Obscenity & the Arts began in an oblong room, the engine-house of a former mill, situated within an area once dubbed ‘Little Ireland’, surrounded as we were, by Anthony Burgess’s furniture. Indelible images of twentieth century criminality blazed large on a screen at the very end of the room. An articulate and astute Mark Blacklock […]

Reading Ulysses by James Joyce was perhaps the first time that Anthony Burgess had experienced forbidden literature. He first read Ulysses as a school boy, though his recollections of the event are inconsistent. In Little Wilson and Big God, he claims a teacher ‘had brought it back from illiberal Nazi Germany in the two-volume Odyssey […]

‘The history of England, from the time of the Roman occupation until twenty years ago, has been about the insistence of a very insular people on cutting itself off from that huge and dangerous continent that lies to its east and is separated by a mere twenty miles of sea’ (Anthony Burgess, ‘England in Europe’, […]

A few months after Anthony Burgess had moved to Malta in November 1968, his personal library was inspected by officials of the Postmaster General’s Office in Valletta. Malta’s strict laws against the vilification of religion, obscenity and immorality meant that a number of Burgess’s books were confiscated and destroyed. The official documents relating to the […]

  In 1968, Anthony Burgess sold his properties in Chiswick and Etchingham and moved to Malta. The journey to his new home was undertaken by road, in a Bedford Dormobile driven by his new wife, Liana. As they drove south across Europe, Burgess sat in the back of the motor-caravan with his typewriter. Later he […]

Burgess was always courteous and kind; the fact we enjoyed each other’s writing helped a great deal. When Burgess’s early novels of what were later called The Malayan Trilogy were published, I had only recently returned from that exotic region myself. Not only were Time for a Tiger and the others extremely funny, Burgess showed […]

The archive at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation contains a box full of house keys, some of which date back as far as 1968. These keys are accompanied by a hand drawn chart that indicates the uses for several of the keys, and allows us to trace for which of his houses Burgess used them. […]

One of my favourite authors, the delightfully chaotic Anthony Burgess, bought a splendid old house in Lija, the village next to ours. With his lively second wife and their small son, he had now moved to Malta where, like me, he was enjoying the escape from city pressure. But there was one big difference between […]