I was asked to a memorial event at the Courtauld Institute to commemorate Anita Brookner. It may have been assumed that I knew her, but I didn’t, although I read her art historical books as a student, including her study of Greuze: the rise and fall of an 18th. century phenomenon, which had been the subject of her PhD. published in 1972. Her grandfather was a Pole who established a cigarette factory which supplied cigarettes to Edward VII. She studied at the Ecole du Louvre, at the Courtauld under Blunt, who she admired for his integrity, and where she lived on marmite, cigarettes and slimming biscuits. Her life fell so clearly into two parts: the first half as an art historian, teaching at the Courtauld, writing reviews for Benedict Nicolson at the Burlington, the first female Slade Professor at Cambridge, an inspiring, if psychologically reserved teacher; then the moment when she wrote her first novel over the summer holidays and created an alternative, and fictional, identity.