Nikos and I live together as lovers, as everyone knows, and we seem to be accepted because it’s known that we are lovers. In fact, we are, according to the law, criminals in our making love with each other, but it is as if the laws don’t apply. It is as if all the conventions of sex and clothes and art and music and drink and drugs don’t apply here in London…
Strangers to this new city, from previous lives in New York and Athens, David Plante and Nikos Stangos are embarking on a new life together, a partnership which will endure for forty years. London, at a moment of ‘absolute respect for differences’, offers a freedom in love unattainable in their previous homes. From the King’s Road to Bloomsbury, worlds within worlds emerge: friendships with Stephen and Natasha Spender, Francis Bacon, Sonia Orwell, W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Steven Runciman, David Hockney and R. B. Kitaj; meetings with E. M. Forster and Duncan Grant. Connections appear to criss-cross, invisibly, though the air of London, interconnecting everyone.
David Plante has kept a diary of his life among the artistic elite for over half a century. Spanning his first fifteen years in London, from the mid-sixties to the early eighties, this first volume of memoirs draws on diary entries, notes, sketches and drawings to reveal a beautiful, intimate portrait of a relationship and a luminous evocation of a world of writers, poets, artists and thinkers.