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Coastwise Lights

Alan Ross
Date Published
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This, the second volume of Alan Ross’s autobiography, deals with his postwar life as cricket correspondent, publisher, man of letters and racehorse owner. The narrative is richly peopled: Johnny Minton, Keith Vaughan, Agatha Christie, Gavin Maxwell, Wilfred Thesiger, Cyril Connolly, T. C. Worsley , William Plomer, Terence Rattigan, William Sansom are just some who are memorably characterized.

William Boyd has written of Alan Ross, ‘He was the opposite of parochial, his interests were wide and not elitist, his enthusiasms were carefully hedonistic. He was a very fine writer of prose – his two volumes of memoirs are small classics – and his poetry is limpid and evocative.’ As a beguiling bonus, each chapter of Coastwise Lights is eked out with a small and apt selection of his poems.

The first autobiographical volume, Blindfold Games, is also available in Faber Finds as will be many other of his titles.

‘A true celebration of friendship and talent as well as the sports – football, cricket, horse-racing – which have engaged him in the last four decades.’ Philip Oakes, New Statesman

‘His obvious affection for the friends who flit through this beautifully written sketchbook is masked by a writer’s curiosity and detached amusement.’ Euan Cameron, Independent

‘A fascinating history of metropolitan literary life from the end of the war.’ Chris Peachment, The Times


Alan Ross (1922-2001) was a poet, writer, journalist, editor and publisher. In fact, he was a man of letters par excellence. Born in India, educated in England, he joined the Royal Navy in the Second World War and endured the Arctic convoys to Russia. Alan Ross took over The London Magazine (the definite article was later dropped) from John Lehmann…

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