‘Maclaren-Ross is one of the great unsung heroes of the literary 1940s and at his best a figure to rank with Orwell, Waugh and Connolly.’ – D.J.Taylor, author of ‘Orwell: The Life’
No writer led such a bizarre and eventful a life as the once celebrated Soho dandy Julian Maclaren-Ross. In the course of 52 hectic years, he endured homelessness, alcoholism, drug addiction, failed marriages, imprisonment, recurrent legal action, and near-insanity, before his early death in 1964.
Enthusiastically endorsed by the likes of Graham Greene, Anthony Powell, Evelyn Waugh, and John Betjeman (who hailed him as a genius), Julian Maclaren-Ross was one of the leading writers of the 1940s. His world is dingy, down-at-heel; a world of smoke-veiled bars, rented lodgings, blacked-out streets, and wartime army garrisons, first-hand experience lending his work a frisson of authenticity. Whether narrated in the breathless, slangy voice of an uneducated soldier, or the clipped cadences of a colonial expat’, whether set on the French Riviera or wartime England, his stories are imprinted with his unmistakable literary logo, their tone casual, matter-of-fact and laconic, with characteristically caustic, humorous asides failing to conceal a melancholy that seeps through their hardboiled surfaces.
Paul Willetts is the author of Fear and Loathing in Fitzrovia, the much-praised life of Julian Maclaren-Ross, described by biographer Richard Holmes as ‘very striking, very strange and altogether fascinating’.
£9.99 softback, 256 pages, 152mm x 216mm, ISBN: 1-904587-17-8
Fear and Loathing in Fitzrovia
Paul Willett's critically acclaimed biography of Julian Maclaren-Ross
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