Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Helbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review 276
PN Review Substack

This report is taken from PN Review 268, Volume 49 Number 2, November - December 2022.

Grey Gowrie Anthony Gormley
Composed to be read at his memorial service at St James’s Piccadilly, 27 September 2022

Calls come unexpectedly; down the line that keen patrician voice with its conspiratorial tones always announcing the prelude to something exciting.

What was it about Alexander Patrick Greysteil Hore-Ruthven, 2nd Earl of Gowrie that gave him such convening power? Could’ve been the name but once you got beyond the name there was so much else: in speaking (and loving) those syllabled words always with an emphasis on vowels, inquisitive, expectant, anticipating dark eyes framed by big dark rimmed spectacles.

He absolutely brought people together – I remember a lunch when Grey was chairman of the Arts Council. He was trying to get to and connect with the creative spirit of the nation. Sally Potter was there working on The Tango Lesson among other musicians and artists. The themes were written as an agenda: real discussion, nothing sloppy. How can art continue to make its demands on us without us making demands of it?

I always thought of Grey as a kind of buccaneer Conservative. He was in there a member of the establishment but on the side of artists, egging them on but also asking for more, asking for the best, asking for better than the ‘already done’.

He was both convenor and instigator: imagine a bus careering down the western edge of Lake Como, artists and poets aboard grace of Drue Heinz and her Hawthornden ‘Conversazione’. David Sylvester asks, ‘Who is the greatest ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image