Middleton was a gifted musician who all his life played the piano for his own pleasure and the organ in local churches, and classical music features in many of his novels. He was a good painter too, of small-scale watercolours, and several of the novels have details from his paintings on their covers. There is always a sense of a whole culture – of learning, of appreciation of the arts – behind his writing; and his notion of the rich possibilities of education is bound up in that. I include Sterner Stuff as one of my recommendations because the central character, Frank Montgomery, is the principal of an art college, who has also begun to earn a reputation as a portrait painter; much of the novel is about the pressure on him to give up the dayjob in education so that he can concentrate on his creativity.
Saturday, March 05, 2016
An appreciation …
… of Stanley Middleton: On Man, the Human Heart and Human Life. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)