london

  Boston in the 1740s: a bustling port at the edge of the British empire. A boy comes of age in a small wooden house along the Long Wharf, which juts into the harbor, as though reaching for London thousands of miles across the ocean. Sometime in his childhood, he learns to draw.

That boy was John Singleton Copley, who became, by the 1760s, colonial America’s premier painter. His brush captured the faces of his neighbors -- ordinary men like Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams -- who would become the revolutionary heroes of a new United States. Today, in museums across America, Copley’s brilliant portraits evoke patriotic fervor and rebellious optimism.

The artist, however, did not share his subjects’ politics. Copley’s nation was Britain; his capital, London. When rebellion sundered Britain’s empire, both kin and calling determined the painter’s allegiances. He sought the largest canvas for his talents and the safest home for his family. So, by the time the United States declared its independence, Copley and his kin were in London. He painted America’s revolution from a far shore, as Britain’s American War.

His story is told in Jane Kamensky's new book, A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley.

  In 1961, a thief broke into the National Gallery in London and committed the most sensational art heist in British history. He stole the museum’s much prized painting, The Duke of Wellington by Francisco Goya. Despite unprecedented international attention and an unflagging investigation, the case was not solved for four years, and even then, only because the culprit came forward voluntarily. 

Alan Hirch's book is The Duke of Wellington, Kidnapped!: The Incredible True Story of the Art Heist That Shocked a Nation.

  Raised like a princess in one of the most powerful families in the American South, Henrietta Bingham was offered the helm of a publishing empire. Instead, she ripped through the Jazz Age like an F. Scott Fitzgerald character: intoxicating and intoxicated, selfish and shameless, seductive and brilliant, endearing and often terribly troubled.

In New York, Louisville, and London, she drove both men and women wild with desire, and her youth blazed with sex. But her love affairs with women made her the subject of derision and caused a doctor to try to cure her queerness. After the speed and pleasure of her early days, the toxicity of judgment from others coupled with her own anxieties resulted in years of addiction and breakdowns.

Emily Bingham, the great-niece of Henrietta Bingham, writes about her life in Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham.

Thatcher to be buried with full pomp

Apr 17, 2013
wikipedia commons

Wednesday's funeral for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher won't be a state funeral, but it'll be full of pomp nonetheless.

World leaders and dignitaries from 170 countries are expected to attend.

And more than 700 soldiers, sailors and air force personnel will line the route in London as a horse-drawn gun carriage takes the coffin from the church of St. Clement Danes to St. Paul's Cathedral.

Copyright 2013 @ Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

At least two people were killed today in London when a helicopter struck a tall crane, exploded and came crashing to the ground in a ball of fire.

Reporting from London, NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast Desk that "the wreckage landed close to a very busy commuter station at Vauxhall, and not far from a rail line running into Waterloo. ... Several cars caught fire."