JOHN FOWLES IS now a famous and sometimes controversial novelist; this first volume of his journals deals with his years of decided unsuccess until, already in his late thirties, he published his first novel, The Collector. The temptation is to turn straight away to the details of success, but it should be resisted. This large and sometimes difficult book holds great rewards for those who persevere.
Born in 1926, John Fowles came from a solid middleclass family and his early life followed the anticipated course: preparatory, then public school, the Royal Marines at the end of the War, and Oxford. But already there were some interesting variations. He was Head Boy of his school, a capable