When James Joyce died in Zurich on 13 January 1941, Anthony Burgess was a soldier with 189 Field Ambulance in the Royal Army Medical Corps, living in a barracks near Morpeth in Northumberland. News was slow to travel from Switzerland to Britain, and it took more than a week for Burgess to find out that […]

Last year was a period of great activity for the Burgess Foundation, with a lively programme of online exhibitions, lectures, podcasts and other events. Now that 2021 is underway, we are looking forward to revisiting some of Burgess’s best-known work. As many readers will know, this year is the fiftieth anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s A […]

Looking back on the life and work of Llewela Jones (1920-1968). Anthony Burgess’s first wife, born Llewela Jones and later known as Lynne, would have celebrated her 100th birthday on 24 November 2020. Many readers are familiar with the portrait of her given by Burgess in his two volumes of autobiography, Little Wilson and Big […]

Andrew Biswell: How to read Earthly Powers ‘The ideal reader of my books,’ Anthony Burgess told John Cullinan of the Paris Review in 1973, ‘is a lapsed Catholic and failed musician, short-sighted, colour-blind, auditorily biased, who has read the books that I have read. He should also be about my age.’ Readers who lack those […]

Anthony Burgess was fascinated by the life and work of Sigmund Freud. As a writer and composer, he often returned to the founder of modern psychoanalysis in his creative works. The list begins with his stage adaptation of Oedipus the King in 1972 (a consciously Freudian work). This was accompanied by the novel MF, which […]

Born in 1917, Anthony Burgess would have celebrated his 103rd birthday on 25 February 2020. But what did he think the twenty-first century would be like? It is possible to offer an answer to this question, thanks to a newly-discovered document from the archive. Back in the mists of 1984, the year when Anthony Burgess […]

James Joyce was born on 2 February 1882. This became a date of great importance to Anthony Burgess, who began writing Here Comes Everybody, the first of his critical books about Joyce, on 2 February 1964. Following the writing plan he had drawn up in advance, Burgess typed the final page of Here Comes Everybody […]

  In 1970 Anthony Burgess settled with his wife, Liana, and their son, Paolo Andrea, in Bracciano, about 45 kilometres (28 miles) north-west of Rome. A fifteenth-century house on the Piazza Padella became the family’s main home and the new centre of Burgess’s professional life. The family’s years in Bracciano are particularly well documented, as […]

ONE: He received a fan letter from Umberto Eco. They met when Burgess was living in Rome in the early 1970s. Eco, who worked as a radio producer, interviewed Burgess in connection with Joysprick, a book about the language of James Joyce. Later on, Burgess wrote favourable reviews of a number of Eco’s books, including The […]

Our annual prizes for arts journalism have been announced! The winner of the £3000 prize was Jason Watkins, for his review of Pigspurt’s Daughter at the Holbeck Underground Ballroom in Leeds, which is a one-woman performance piece by Daisy Campbell about her late father, the celebrated provocateur and playwright Ken Campbell. Jason’s vivid writing brings to life […]