Julian Maclaren-Ross (1912-64), that quintessential literary bohemian, claimed to dislike writing letters, yet he produced an unexpectedly large and engaging body of them, spanning his entire literary career. Besides illuminating his relationships with publishers, editors and radio producers, not to mention fellow writers such as Anthony Powell, his letters offer a fascinating insight into the literary milieu of that halcyon period when John Lehmann and Cyril Connolly wielded such influence.
Like his previously published writings, his letters are wide-ranging in tone and subject matter. They can be formal, gossipy, observant, irreverent and amusing. Unlike the work for which he is celebrated, though, they can also be paranoid, irascible and disturbing in their monomanical intensity. Nowhere is this more evident in the fascinating correspondence that chronicles his dangerous obsession with George Orwell's glamorous widow, Sonia. Suffice to say that Maclaren-Ross's SELECTED LETTERS are every bit as distinctive as the man himself.
Julian Maclaren-Ross (1912-64) was born in London, the youngest child of a Cuban father and an Anglo-Indian mother, and grew up in Britain and on the French Riviera. He worked as a door-to-door vacuum-cleaner salesman before being conscripted into the army from which he later deserted.Having been discharged from the army after a traumatic spell in a psychiatric hospital, he found a job working with Dylan Thomas as a screenwriter. Invariably clad in dark glasses and an imaculate suit, augmented by a malacca cane and silver snuff-box, he soon established himself as a pivotal figure in wartime...
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