What has the Wallace Collection director Xavier Bray been reading during lockdown?

Xavier Bray © Julian Calder

“Lockdown has not exactly meant a monastic existence for me unfortunately. Keeping the Wallace Collection afloat in these difficult times has meant that my team and I have been working harder than ever. But there have been a few books waiting for me at home when I get back on my bike ride from the Wallace in the evenings. On reflection when I see them grouped together, I realise that they are all about people on the move, crossing boundaries, reasserting themselves and seeking some kind of freedom.”

American Dirt (2020) by Jeanine Cummins

“The book I have just put down is Jeanine Cumminss American Dirt, an account of a mother and son fleeing a Mexican cartel and crossing the border into the US. It is gritty and thrilling as they join the migrants on their journey to el norte, aboard La Bestia, a cargo train that is notoriously perilous.”

A Spy Among Friends (2014) by Ben Macintyre

“Another book I have read recently is Ben Macintyres A Spy Among Friends, a riveting introduction to the British spy service of 1930s and 40s, with Kim Philby at the centre. His betrayal to the Allied forces was shocking, and yet his extraordinary survival in the innermost circles of the spy service and his eventual defection to Russia was a journey in itself. I was fascinated to read how certain art historical figures such as the Nicolas Poussin scholar Anthony Blunt and the Spanish art dealer Tomás Harris were connected to Philbys orbit.

The Old Ways: A Journey on FootRead More – Source