Let’s rewind the clock to the 2017 world premiere of The World Was Once All Miracle, composer Raymond Yiu’s song cycle based on the works of Anthony Burgess. The BBC Philharmonic concert was hosted on 4 July 2017 by Manchester International Festival, and was part of a year-long celebration of the centenary of Burgess’s birth. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

In the archive of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation there is a file full of documents relating to the cars that Burgess owned from 1968 to 1989. The documents are in Burgess’s original name, John Burgess Wilson. The peculiar thing about this file is that Burgess could not drive. This fact provided the basis for […]

The photographic collections at the Anthony Burgess Foundation span Burgess’s entire life, from his Manchester childhood in the 1910s and 1920s, through his war years, to his latter years as an international man of letters. Perhaps the most evocative images are those taken in Malaya during the 1950s, when he worked as a school teacher […]

These pictures, dating from between 1955 and 1957, have recently been discovered in the Burgess Foundation’s archive. They show Burgess in front of his class at the Malayan Teachers’ Training College in Kota Bharu. The blackboard behind him shows that he is teaching phonetics. Remembering his time in Malaysia, Burgess writes, ‘I taught potential teachers […]

For me the beginning and the end of Burgess’s opus are represented by The Malayan Trilogy and Earthly Powers. Last things were one of his first and enduring concerns, though he never stinted on what went before. His first three novels, which comprise The Malayan Trilogy, are a hot, spicy curry; the ingredients include realism, […]

Five writers, some of whom knew him in person, explore Burgess’s life and reflect on their favourite Burgess works, exploring the extraordinary twentieth-century man of letters from different angles. The Essay: Burgess at 100 offers personal as well as critical insight into why he remains a literary figure of such importance. These essays look beyond […]