Blessed by Fleming, Adorned by Chopping – ‘The Fourth of June’ by David Benedictus

The Fourth of June is the first novel by David Benedictus. This title was reviewed upon publication by Ian Fleming, who was an Old Etonian with David. In Fleming’s Sunday Times review he described it as ‘One of the most brilliantly written books since the war.‘ Fleming’s review of the book was complimentary of the writer but admittedly seemed out of…

Richard Chopping

Richard Chopping’s Great Unfinished Work

Richard Chopping was educated at Gresham’s in Holt, where Benjamin Britten and the future Cambridge spy Donald Maclean were his contemporaries. His artistic education came afterwards, at Cedric Morris’s East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, where Lucian Freud was also studying. Chopping was more factotum than pupil but learnt by observing Morris work, although…

Richard Chopping and Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon provides an interesting footnote into how Richard Chopping ended up creating the James Bond dust jackets for Ian Fleming; it was at one of Bacon’s art exhibitions that Ann Fleming, a close friend of Bacon, made the introduction. Chopping recalled: “He [Bacon] took her [Ann Fleming]  upstairs to see mine, which was very good of him,…

Richard Chopping

‘To a Dragon Fly’ by Richard Chopping

Here is a poem that Chopping contributed to the Grasshopper in 1931: O DRAGON-FLY, you lovely thing, I love to see you on the wing; Oh, when I hear you whirring by, I raise an aching, weary eye From off my tiring, awful task, To gaze upon your lovely mask, Your slender legs, your rainbow…