When the Going was Good by D J Taylor

D J Taylor

When the Going was Good


Anthony Thwaite died in April at the advanced age of ninety. I first met him over forty years ago, when, as a guest of the school literary society, he attended politely to some drivelling poem I had written. While we were never intimate friends, I certainly knew him well enough to be the butt of his highly ironical sense of humour. ‘The reason you’re so good at this, David,’ he once drily remarked as I stepped down from the platform at the King’s Lynn Fiction Festival, having just conducted some sparkling conversazione with, as it may have been, Beryl Bainbridge, ‘is that you lack modesty.’

The truly remarkable thing about Thwaite, who began his career back in the foothills of the early 1950s, was the number of jobs he managed to hold down. As well as writing reams of distinguished poems and editing his old friend Philip Larkin, he was a BBC producer, literary editor

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