Looking back on the life and work of Llewela Jones (1920-1968). Anthony Burgess’s first wife, born Llewela Jones and later known as Lynne, would have celebrated her 100th birthday on 24 November 2020. Many readers are familiar with the portrait of her given by Burgess in his two volumes of autobiography, Little Wilson and Big […]

To celebrate the post-lockdown reopening of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, based in Anthony Burgess’s birth city of Manchester, we take a look at Burgess’s identity as a Mancunian. Anthony Burgess was born and educated in Manchester. His formative years in the city awakened in him a life-long love of literature, music, drama, and learning. […]

Near the beginning of Honey for the Bears, Anthony Burgess’s 1963 novel set in Leningrad, there is a reference to the Cambridge spies: ‘Not everything you do has to be political. Like those diplomats that went over that time. For all anybody knows they might have gone over because of their stomachs. In Russia, nobody […]

Our Inside The Archive blog series casts new light onto the Burgess Foundation’s collections. In this post, we take a leaf from Anthony Burgess’s notebooks. Fourteen of Anthony Burgess’s diaries and notebooks survive in the collections at the Burgess Foundation, containing fragmentary but intriguing manuscript material dating from 1940 to 1977. Burgess was not an […]

It’s one thing to collate an archive collection: it’s another thing to preserve it. We explore some newly conserved books in our archive. Preserving and safeguarding the collection of books, archival records and objects belonging to Anthony Burgess is at the heart of the Burgess Foundation’s mission, and all those who access, manage and use […]

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 […]