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Summary

Bloomsbury presents The Lives of Lucian Freud by William Feaver, read by Jonathan Keeble.  

Longlisted for The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2019

Though ferociously private, Lucian Freud spoke every week for decades to his close confidante and collaborator William Feaver - about painting and the art world, but also about his life and loves. The result is this a unique, electrifying biography, shot through with Freud’s own words.  

In Youth, the first of two volumes, Feaver conjures Freud’s early childhood: Sigmund Freud’s grandson, born into a middle-class Jewish family in Weimar Berlin, escaping Nazi Germany in 1934 before being dropped into successive English public schools. Following Freud through art school, his time in the navy during the war, his postwar adventures in Paris and Greece, and his return to Soho - consorting with duchesses and violent criminals, out on the town with Greta Garbo and Princess Margaret - Feaver traces a brilliant, difficult young man’s coming of age. 

An account of a century told through one of its most important artists, The Lives of Lucian Freud is a landmark in the story of its subject and in the art of biography itself.

©2019 William Feaver (P)2019 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic reviews

"Brilliant...Freud would have approved." (Daily Telegraph)   

"Sparkling." (Sunday Times)

"Superlative...packed with stories." (Guardian

What listeners say about The Lives of Lucian Freud

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LONG WINDED

I found this book a real plod. I nearly gave up a couple of times but I don’t like giving up on books so I persevered. Not a book I would recommend and won’t be reading the next part.

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Great story about Lucian Freud

I love learning about Lucian Freud earlier years. I was amazed by the detailed information about his relationships and his work process. I look forward to the next one about his later years.

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Excellent and of great interest

Excellent reading of a tremendously interesting life. Freuds story is extraordinary, and it is told in a compelling way in this book.

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Marvellous account ...

Marvellous account of an effervescent painter ... beautifully written, narrated and chock full of art-world gossip. A high recommend.

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Full of good anecdotes, well researched

A rich biography with a huge depth of research. The narrator made Lucian's quotes seem like it was him taking, building up a rich and wretched character. Made me appreciate the art and dislike the man.

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  • robin shaw
  • 10-11-20

an audio biopic of the strang genius Lucian Freud

Excellent for its sensitive and interesting narration. Freud's half-life story is here hugely detailed and colourful . a memorable read.