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, […]