Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Life
The long-awaited portrait of a literary master from one of our generation's greatest biographers, author of the definitive and acclaimed Matisse: The LifeAnthony Powell: the literary genius who gave us A Dance to the Music of Time, an undisputed classic of English literature. Spanning twelve spectacular volumes and written over twenty-five years, his comic masterpiece teems with idiosyncratic characters, capturing twentieth century Britain through war and peace.Drawing on Powell's letters and journals, and the memories of those who knew him, Hilary Spurling explores his life. Investigating the friends, relations, lovers, acquaintances, fools and geniuses who surrounded him, she reveals the comical and tragic events that inspired one of the greatest fictions of the age.
[An] excellent and vivid biography... exemplary and deliciously readable * The Guardian * One of our generation's greatest biographers * London Review Bookshop * Meticulous... Where Spurling excels is in her punchy analyses of his novels and her understanding of the writer's life * The Financial Times * Spurling has triumphed...A compelling portrait of a lost Englishman * The Observer * This is a fine biography by a writer who knew Powell well, and who understands how writers think * The Spectator * Witty, spirited, richly crowded with incident and character, and a joy to read * Prospect * An accomplished biography of a great writer * Tatler * Spurling has brought him to humane and generous life * The Daily Telegraph * A sharp, graceful writer who has immersed herself in the territory... wonderfully vivid * The Mail on Sunday * An accomplished biographer... her pen portraits are deft and vivid... brisk and bold in her evaluation of a character or retelling of an incident. Her comments on Powell's writing are always illuminating * The New Statesman * Publisher's description. A biography of the comic writer Anthony Powell, author of the million-word masterpiece A Dance to the Music of Time, from renowned British biographer Hilary Spurling. An insightful and surprising look into what drove the writer widely regarded as the English Proust. * Penguin *
Hilary Spurling is the author of numerous biographies, including Ivy When Young: The Early Life of Ivy Compton-Burnett 1884-1919; Paul Scott: A Life; a two-volume biography of Matisse, The Unknown Matisse and Matisse the Master (also published in the abridged single-volume Matisse: The Life); and Burying the Bones. She won the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize and the Duff Cooper Prize for Ivy When Young, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award for Matisse the Master, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Burying the Bones. She grew up in Bristol and studied at the University of Oxford. From 1964 to 1970 she was Theatre Critic and Literary Editor of the Spectator, and since then she has been a regular book reviewer for the Observer and the Daily Telegraph. In 2016 she won the Biographers' Club Lifetime Achievement Award.