The Hound in the Left-hand Corner: A Novel
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In this brilliantly witty satire -- a bestseller in the UK -- a prestigious British museum launches an ambitious new exhibit...which quickly becomes a seasonal nightmare.
Think that a day in the life of a London museum director is cold, quiet, and austere? Think again. Giles Waterfield brings a combination of intellectual comedy and knockabout farce to the subject in this story of one long day in a museum full of scandals, screw-upsŠand more than a few scalawags.
At the beginning of The Hound in the Left-hand Corner, Auberon, the brilliant but troubled director of the Museum of British History, is preparing one midsummer's day for the opening of the most spectacular exhibition his museum has ever staged. The centerpiece is a painting of the intriguing Lady St. John strikingly attired as Puck, which hasn't been shown in London in a hundred years. As the day passes, the portrait arouses disquieting questions, jealousies, rivalries -- and more than a few strange affections -- in the minds of the museum staff. As guests and employees pour in, the tension rises -- and Auberon himself has the hilariously ridiculous task of keeping the peace, without losing his own sense of reality as well.
For everyone who loves the farce of David Lodge and Michael Frayn, or even the Antiques Roadshow, the fast-paced, hilarious satire of The Hound in the Left-hand Corner is sure to delight and entertain.
appears, for no very clear reason, a greyhound, rather an individual and English sort of a greyhound. It gazes lovingly at its mistress. The thought of dogs makes Jane look out of the window to see if her neighbors are out walking their pets and, indeed, that crabby man from over the road is on his way home. She longs for a dog herself, sometimes, but it’s hardly sensible to have a dog, which will spend the day shut up in her flat. In retirement, maybe . . . She tries not to feel anxious about
dutiful as her much older husband, married for the first time, might have wished. Jane is still not sure what worries her about the painting. She spends a good deal of time worrying, notably when she’s thinking about retirement in two years. She is middling in height and size, not remarkable-looking but not forgotten by the observant. She wears her hair up and when she lets it down—at Christmas or parties—her luxuriant red tresses still amaze her friends. When she laughs her face is transformed
Department) of a noble black man being buffeted by a nasty small white man in safari kit with a Union Jack on the seat of his shorts; photographs of people working in unpleasant conditions in convict colonies; whips and shackles, illustrating colonial oppression; graphs demonstrating Britain’s exploitation of trade with the colonies. As Diana extracts from her briefcase her swipe card, she hears an intensifying sound, of squeaking shoes and rustling clothes and banging bags and finally a shriek
course, do,” they answer. Lucian remarks, neutrally, that Diana has poured water all over the table and that Jane must take care. As she sits down, Jane realizes that though she is bursting to ask Diana for more help over the Gainsborough there’s little she can say in this company. After a moment Hermia declares she must leave and goes, in spite of their voluble protests. Lucian and Diana both become quiet as soon as she departs, both stare at the table, and frown, and look melancholy. Jane
extended access, making heritage part of now. . . . How much of this do I have to put down? Some of it’s just hot air. . . . I can give him a draft and a sexy smile, that should do the trick. Doris Hobson, to John Percival’s right, is enthusiastic, her blue-rinsed curls darting, bowing, and jerking as she speaks. “A wonderful idea . . . we must show the best of contemporary design and prove how dull and old-fashioned other museums are. Much of our museum is out-of-date and could be closed