Exploring the music referenced in the brand new Irwell Edition of Anthony Burgess’s This Man and Music. This Man and Music, Anthony Burgess’s reflections on music, literature and autobiography, references a varied selection of music from the expected, such as Beethoven and Mozart, through the modernist influences on Burgess’s own music such as Stravinsky and […]

Christine Lee Gengaro writes about editing Anthony Burgess’s This Man and Music, the latest release in the The Irwell Edition of the Works of Anthony Burgess. Anthony Burgess’s This Man and Music must be one of the author’s most oft-quoted books. As a non-fiction work about music and literature, it is a fertile source of […]

The latest title to appear in the Irwell Edition is This Man and Music. This Man and Music blends musical autobiography and literary analysis to create a hybrid book which reveals much about Anthony Burgess’s creative process and cultural obsessions. Best known as a writer of fiction, Burgess also devoted much of his time to musical […]

Born in 1917, Anthony Burgess would have celebrated his 103rd birthday on 25 February 2020. But what did he think the twenty-first century would be like? It is possible to offer an answer to this question, thanks to a newly-discovered document from the archive. Back in the mists of 1984, the year when Anthony Burgess […]

Our new exhibition, Anthony Burgess in Rome 1970-1975, explores the vibrant intellectual landscape of the city, which inspired Anthony Burgess to create some of his most ambitious fiction and music. Liana Burgess, née Macellari, had spent time in Rome during the 1950s and had already met some of the artists and writers who were to dominate the […]

In this edition of the podcast, Andrew Biswell and Graham Foster discuss Burgess’s experience of Rome, from his two novels Beard’s Roman Women and ABBA ABBA, to his engagement with Italian culture and the circle of artists and writers he associated with during his time living in the Eternal City.

Anthony Burgess’s time in Rome was one of the most productive periods in his creative life. With his wife Liana and son Andrea, he lived in an apartment on the Piazza di Santa Cecilia in the Trastevere district of Rome, and in a house in the lakeside town of Bracciano outside the city. Burgess wrote […]

If Beard’s Roman Women is an odd book, ABBA ABBA, the other half of Burgess’s reaction to his time in Italy in the 1970s, is perhaps even odder still. The book is divided into two sections: Part One is a short historical novel of sorts, while Part Two consists mainly of poems translated into English […]

ABBA ABBA is one of Anthony Burgess’s most inventive works, blending historical fiction, poetry and translation into a novel which celebrates John Keats and the sonnet form. Set in Rome during the winter of 1820-21, the first part of ABBA ABBA recounts Keats’s final weeks and his eventual death from tuberculosis in a house on […]

Beard’s Roman Women is an odd book. The title, changed by the American publisher from Rome in the Rain, seems to suggest a historical novel, set in the Roman Empire. The text is partnered with strange photographs of ghostly Roman monuments, reflected in puddles and in glass. The story is clearly autobiographical yet is told […]