Our search has the following Google-type functionality:
If you use '+' at the start of a word, that word will be present in the search results.
eg. Harry +Potter
Search results will contain 'Potter'.
If you use '-' at the start of a word, that word will be absent in the search results.
eg. Harry -Potter
Search results will not contain 'Potter'.
If you use 'AND' between 2 words, then both those words will be present in the search results.
eg. Harry AND Potter
Search results will contain both 'Harry' and 'Potter'.
NOTE: AND will only work with single words not phrases.
If you use 'OR' between 2 single words, then either or both of those words will be present in the search results.
eg. 'Harry OR Potter'
Search results will contain just 'Harry', or just 'Potter', or both 'Harry' and 'Potter'.
NOTE: OR will only work with single words not phrases.
If you use 'NOT' before a word, that word will be absent in the search results. (This is the same as using the minus symbol).
eg. 'Harry NOT Potter'
Search results will not contain 'Potter'.
NOTE: NOT will only work with single words not phrases.
If you use double quotation marks around words, those words will be present in that order.
eg. "Harry Potter"
Search results will contain 'Harry Potter', but not 'Potter Harry'.
NOTE: "" cannot be combined with AND, OR & NOT searches.
If you use '*' in a word, it performs a wildcard search, as it signifies any number of characters. (Searches cannot start with a wildcard).
Search results will contain words starting with 'Pot' and ending in 'er', such as 'Potter'.
Rebecca John is an artist and granddaughter of Augustus and Ida John. She lives in London. Michael Holroyd is one of our leading biographers. He has written the Lives of Lytton Strachey, Bernard Shaw and Augustus John, as well as a group biography of Ellen Terry, Henry Irving and their families. He was awarded a knighthood in 2007 for services to literature. He lives in London.
It is a terrible ending to a terrible story. You might say that it was all Ida's fault. She was just a silly goose who mistook her grander for a phoenix. But that would not be true to the brave, witty, imaginative, sensitive, playful, talented woman who wrote these letters. It is right that, after more than one hundred years, she should have her say -- John Carey * Sunday Times * In the letters, erotic energy occasionally seems to be pushing in all directions at once ... She may have forfeited her chance to paint, but her letters, salvaged by her granddaughter Rebecca, after a century during which the renegade Ida was not mentioned in the family, make belated amends. Between baby-minding chores, she proved to be a witty, wickedly outspoken writer, which ensures that she will now not be forgotten -- Peter Conrad * Guardian * The letters of Ida Nettleship, first wife of arch-bohemian Augustus John, are a case in point: gathered together here from diverse sources by her granddaughter Rebecca John and expertly introduced by John's biographer Michael Holroyd, they constitute a rare epistolary treasure trove ... they give us a startlingly vivid picture of what it was like to be bound by passion, loyalty and an ever-growing brood of offspring to a `genius' ... the fine balance between tragedy and comedy in her situation finds expression in letters so fresh that it is hard to believe they were written more than a century ago -- Ariane Banks * Spectator * Their sympathetic edition of her fascinating and painful letters reveals a courageous woman, gifted with a buoyant intelligence -- Dinah Birch * The Times * A compelling glimpse of a lost age of bohemia that raises provocative questions about what it means to live freely -- Lara Feigel * Guardian * The letters, published here for the first time, go a long way to recovering [Ida] and tell a painful story of an emotionally sophisticated, morally honest woman struggling with the trap in which she finds herself, trying by turns to escape and take control of the situation. To different correspondents she showed different facets of her predicament and the result is a portrait both fragmentary and poignant -- Rosemary Hill * London Review of Books * The reader remains haunted by Ida's story, but also left aware that letters offer something that the grand narrative of a good biography often sweeps over or ignores: small contingencies, sudden mood changes, or what falls between the cracks. Indeed the very human muddle that is found here -- Frances Spalding * Oldie * These letters should resurrect [Ida] as a wit and object of fascination in her own right * Daily Telegraph *