Survival Tactics : A Literary Life

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1999-06-01
  • Publisher: Peter Owen Ltd
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These memoirs by novelist and historian Peter Vansittart chart his literary course from schooldays to the present as author of over forty highly praised works of fiction and non-fiction.
He begins with an evocation of his English childhood and his early eclectic reading - including Baroness Orczy, Buchan, Dickens and A.E.W. Mason - then discusses the writers who later fascinated him, both renowned and arcane. He reflects on his friendships with V.S. Pritchett, Stephen Spender, Arnold Toynbee, Elias Canetti, Angus Wilson and Marghanita Laski. There are glimpses, too, of encounters with Anthony Burgess, George Orwell, A.L. Rowse, Kenneth Tynan, Alan Ross and L.H. Myers, and adventures with an assortment of bohemian poets, writers and artists, eccentric publishers, schoolmasters and sundry others.
His distinctive and personal preoccupations with literature, history and art are illumined against a background of the General Strike, Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin, the Second World War and subsequent social and political changes - and, of course, developments within literature and language itself - offering a unique and revealing insight into the workings of a writer's mind.

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