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 […]

Anthony Burgess: Everyone’s Free … Except Me: One Man’s View from the Barrack Room An edited version of this article was published in the Daily Mail on 8 May 1985 (p. 25), to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of VE Day. The complete text, reproduced here, appears in the Irwell Edition of A Vision of Battlements (Manchester […]

John Anthony Burgess Wilson was a genius when it came to inventing himself. Born into a working-class family in Manchester, he educated himself by reading widely, taught himself how to compose music, and got himself into university. He served in the British Army during the Second World War, and afterwards became a school teacher in […]