This book, Burgess's 14th novel (and the 2nd published in 1964, 2 years after "A Clockwork Orange"), is described as 'an act of homage to William Shakespeare in the year of his quatercentenary', and attempts to answer certain questions about the dramatist's love life, as well as the relationship of this love life to his work. Possible answers are provided in a tale covering the period 1570-1590, and the book is described as 'worthy of an author ... now known from San Francisco to Tokyo, and ... not unworthy of its hero.'
John Anthony Burgess Wilson, FRSL (1917–1993) – pen name Anthony Burgess – was an English writer and composer. From relatively modest beginnings in a Catholic family in Manchester, he became one of the best known English literary figures of the latter half of the 20th century.
Although predominantly a comic writer, his dystopian satire "A Clockwork Orange" (1962) remains his best known title. In 1971 it was adapted into a highly controversial film by Stanley Kubrick, which Burgess said was chiefly responsible for the popularity of the book. Other novels include the 'Enderby' quartet, and "Earthly Powers", widely regarded as his greatest novel. He also wrote librettos and screenplays, worked as a literary critic for several publications, including The Observer and The Guardian, and wrote studies of classic writers, notably James Joyce. A versatile linguist, Burgess lectured in phonetics, and translated "Cyrano de Bergerac", "Oedipus Rex" and the opera "Carmen", among others. Burgess also composed over 250 musical works; he sometimes claimed to consider himself as much a composer as an author, although he enjoyed considerably more success with his writing.
Our copy is in almost immaculate condition, with an equally perfect dust jacket (unclipped). Bound in a mid-blue cloth, with gilt titles etc on the spine, it shows no external signs of wear or use whatsoever. There is, however, some quite severe foxing to the top edge of the text block, with some very minor evidence on the long edge also, and some very slight 'bleeding' to the affected edges of the pages. Inside, however, the binding is firm, all pages clean and bright, and the author's own gift inscription adorns the front fep. A very nice copy indeed.