Boadicea Meath Baker

Boadicea Meath Baker

David Lewis is too modest. “There was never any game plan,” he said in a recent interview with Apollo. “In fact, I never even thought of it as a collection.” After four decades, the Schorr Collection (named after his wife’s family) consists of something over 400 paintings and 200 prints, mostly Old Masters. There are works by household names and works which are unattributable — the consistent element is Lewis’s own taste, and his interest in how works of art relate to each other across the traditions of European art. 

How to survive a Eurovision party

My sister and I decided to go to Gala Bingo in Tooting on a recent Saturday night to celebrate the tax on bingo being cut to 10 per cent, thanks to Robert Halfon MP and the “Boost Bingo” campaign, backed by 330,000 people who signed a petition supporting the game. We had no idea what to expect and almost no idea how to play.

The received idea is that bingo players are elderly and female, as in Peter Brookes’s recent Times cartoon which depicted a naked Silvio Berlusconi, ordered to do community service by the Italian courts, inviting a wheelchair-bound pensioner to take part in a “bingo-bingo” party. Recent advertising has tried to substitute a different stereotype: fun-loving young women going for a night out with the girls.

 Even the most committed Conan Doyle aficionado might concede that there has been a surfeit of Sherlock Holmes in recent years — a 21st-century BBC series, a modernised American series (Elementary), Holmes as 1890s action hero in the Guy Ritchie films, even a new Russian adaptation, which aired last November (to mixed reviews). But the enduring popularity of one eccentric hero of gaslight-era crime fiction has erased others, in particular A.J. Raffles, the original and archetypal gentleman thief created by E.W. Hornung. Hornung was Doyle’s brother-in-law, and he dedicated the first volume of Raffles stories “To A.C.D. This form of flattery”.