"When in 1939 Cedric Morris and Arthur Lett-Haines visited Benton End, overlooking the River Brett on the outskirts of Hadleigh, Suffolk, they were both established artists with international reputations. What they found was a somewhat ramshackle but capacious sixteenth-century house which had been unoccupied for fifteen years, standing in over three acres of walled gardens lost beneath brambles and elderberries. But in 1940, Benton End became both their home and the new premises of the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing which they, disillusioned with the commercial aspects of the art world, had founded together in 1937." "From 1940 until Lett Haines died in 1978 and Cedric Morris in 1982, Benton End was an exotic world apart where art, literature, good food, gardening and lively conversation combined to produce an extraordinarily stimulating environment for amateurs and professionals alike. Ronald Blythe recalls that 'there was a whiff of garlic and wine in the air. The atmosphere ... was robust and coarse, and exquisite and tentative all at once. Rough and ready and fine mannered. Also faintly dangerous.'" "The sharply differing characters and interests of Cedric Morris and Lett Haines ensured the widest range of contacts and visitors to Benton End who included Victoria Sackville-West, Elizabeth David, Francis Bacon, Randolph Churchill, Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears. There was no formal teaching and students were left free to pursue their own enthusiasms and to show their work to Cedric or Lett for advice. Cedric's skill as a plantsman and noted breeder of irises, contrasted with Lett's intellectual sophistication and interest in food, wine, artistic experimentation and general lack of enthusiasm for the outdoors." "Over the years many hundreds of students and visitors spent time at Benton End and these included Lucian Freud, Lucy Harwood, David Carr, Glyn Morgan, Kathleen Hale, Beth Chatto, Maggi Hambling and Ronald Blythe. It was Gwynneth Reynolds whose idea it was to assemble the recollections of 30 other former students and friends and to illustrate them with over 70 colour reproductions of works by Lett Haines and Cedric Morris."--BOOK JACKET.