5 JANUARY 1940, Page 19

I am confirmed in this general observation by the collec-

tion to which I am now devoting so much of my time. These postcards might at first sight be taken for portraits of some of the more perky denizens of Dartmoor or Parkhurst. But not at all. They represent the flower of our British man- hood. I gaze at them in pity and terror. There to the right, staring out at me with startled but emptied eyes, is a Fellow of All Souls, a man of exquisite sensibility and profound learning. Beside him on the left, his forage cap tilted at an angle of obtrusive vulgarity, his mouth gaping in a schizo- phrenic grin, is an art-critic whose judgements are cited in the journals of three continents. Here we have a poet, and here a young economist, and over there a rising architect. The photographer, not unaided by a certain continuity in the cut of battle-suits, has managed to expunge from their features the strange thoughts, the fantastic reveries, and the exquisite passions deposited (cell by cell) by Eton and Balliol, by New College and Winchester. He has done more. He has rendered them as identic as a row of peas in a pod ; he has given me a row of idiot plough-boys dressed in sacks.

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