Anthony Burgess came of age as modernism was approaching its peak, and the movement influenced much of his writing and music. As a young man, Burgess was inspired by writers such as James Joyce and T.S. Eliot; and, as a musician, he was excited by the revolutionary compositions of Stravinsky, Berg, Honneger and Mossolov. Reacting […]

If Beard’s Roman Women is an odd book, ABBA ABBA, the other half of Burgess’s reaction to his time in Italy in the 1970s, is perhaps even odder still. The book is divided into two sections: Part One is a short historical novel of sorts, while Part Two consists mainly of poems translated into English […]

ABBA ABBA is one of Anthony Burgess’s most inventive works, blending historical fiction, poetry and translation into a novel which celebrates John Keats and the sonnet form. Set in Rome during the winter of 1820-21, the first part of ABBA ABBA recounts Keats’s final weeks and his eventual death from tuberculosis in a house on […]

In the early-1970s, Anthony Burgess worked on a screenplay for a proposed historical film about Edward, The Black Prince. The completed screenplay was never published and gathered dust in the archives at the Burgess Foundation until Adam Roberts discovered it. He began work on adapting it into a new novel, The Black Prince, published now […]

Beard’s Roman Women is an odd book. The title, changed by the American publisher from Rome in the Rain, seems to suggest a historical novel, set in the Roman Empire. The text is partnered with strange photographs of ghostly Roman monuments, reflected in puddles and in glass. The story is clearly autobiographical yet is told […]

The Irwell Edition of the Works of Anthony Burgess, published in hardback by Manchester University Press, is a new series which aims to bring all of Burgess’s novels and non-fiction books back into print. Each volume contains an editor’s introduction, a newly edited text, extensive notes and annotations, plus previously unpublished materials drawn from the […]

Obscenity & the Arts began in an oblong room, the engine-house of a former mill, situated within an area once dubbed ‘Little Ireland’, surrounded as we were, by Anthony Burgess’s furniture. Indelible images of twentieth century criminality blazed large on a screen at the very end of the room. An articulate and astute Mark Blacklock […]

The Irwell Edition of the Works of Anthony Burgess, published in hardback by Manchester University Press, is a new series which aims to bring all of Burgess’s novels and non-fiction books back into print. Each volume contains an editor’s introduction, a newly edited text, extensive notes and annotations, plus previously unpublished materials drawn from the […]

The third volume of the Irwell Edition of the Works of Anthony Burgess is his ‘lost’ science fiction novel. Puma, written by Burgess in 1976, but only published as part of his 1982 novel The End of the World News, is an apocalyptic story about a stray planet on a collision-course with Earth. This is […]

As well as being a prolific novelist, Anthony Burgess had a ceaseless energy for writing journalism. Because of a faulty diagnosis of a fatal brain tumour in 1959, Burgess was determined to make a living from writing, and it was clear that being a novelist alone was not the way to do this. Writing in […]