There seems to be a widespread assumption, often repeated on social media, that Anthony Burgess was a political conservative whose novels promote a right-wing agenda. Although Burgess sometimes claimed to take no interest in party politics, his position turns out to be a more complicated one than expected. Looking into his novels, autobiographical works and […]

Here at the Burgess Foundation, we are immersed in the world of Anthony Burgess. We revel in finding out small details about his life and career, we scour the archive for previously unknown facts and we have dedicated ourselves to bringing previously unpublished writing into print. We sometimes forget that, because of the sheer number […]

The second in our series of Dystopian Dialogues is a conversation with Nathan Waddell from the University of Birmingham about George Orwell, Anthony Burgess and dystopia. Burgess was strongly influenced by Orwell, and in his book 1985 he places Nineteen Eighty-Four in the context of a ravaged post-war Britain. He writes: ‘You saw the effects […]

In our latest article for the Inside The Archive blog series, we consider the extensive collection of poems by Anthony Burgess in the Manchester archive. Anthony Burgess never lost his early passion for poetry and continued to experiment and engage with this literary form throughout his career. In the new edition of Burgess’s Collected Poems […]

In 2020, the Burgess Foundation was on the point of launching a new archive volunteer programme. The closure of our building due to the pandemic meant that we had to suspend all on-site activities. We explored options for working remotely with volunteers and, by October, we were ready to begin a remote transcription project with […]

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. Anthony Burgess lived and worked in the Federation of Malaya between 1954 and 1957. He was a witness to the brutal civil war […]

When Anthony Burgess moved to Malaya, he needed to learn the language. Take a look at the books that helped his studies, and find out how we’re preserving those books. On 5 August 1954, Burgess set sail from Southampton with his first wife, Lynne, and their cat, Lalage, ready to begin a new life as […]

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Anthony Burgess’s Earthly Powers, we look at Burgess’s attitude towards Somerset Maugham. When Anthony Burgess began his career as a novelist, inspired by his experience of teaching English in colonial Malaya, his goal was to become a sort of Somerset Maugham figure. In particular, he wanted to emulate Maugham’s […]

Sir Vidia Naipaul, who has died at the age of 85, was one of the foremost English-language writers of the late twentieth century. A novelist, memoirist and travel writer, he scoured the globe in search of resonant stories, which he told in a variety of different narrative forms. Born into an Indian family at Chaguanas […]

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, […]