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Harris revisited

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In the style of his entertaining No Voice from the Hall, curator emeritus of the RIBA Drawings Collection John Harris supplies more reminiscences from his life in architecture, especially as a country house visitor (mostly uninvited! ) in Echoing Voices: More Memories of a Country House Snooper (John Murray, £17.99). It is like a series of anecdotes told by someone at a party who keeps topping up your glass. There are walk-on appearances by the great and (not so) good - Anthony Blunt, Basil Spence and Paul Mellon among them - and glimpses of properties as far apart as Prague and County Sligo. Along the way are a couple of nasty deaths (the archaeologist in Malaya who falls onto poisoned stakes in a pig-trap, the Argentinian aesthete in Paris who trips on the cord of his dressing gown), and plenty of digs at Pevsner: 'Nikolaus was never one for crawling under barbed-wire fences.' It's all great fun - the Christmas-present problem solved.

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