I've just read Virginia Woolf by Alexandra Harris which is the very first book about VW to make me actually want to read her novels (all the others have just made me feel vaguely guilty and lacking for not having read them, although I could happily read her diaries and letters over and over). AH's book has a cleverly light touch; inevitably it skims over a great deal (it's only short), but it draws out major themes and reasons to read the novels with great economy and style. It is also beautifully produced; while the cover suggests the title is part of series (it has a rather generic, plain look), inside there is lovely, thick, cream-coloured paper and very tasteful typefaces which make it a pleasure to hold and read.
I always think of VW as the height of very controlled, often highly refined intellectual taste, although I know this is something of an over-simplification. But the question of taste and what constitutes 'good' and 'bad' taste, who defines this, and whether it's true or not, fascinates me. (My other reading at the moment is Barnaby Rudge which has an exciting excess of many varieties of taste all thrown together).
So I watched In the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry which was funny and affecting, and not at all patronising. I'm not so keen on Grayson Perry's travels with his teddy, Alan Measles (a little derivative perhaps), but this was much more free and natural and direct. The resulting tapestries are on show here; it has to be said that Perry does some amazing things with textiles.
[Details from a vintage hand-embroidered tablecloth which I bought for next to nothing a couple of weeks ago. It's very much to my taste, but would no doubt be considered tasteless by some.]