt

His Lives

4.05 based on 119 ratings & 13 reviews on

2003 Short-listed

Whitbread Biography Award

2002 Winner

The Orwell Prize

2002 Long-listed

BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize

2002 Short-listed

CWA Dagger for Non-Fiction

2001 Short-listed

Guardian First Book Award


11 October 02


When Anthony Blunt died in 1983, he was a man about whom almost anything could be - and was - said. As Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures and Director of the Courtauld Institute, Blunt's position was assured until his exposure in 1979 left his reputation in tatters. Miranda Carter's brilliantly insightful biography gives us a vivid portrait of a human paradox. Blunt's totally discrete lives, with their permanent contradictions, serve to remind us that there is no one key to any human being's identity: we are all a series of conflicting selves.

'Astonishingly good' Daily Telegraph

'Highly impressive... sensitive and compelling... Miranda Carter has written a richly informative biography which, in the end, does not fall into the trap of tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner - not only because she is not seeking to pardon him, but also because there is something here that is still quite impossible to comprehend.' Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph

'A compelling biography... Miranda Carter's skill at scouring the different compartments of Blunt's life is deeply impressive' Julian Barnes, New Yorker