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 […]

Exploring the music referenced in the brand new Irwell Edition of Anthony Burgess’s This Man and Music. This Man and Music, Anthony Burgess’s reflections on music, literature and autobiography, references a varied selection of music from the expected, such as Beethoven and Mozart, through the modernist influences on Burgess’s own music such as Stravinsky and […]

Christine Lee Gengaro writes about editing Anthony Burgess’s This Man and Music, the latest release in the The Irwell Edition of the Works of Anthony Burgess. Anthony Burgess’s This Man and Music must be one of the author’s most oft-quoted books. As a non-fiction work about music and literature, it is a fertile source of […]

The latest title to appear in the Irwell Edition is This Man and Music. This Man and Music blends musical autobiography and literary analysis to create a hybrid book which reveals much about Anthony Burgess’s creative process and cultural obsessions. Best known as a writer of fiction, Burgess also devoted much of his time to musical […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]