One of the key episodes in Earthly Powers is the trial scene in chapter 64, where Kenneth Toomey stands up in a London magistrate’s court to defend a fellow writer who has been accused of publishing a blasphemous poem. In the course of giving evidence, Toomey makes a public declaration of his homosexuality, which he […]

The Black Prince is a novel by Adam Roberts, adapted from an original script by Anthony Burgess and published by Unbound in 2018. Matthew Asprey Gear takes a closer look. The 1960s was a fine decade for films on the Plantagenets and Tudors, from Becket (1964) and The Lion in Winter (1968) to A Man […]

As we continue to explore our collections with our Inside The Archive blog series, we load up the video player to watch Anthony Burgess on film. Anthony Burgess was one of the first novelists to embrace the medium of television and appeared on the small screen many times throughout his career. As well as becoming […]

Anthony Burgess wrote about Christmas in a number of different contexts. His responses are always distinctive and flavoursome, like a glass of Madeira or a traditional British Christmas pudding, stuffed with fruit and sixpence coins. In the first volume of his autobiography, Little Wilson and Big God, Burgess recalls that one of his earliest published […]

This sketch by the Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli was drawn for Anthony Burgess’s son, Andrew (also known as Paolo Andrea). It appears to be a greeting for Easter 1979, and shows a recipe for a desert called ‘the sweet of “Passion”’. Zeffirelli describes it as an ‘Easter offering’. The ingredients include ricotta cheese, pistachios, […]

Monaco, 6 July 1978: He opened the door of the apartment at the top of the stairs on the top floor in the old sandstone-coloured building, shops on the ground floor, black-iron grilled balconies, 44 Rue Grimaldi. There he was, immediately friendly and easy-going, a swirl of bushy long grayish-brown hair like some mad painter, […]

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