Secret Muses: The Life of Frederick Ashton  by Julie  Kavanagh
(Faber and Faber, 2004)

Secret Muses: The Life of Frederick Ashton

by Julie Kavanagh

Sir Frederick Ashton, Britain’s greatest choreographer, was a major figure on the cultural landscape of the twentieth century and his influence extended far beyond the world of dance. Julie Kavanagh traces Ashton’s progress with a keen and sympathetic sense of both the man and his milieu. The drama of his professional and private life - among his close associates were Constant Lambert, Benjamin Britten, W. B. Yeats, the Sitwells and Cecil Beaton - is skilfully interwoven with vivid descriptions of the ballets themselves.

Reviews

Not only the best biography of a ballet figure but, far more important, a Proustian recollection of that glamorous near-mythical time, the first half of our now setting century. ”
- Gore Vidal