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 […]

John Osborne’s 1956 play Look Back in Anger inspired the term ‘angry young men’ to describe a group of writers whose uncompromising and accessible works reflected a disillusionment with British society in the post-war period. Their world was run-down and meagre, and its protagonists were trapped in unfulfilled lives, resenting authority figures whose pretentiousness was […]

2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the first release of Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of A Clockwork Orange and 60 years since Anthony Burgess completed his most famous novel. To celebrate the anniversary, we present an online series called The Clockwork Collection, with a focus on A Clockwork Orange. Each month, we’ll be sharing a […]

Clockwork Controversy: Myth: Anthony Burgess wrote A Clockwork Orange in only three weeks. Fact: Burgess composed his novel over a period of more than 18 months, during which time he visited Russia, devised a new slang, and crafted the book very carefully. It is a complex and intricate work, which continues to be read all […]

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 […]

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. In his article ‘Why I Wrote Earthly Powers’, Anthony Burgess explains that the original title of the novel was The Prince of the […]

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 […]

The Burgess Foundation’s library of books by Anthony Burgess is extremely large. It includes almost every edition of his 33 novels and 25 books of non-fiction ever published in English. It also includes the majority of the foreign editions of his work. As this library of books is so large, rare books often lie hidden […]

This copy of Frank Herbert’s Dune dates from 1966, when Anthony Burgess reviewed it for the Observer. He was impressed by the scope of the book and by the calibre of Herbert’s literary creation. The review displays a wide knowledge of science-fiction conventions. Dune is set on Arrakis, a desert planet on which humans mine […]