Robert Bolt: Scenes from Two Lives

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9780099736516: Robert Bolt: Scenes from Two Lives

A biography of the playwright Robert Bolt, author of "A Man For All Seasons" and the screenplays for "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Dr Zhivago". The book recounts his career, and also his turbulent marriage to Sarah Miles, his friendship with David Lean, and the stroke which left him paralyzed.

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After serving in the RAF during World War II, studying at Manchester University and teaching, Robert Bolt became a playwright, first for BBC Radio, then for the stage. He found fame with A Man For All Seasons, and though writing only seven produced screenplays earned a global reputation as a screenwriter. His films include Lawrence of Arabia, Dr Zhivago, Ryan's Daughter and The Mission.

Adrian Turner has studied film and television archives, interviewed many of those who knew Robert Bolt, and been granted unprecedented access to hundreds of letters written by his subject. He has drawn upon his sources with the impartiality of a good historian, seamlessly interpolating the letters and interviews into an narrative which is at once psychological study, family saga, social history, and portrait of the workings of the theatrical and film worlds. The accounts of unproduced plays and films are as absorbing as those of the West End and Hollywood successes. Bolt's struggle to write again after a stroke in 1979 is recounted with an unsentimental clarity, and is the more moving for it. This impressively comprehensive, scrupulously even-handed and impeccably documented biography is both an engrossing read and a valuable document of a significant modern writer. --Gary S. Dalkin

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