Cookies on oxfam

We use cookies to ensure that you have the best experience on our website. If you continue browsing, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all our cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Accept

  • Grows vegetables
  • Fills classrooms
  • Drills wells
  • Empowers women
  • Fights poverty
  • Free Uk delivery on all gifts
    Or you can add a donation at checkout
  • Personalise your gift at checkout
    Add a personal message, ecard or card front
  • Add a 'Little Extra' at checkout
    Add-on gifts available (including chocolate!)

Virgo in Exile

£12.99

Product description

Born in Sydenham, South-East London, Sven Berlin was a prominent, yet often controversial, figure in the world of 20th C British art. Among his forbears, as he would .note, was the Swedish explorer, Sven Hedin. Sven Berlin’s education and career path was as unorthodox as the man himself. Forced by financial circumstances to leave school at the age of twelve, he began adult life as an adagio dancer, an art form now more or less extinct, as are the Music Halls where they mainly performed. In this metier, he partnered Helga, an experienced dancer and dance teacher who became his first wife. He maintained that the physical skills thus developed, as well as the opportunity to study the human form in motion and at rest, were to stand him in good stead throughout his life.

In due course, he and Helga moved to Penwith, in Cornwall. Here he came under the influence of Dr Frank Turk, a much-respected adult educationalist, working under the auspices of Exeter University, attending courses and lectures in subjects such as philosophy, the ancient cultures and the arts. Thus nurtured, Sven Berlin’s artistic skills began to flourish. On the outbreak of war in 1939, his beliefs as a pacifist forced him to register as a conscientious objector, a painful and humiliating procedure. Rather than enlisting in the armed forces, he was assigned to various jobs such as working as a boilerman or an agricultural labourer. Some of his earliest paintings show broccoli pickers in a Cornish field. In due course, however, he underwent a change of heart and renouncing his pacifism, he enlisted in the infantry, seeing active service in the Normandy landings and the drive towards Germany. His experiences in the field are recorded in his deeply moving book - asserted by some to be his best written work – I am Lazarus. He returned to “civvy street” in St Ives, much traumatised by his combat experiences, and an extended healing process was necessary. Even then, it seems that the traumas of war were never erased, only submerged. His wife Julie recounts how, 40-50 years later, he would suffer recurrent nightmares as the hideousness of trench warfare returned to haunt him. His absence at the Front, as in so many other cases, contributed to the breakdown of his marriage to Helga, not long after his return from the war.

Item details

Author(s):
Berlin, Sven
Condition:
Used: very good
Format:
Hardback
ISBN-10:
0904477150
ISBN-13:
9780904477153
Publisher:
Finishing Publications

Standard UK Delivery (currently free)

Delivery FAQs

Ts & Cs
Delivery FAQs

Free returns

within 21 days.
Returns policy

About this item

Born in Sydenham, South-East London, Sven Berlin was a prominent, yet often controversial, figure in the world of 20th C British art. Among his forbears, as he would .note, was the Swedish explorer, Sven Hedin. Sven Berlin’s education and career path was as unorthodox as the man himself. Forced by financial circumstances to leave school at the age of twelve, he began adult life as an adagio dancer, an art form now more or less extinct, as are the Music Halls where they mainly performed. In this metier, he partnered Helga, an experienced dancer and dance teacher who became his first wife. He maintained that the physical skills thus developed, as well as the opportunity to study the human form in motion and at rest, were to stand him in good stead throughout his life.

In due course, he and Helga moved to Penwith, in Cornwall. Here he came under the influence of Dr Frank Turk, a much-respected adult educationalist, working under the auspices of Exeter University, attending courses and lectures in subjects such as philosophy, the ancient cultures and the arts. Thus nurtured, Sven Berlin’s artistic skills began to flourish. On the outbreak of war in 1939, his beliefs as a pacifist forced him to register as a conscientious objector, a painful and humiliating procedure. Rather than enlisting in the armed forces, he was assigned to various jobs such as working as a boilerman or an agricultural labourer. Some of his earliest paintings show broccoli pickers in a Cornish field. In due course, however, he underwent a change of heart and renouncing his pacifism, he enlisted in the infantry, seeing active service in the Normandy landings and the drive towards Germany. His experiences in the field are recorded in his deeply moving book - asserted by some to be his best written work – I am Lazarus. He returned to “civvy street” in St Ives, much traumatised by his combat experiences, and an extended healing process was necessary. Even then, it seems that the traumas of war were never erased, only submerged. His wife Julie recounts how, 40-50 years later, he would suffer recurrent nightmares as the hideousness of trench warfare returned to haunt him. His absence at the Front, as in so many other cases, contributed to the breakdown of his marriage to Helga, not long after his return from the war.

Author(s):
Berlin, Sven
Condition:
Used: very good
Format:
Hardback
ISBN-10:
0904477150
ISBN-13:
9780904477153
Publisher:
Finishing Publications

Delivery & returns

This item will be dispatched to UK addresses via second class post within 2 working days of receipt of your order. Standard UK delivery is £3.95 per order, so you're only charged once no matter how many items you have in your basket. Any additional courier charges will be applied at checkout as they vary depending on delivery address.

This item will be dispatched to UK addresses via second class post within 2 working days of receipt of your order. Standard UK delivery is currently free, no matter how many items you have in your basket. Any additional courier charges will be applied at checkout as they vary depending on delivery address.

You can find out more about delivery and returns in our help section.

We offer a no quibble returns policy as follows:

Wedding dresses: 14 days

Overseas returns: 31 days

Everything else: 21 days


This item is also available for international delivery by airmail, carrying a mandatory delivery charge of:

Europe: £8.00

Outside Europe: £15.00

Volunteer listed

Wonder how this unique item ended up online?

Most of the second-hand items you see online have been donated, by supporters like you, to our high street stores. Each item is then priced, photographed and listed on this site by our amazing team of volunteers from across the country.

After you have bought your item, our team of volunteers package and dispatch it from the Shop straight to you or your chosen recipient.

All profits from the sales of our goods go towards funding Oxfam's work around the world. We rely on your donations to sell online so please keep the cycle of goodness going!

To find out more about volunteering with Oxfam, please visit our how to volunteer page.

Oxfam Bournemouth Online

We are proud to say that Oxfam Online Bournemouth is one of the principal online presences for the Oxfam Online Shop. We focus on showcasing your most fabulous donations, offering the most distinctive, sought after and valuable pieces to a worldwide audience. We aim to offer a broad range of items to appeal to everyone, from designer fashion and luxury accessories to technical sportswear and unique vintage pieces from bygone eras. 


Everything is listed by our very loyal and committed volunteer team from our warehouse in Winton. We are a bubbly positive team of mixed ages looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help Oxfam continue in working with others to overcome poverty. In turn, we offer innovative volunteer placements in a friendly and welcoming environment.  





View Shop