Ten Things You Didnt Know about Mr Keynes; on the Money: A Portrait of Keynes on the Cover of Time Magazine in the Sixties; below, Clockwise from Top Left, Alistair Darling, Who Is Adopting a Keynesian Strategy to Beat the Recession; Keynes's Fellow Bloomsbury Set Members the Artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant (with Whom Keynes Had an Affair); Keynes Dancing with His Wife, Russian Ballerina Lydia Lopokova

The Evening Standard (London, England), October 21, 2008 | Go to article overview

Ten Things You Didnt Know about Mr Keynes; on the Money: A Portrait of Keynes on the Cover of Time Magazine in the Sixties; below, Clockwise from Top Left, Alistair Darling, Who Is Adopting a Keynesian Strategy to Beat the Recession; Keynes's Fellow Bloomsbury Set Members the Artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant (with Whom Keynes Had an Affair); Keynes Dancing with His Wife, Russian Ballerina Lydia Lopokova


Byline: LIZ HOGGARD

THRILLING as it is for old Lefties to find their hero, economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), making headlines again as Alistair Darling vows to spend his way out of the recession a key Keynes interventionist approach many of us are scrabbling to sound knowledgeable about the moustachioed old fox. Here we offer you a 10-point bluffer's guide:

1. He was bisexual Yes, yes he was one of the fathers of modern theoretical macroeconomics, but Keynes's sex life was wild. His early romantic relationships were almost all with men his diary lists 50 gay affairs between the ages of 18 and 33, ranging from Bloomsbury painter Duncan Grant and writer Lytton Strachey to the lift boy at Vauxhall. But he amazed all his friends by falling in love with a 38-year-old Russian ballerina, Lydia Lopokova, and marrying her in 1925. It seems a genuine love match. Robert Skidelsky, Keynes's biographer, says: "Sexual relations certainly developed, and by 1924 Lydia was appreciative of Maynard's 'subtle' sexual technique."

2. His appeal extends to pop music In 1987 he was immortalised in the Deacon Blue song, Dignity: "I'm telling this story/in a faraway scene/sipping down raki/and reading Maynard Keynes."

3. Keynes is pronounced "cains" It's one of those tongue-twisters that can catch out the unwary prole (see also "Beauchamp Place") but you need to get the pronunciation right.

4. He had terrible table manners But then the Bloomsbury set thought the uninhibited Lydia ("his canarybrained ballerina") a slovenly housekeeper. They never quite recovered from seeing her throw a sanitary towel on the fire-grate. …

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Ten Things You Didnt Know about Mr Keynes; on the Money: A Portrait of Keynes on the Cover of Time Magazine in the Sixties; below, Clockwise from Top Left, Alistair Darling, Who Is Adopting a Keynesian Strategy to Beat the Recession; Keynes's Fellow Bloomsbury Set Members the Artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant (with Whom Keynes Had an Affair); Keynes Dancing with His Wife, Russian Ballerina Lydia Lopokova
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