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Written in the 1950s, the eight stories collected here are brilliantly of their time: the decade of rubber plants, espresso bars and skiffle, of Suez, Teddy Boys and Angry Young Men. With compassion and deadly accuracy, Angus Wilson charts the scandals and secrets of the respectable middle classes - Kennie, the Borstal Boy mascot of an intellectual clique; June Raven, an SW3 hostess who gets over-involved with one of her publisher-husband's authors; Lord Peacehaven, retired megalomaniac; Maurice Liebig, teenage pawn in a family feud; and the mad old man who finds the justice of God in a hen roost.
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One of Britain's most distinguished novelists Sir Angus Wilson was born in 1913. Educated at Westminster and Merton College, Oxford he joined the British Museum as a cataloguer before being called for service in 1941. His literary career began with a collection of short-stories published in 1949. These were followed by other short-story collections, novels and plays.
Co-founder with Malcolm Bradbury of the MA programme in creative writing at the University of East Anglia, Wilson was appointed professor in 1967. Chair of many literary panels, including the Booker prize, and campaigner for homosexual equality he was knighted in 1980. He died in 1991.
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