The agreeable world of Wallace Arnold: Egg on my Bacon

HATS OFF to my old friend and quaffing partner Daniel Farson for managing to find a publisher for his latest oeuvre (dread word]) which rejoices in the mouthful of a title, The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon.

Francis: Soho was full of drinkers and artists, but there was only one Francis Bacon. Here, four days before the first anniversary of his death, his old friend Daniel Farson recalls him

HIS VIEW of life could hardly be harsher. He did not believe in God, in morality, in love or in worldly success - only in 'the sensation of the moment'. Francis Bacon, above all, conveyed 20th-century man in his various states of loneliness.

BOOK REVIEW / Unimpeachable sauces: 'The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon' - Daniel Farson: Century, 17.99 pounds

DANIEL FARSON met Francis Bacon in 1951 when he, Farson, was a young and pretty photographer and Bacon was just beginning to be known. Farson was, he admits, 'a celebrity snob' and a very willing recipient of Bacon's unquenchable generosity. Thereafter they whiled away many happy hours in Soho, and it is this slice of Bacon that Farson so brilliantly captures - the champagne lunches at Wheeler's (Bacon always paid), the drunken afternoons at Muriel's, the rent-boy pick-ups, the squabbles in the French pub, the outrageous scenes at parties, the drinking rituals and Bacon's quaint Edwardian benediction: 'Real pain for your sham friends, champagne for your real friends]'

MUSIC / A woman of new importance: On the 10th anniversary of Elisabeth Lutyens' death, Bayan Northcott reconsiders her music in the light of a forthcoming disc

SUNDAY HUSH in the City on a grey, late afternoon of March 1992: in the Bishopsgate Institute, that incredibly professional soprano, Jane Manning, and four young players of her ensemble, Jane's Minstrels, are recording Elisabeth Lutyens' fine-spun Japanese song-cycle, The Valley of Hatsu-Se, for the contemporary label NMC.

How we met: Ian Board and Daniel Farson

Ian Board (63) is a well-known Soho figure whose connections with that part of London go back to the late Forties. He has worked most of his life behind the bar of Muriel Belcher's Colony Room, a celebrated meeting place for bohemians and artists, taking over the club in 1979 when Muriel died. The writer and photographer Daniel Farson (65) found fame in the Fifties with his own television series, Farson's guide to the British. He has published 20 books, including his affectionate portrait Soho in the Fifties, and now lives in the West Country. Both men are unmarried.

RADIO / Sweet and sour: Robert Hanks tastes revenge, as told by Eleanor Bron

WHEN Francis Bacon wrote that revenge is 'a kind of wild justice', he was trying to make the point that it is a bad, undesirable thing, in contrast to civilised justice. In hindsight, though, he didn't choose his words well: what the phrase seems to emphasise is the glamour of revenge, its attractive, romantic side. It's impossible to deny that this side exists - as Eleanor Bron's commentary pointed out in Revenge Is Sweet (Radio 4, Thursday), such wild justice has been the inspiration of not just a lot of good literature, but some of the very best - Medea, say, and Hamlet.

Art Market: Bacon nude expected to exceed 1m pounds

THE FIRST major painting by Francis Bacon to come up for auction since the modern master's death in April will be offered by Sotheby's in December.

RECORDS / Melody through the looking glass: Edward Seckerson and Stephen Johnson compare notes on Mark-Anthony Turnage and Purcell

MARK-ANTHONY TURNAGE: Three Screaming Popes - City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Simon Rattle (EMI CD Single TSP 2 04681 2)

ART / Exhibition: Facial disfigurement: Andrew Graham-Dixon on the human face shattered and concealed in 'A Visage Decouvert' in Paris

If the French no longer make much in the way of interesting art, they certainly know how to spice up its presentation. The ambition of earlier generations of avant-garde French artists, to revise the canons and conventions of taste, seems to have passed to the bureaucrats whom they once despised: it has become a virtual commonplace to note that the most startling gestures of aesthetic intent in France, in recent years, have taken the form not of new painting or sculpture but of new museums (Orsay) or new additions to old ones (the Louvre's pyramid).

Tavern is scene of literary dispute

A MAN who has made it his life's work to unmask the identity of William Shakespeare believes that a single leaf of a manuscript discovered in a book binding could prove that Francis Bacon was the true Bard. Loopy lettering and odd 'Bs' may be the crucial evidence, he believes.
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