The Line of Beauty

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The Starkers Atelier

Late Night Library Club brought to life the world of Alan Hollinghurst’s Booker Prize-winning novel The Line of Beauty, where classical traditions meet cottages and cocaine and rent boys rub shoulders (and more) with MPs. 

Upstairs in the Tudor Hall of Sutton House, the Starkers Atelier invited you to draw the line of beauty itself - the Ogee curves of artist's models Pinto and Adrian. You could capture the nude male form or simply watch, as characters from the novel took part.

Elsewhere, Queer Tours of London led a walking tour of Hackney’s queer stories exploring Sutton House’s many cracks and noonies; Damien Frost photographed participants for Ogee, the magazine established by the novel's central character, Nick Guest and his friends; and there was poetry and performance from Richard Scott, Ted Rogers, and Lord Hicks.

Jonathan Kemp led a conversation with Alan Hollinghurst himself, discussing the writing and reception of The Line of Beauty, his memories of its 1980s setting, what it means and historically has meant to be ‘a gay writer’, and revealing some details of Alan's latest book, The Sparsholt Affair.

The evening culminated in the same way as the book: with a high-society soirée to celebrate the Feddens' anniversary, gatecrashed by Nick and his friends. 1986 may have been long gone, but that night, the fashion was Tory Glam, and the Iron Lady herself was resurrected with true drag flamboyance.

With support from Arts Council England.