by Jonathan Kemp - £8.99 Myriad Editions (2010)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780956251534 | ISBN 10: 0956251536
Three men, three lives and three eras sinuously entwine in a dark, startling and unsettling narrative of sex, exploitation and dependence set against London’s strangely constant gay underworld.
Jack Rose begins his apprenticeship as a rent boy with Alfred Taylor in the 1890s, and finds a life of pleasure and excess leads him to new friendships — most notably with the soon-to-be infamous Oscar Wilde. A century later, David tells his own tale of unashamed decadence while waiting to be released from prison, addressing his story to the lover who betrayed him. Where their paths cross, in the politically sensitive 1950s, the artist Colin Read tentatively explores his sexuality as he draws in preparation for his most ambitious painting yet — ‘London Triptych’.
Rent boys, aristocrats, artists and felons populate this bold début as Jonathan Kemp skilfully interweaves the lives and loves of three very different men across the decades.
(Price & availability last checked: December 2018)