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Country Mouse

Regulars | By Giles Wood | Summer 2017

Why can't a woman be more like a man? asks Giles Wood

Until the early 1960s, the English public school existed for the primary purpose of producing ‘leaders of men’. Even at my prep school in North Wales, I remember the rector intoning the haunting epithet (in a thick Welsh accent), as he reminded us of the expectations incumbent upon us.  The thought of leading men struck me with horror, particularly if it meant having to inherit my father’s tile factory in Hanley, which employed a dozen men including ‘slabbers’ and ‘ledger clerks’ – to this day, I don’t know what they did. But, luckily for me, fate intervened.  One night, my father happened to switch on Lust for Life, the van Gogh biopic starring Kirk Douglas. The result was that he sold the tile factory, set up a studio with stunning views over the Cheshire plain, took to drink and became an artist himself, complete with mistress.  In an interview with...

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