Anthony Burgess

1917 (Manchester) – 1993 (London)

Opinions vary greatly as to Burgess’ importance as a writer, but his books and personality made an undoubted impact, most widely through Kubrick’s controversial film A Clockwork Orange (which Burgess was ambivalent about). Burroughs, visited twice in Tangier, was a friend and drinking partner, Heller an academic colleague, Vidal a friend and fellow-gadfly. Greene, interviewed by Burgess, accused him of putting words in his mouth. Kubrick commissioned a script for an unrealised film about Napoleon, while Welles commissioned a libretto (Burgess always saw himself as a composer) for an unstaged musical about Houdini, with Welles improbably in the lead part.

Anthony Burgess knew…