During the five years of the terminal illness of Dame Iris Murdoch, her husband John Bayley kept a commonplace book of writings which inspired him, which made him think more profoundly and which gave him courage in his darkest moment....
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During the five years of the terminal illness of Dame Iris Murdoch, her husband John Bayley kept a commonplace book of writings which inspired him, which made him think more profoundly and which gave him courage in his darkest moment. This commonplace book forms the basis for this anthology which Bayley accompanies with his own moving and entertaining commentary.
"John Bayley is a man who has spent a lifetime sampling books and libraries, as an epicure tastes fine wines. Bayley's Hand Luggage is his annotated compilation of those passages of poetry and prose which have meant the most to him on his journey through life." "Now in his mid-seventies, the distinguished critic looks back on a life in which reading has been his predominant occupation. In an extensive essay, prefaced to his personal selection of short extracts culled from a wide range of novels, letters, diaries, memoirs and poetry, Bayley considers the ways in which books have always been the essential items of luggage that have travelled with him. He remembers favourite books of childhood, the formative reading of his adolescent years and his academic interest in the works of Henry James, Leo Tolstoy and A. E. Housman. He also considers the ways in which books can alleviate low spirits in times of adversity, and includes the poetry which he found comforting during the final illness of his wife, Iris Murdoch."--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
John Bayley is former Thomas Warton Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford & the author of books on Tolstoy, Hardy, & Housman. He has also written several novels, & last year published a memoir, Elegy for Iris.