Anarchy in the UK, the legends of the 1970s, and C.J. Driver’s ‘A Messiah of the Last Days’

Time Out’s cover after the verdicts in the 5-month 1972 ‘Angry Brigade’ trial ‘Viewed from a distance, Britain in the 1970s looks ghastly—angry, decaying, on the skids. But that is not the whole story.’ The Economist‘s 2010 review of State of Emergency: The Way We Were. Britain, 1970–1974 by Dominic Sandbrook. ‘In England it’s a…

Patricia Hollis’s ‘Jennie Lee’, the mantle of Nye, and how (or how not) to be a Junior Minister

Jennie Lee addressing busmen in Trafalgar Square, 1937 JENNIE LEE: A Life by Patricia Hollis Faber Finds paperback & ebook Enoch Powell took the view that all political careers end in failure (‘because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.’) One could argue, and on the same grounds, that most political careers…

David Stacton & Tom Fool: the political novel, the American landscape, & the pursuit of lost causes

TOM FOOL by David Stacton Paperback / ebook Our current moment is not, by anyone’s estimation, a great time for politics and politicians. Even if polling suggests that most British people find their local MP to be, at worst, just about OK, the general level of public regard for our elected representatives seems to be…

The art of coming to a bad end: Paul Strathern’s fictional imagining of Arthur Rimbaud in Africa

Rimbaud as depicted by Henri Fantin-Latour in his ‘The Corner of the Table’ (1872) A Season in Abyssinia: An impersonation of Arthur Rimbaud By Paul Strathern Now in Finds paperback and ebook It’s the only true story I know of in which adolescent bookishness attains the apogee of cool. The date is November 15 1869,…

Sir Wilson Harris: a lifetime’s achievement honoured by the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

A portrait of Sir Wilson Harris by Guido Villa Sir Wilson Harris, whose oeuvre we now offer entirely within Faber Finds, has been awarded a new distinction: the lifetime achievement prize of the Cleveland Foundation’s Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards in the US, which recognises literature that confronts racism and examines diversity. This year’s jury was headed…

How I Came to Write The Simple Life

‘The story of C. R. Ashbee’s exodus from London in search of an idyllic way of working in the countryside became the subject of my first book, The Simple Life.’ Acclaimed biographer Fiona MacCarthy explains how she came to document an intriguing experiment in utopian social engineering. Fiona MacCarthy writes … I remember my own…

‘With a voluptuous fluttering’: Mozart and Freud meet again, in Brigid Brophy’s ‘Snow Ball’

We have just proudly completed our reissuing of a select set of works by Brigid Brophy, with her exquisite 1968 monograph on Aubrey Beardsley, Black and White. Beardsley was one of Brophy’s heroes/touchstones – and belonged, as such, in a super-elite group. No appreciation of Brophy’s fiction could be complete without reference to her passionate…

Of how ‘bloodthirsty Saul’ came to see the light: ‘The Implacable Hunter’ by Gerald Kersh

Somewhat in the manner of P.G. Wodehouse’s male codfish ‘which, suddenly finding itself the parent of three million five hundred thousand little codfish, cheerfully resolves to love them all’ , we have no favouritism when it comes to the great array of works of high distinction on the Finds list. That said, there are, inevitably,…

‘Good Evening…’: The suspense of what happened when Alfred Hitchcock met Celia Fremlin

We were just talking – weren’t we (see passim)? – about the tremendous riches offered by crime fiction as source material for the suspense/thriller/chiller series that abounded on television from the 1950s through to the 1980s. (The tradition has limped on, sure, but to nowhere near the same extent.) Where these series enjoyed a celebrity…