Jeremy Lewis

Docile Young Man

The Angry Years: A Literary Chronicle


Robson Books 216pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

‘I think it possible that you may be a man of genius,’ Victor Gollancz told the 23-year-old Colin Wilson shortly after he had agreed to publish his first and most famous book, The Outsider. Heady stuff, one might think, but young Wilson took it in his stride. The son of a factory worker, he had arrived in London from Leicester four years earlier, in 1951, determined to make his way as a writer, and when he showed some chapters from a novel to the poet and editor Bill Hopkins, he was greeted with a cry of ‘You are a man of genius! Welcome to our ranks!’ ‘I was pleased but, to tell the truth, not especially flattered, for I had taken it for granted that I was a man of genius since I was about thirteen,’ Wilson recalls in this entertaining if melancholy survey of the merits and demerits of his literary generation.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,