Anthony Burgess’s Earthly Powers is a book made up of other books. The Earthly Powers Bookshelf charts that literary map, using as its base Burgess’s library at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. In one of the most memorable scenes in Earthly Powers, Philip Shawcross, a British man in Malaya, apparently possessed by demons, undergoes an […]

In 1965, the year before Burgess published his spy novel, Tremor of Intent, Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels sold more than 15 million paperback copies in the UK alone. Given the vast enthusiasm for espionage fiction on the part of the book-buying public, it’s understandable that Burgess was keen to cash in on this publishing […]

Throughout 2020, the International Anthony Burgess Foundation is celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Earthly Powers, Burgess’s longest and most accomplished novel. We have already launched a dedicated Earthly Powers micro-site and are looking forward to future meetings of the Earthly Powers reading group. We invite you to listen to our series of podcasts themed around Earthly Powers, in which […]

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 […]

A topical blogpost for Easter. By Will Carr.

In the Burgess Foundation library there is a small collection of the religious texts, including several bibles, the Quran, and several histories of world religion. Among these books is a small volume bound in scuffed leather titled Rituale Romanum. This book contains the Rites of the Roman Catholic Church, and is entirely in Latin. Burgess’s […]

The fascinating typescript of Burgess’s epic novel. By Andrew Biswell.