Born on 24 November 1920, Llewela ‘Lynne’ Wilson, Anthony Burgess’s first wife, had a short but influential life. Despite Burgess’s characterisation of Lynne as ‘unliterary’ in his autobiography, she had a rich interest in literature and not only contributed to Burgess’s own writing, but collaborated with him directly on a series of translations. Burgess’s anxiety […]

Throughout his career, Anthony Burgess emphasised his status as a Mancunian who defined himself in opposition to the London literary establishment. In his biography of Shakespeare (1970), he draws parallels between himself and the playwright’s childhood and education away from the capital. Yet, like Shakespeare, Burgess was drawn to London from the provinces, and the […]

Many of the stories about about Anthony Burgess’s first wife Llewela (or Lynne, as she was known), focus on her boisterous personality, and insatiable thirst. These caricatures follow Burgess’s own writing about his first wife in his autobiographies, but they offer little insight into her complex, and often contradictory, personality. The library at the Burgess […]

The Burgess Foundation archive contains several diaries kept by Burgess between 1952 and 1974. These have a combination of personal entries, shopping lists, notes towards the writing of novels and records of finances. At the end of the diary for 1958, there are a series of limericks written by Burgess and his wife Lynne in […]