Friends & Influences

by Gary Sargeant

An invaluable memoir by one of the few remaining people still alive that knew Austin Osman Spare.

The author is an artist who as a teenager was nurtured and taken to life-classes by Spare and his sister Nellie. Gary is blind, but the memories are sharp and evocative. Spare, it transpires, set Gary upon his varied career in Art & Design.

As a corrective to a mythologising tendency, as he sees it, Gary paints a much needed ‘tactile picture’ of Austin Osman Spare, as someone who is more than the ‘Occult artist’ that many readers will be familiar with.

Here we are introduced to the selfless ‘humanist’, a generous soul encouraging raw talent without any concern for personal gain. Spare is revealed as a life-long instructor on art, a natural mentor who relished nurturing the creative potential of others. Not a recluse, but part of a like-minded group that included Frank Brangwyn, Walter E. Spradbery and Haydn Mackey, who all remained in contact long after WWI.

To complement these new insights, we reproduce a previously unpublished self-portrait by Spare, along with two other stunning late pastel self-portraits.


We are also fortunate to be able to reproduce a fine series of unpublished Boro’ Satyr studies that Spare dedicated to Walter E. Spradbery.

This uniquely insightful book is sure to be indispensable to anyone seeking a greater understanding of Austin Osman Spare, his milieu, and indeed the author.

The Afterword by Stephen Pochin charts the constellation of artists who Spare was friends with from the end of WWI and who he included in his role as art editor on Form and The Golden Hind.

Deluxe Format

50 hand-numbered, hand-bound copies only

Over 230 images, 200 pages, 190 x 230mm

Sewn, Quarter-bound morocco with hand-tipped device, hand-marbled endpapers, dust-jacket, head and tail spine bands, and linen bound slipcase.

Special Insert – hand-numbered prints signed by the author-artist enclosed in a folder detailing correspondence between Spare’s sister Nellie and Frank Letchford.

The deluxe edition features one of a set of four different hand-numbered prints signed by the author-artist. Also reproduced – for the first time – is an ink drawing of Spare, by his sister.

Strictly one copy per customer.   Available for immediate dispatch – almost sold out

£160 (plus p&p)


Deliver to…




Standard Format 

900 hand-numbered copies

Over 230 images, 200 pages, 190 x 230mm

Hardback, sewn, with head and tail spine bands, illustrated endpapers and dust-jacket.

Available for immediate dispatch – copies remain

£30 (plus p&p)


Deliver to…




NB: P.O.Boxes not suitable addresses, postage will be insured and a signature is required for all orders.

US and Pacific Rim pre-orders please contact: JD Holmes.com