Byron Rogers is the author of two highly praised biographies of singular, indeed maverick, literary figures – the novelist J.L. Carr and the poet R.S. Thomas – acclaimed respectively as a classic and a masterpiece.
OK, perhaps you’ve never heard of Byron Rogers, he was/is a journalist, getting on a bit now, old school, an inspired raconteur, incapable of writing a dull word and attracting the eccentric and strange like a magnet. I’m so confident that you’ll love this; I’ve recommended two of his backlist titles below and when you get truly hooked you’ll find more on Abebooks! (Look especially for An Audience with an Elephant: And Other Encounters on the Eccentric Side). Like for Like Reading:The Green Lane to Nowhere by Byron Rogers
'A fine biography...Rogers has done a wonderful job' Daily Telegraph J. L. Carr was the most English of Englishmen: headmaster of a Northamptonshire school, cricket enthusiast and campaigner for the conservation of country churches. But he was also the author of half a dozen utterly unique novels, including his masterpiece, A Month in the Country, and a publisher of some of the most eccentric - and smallest - books ever printed. Byron Roger's acclaimed biography reveals an elusive, quixotic and civic-minded individual with an unswerving sympathy for the underdog, who led his schoolchildren through the streets to hymn the beauty of the cherry trees and paved his garden path with the printing plates for his hand-drawn maps, and whose fiction is quite remarkably autobiographical. Much more than the life of a thoroughly decent man, The Last Englishman is a comic and touching anatomy of the best kind of Englishness. 'Conveying the significance of the author of Carr's Dictionary of Extraordinary Cricketers to anyone unfamiliar with his books, or what may now fairly be called his myth, was always going to be difficult. Somehow, Roger's has managed it' D. J. Taylor, Sunday Times 'A great success, and more life-affirming than F. R. Leavis's entire output' Independent on Sunday
Byron Rogers looks back over his life as a Welshman in this part historical, part biographical volume.
Lucy died at 9.25 a.m. on Tuesday, 8 December 2009. My wife and I had known this would happen, in the sense we had known it would happen sometime, for she was old and had become very deaf. What nothing had prepared us for, what nothing could have prepared us for, was the effect it would have on us as we found ourselves locked into the full Victorian choreography of grief. In our time death has been taken out of direct personal experience; it occurs off-stage, among strangers, a staff nurse intoning on the phone, I think youd better come, but theres no need to hurry, that coded instruction we all get in time, so confusing when we first hear it, so bleak after. But with Lucy there were no hospital visits, no hanging onto the clipped asides of doctors, and there was not even the shuffling factory line of cremation; this was the old emotional round, familiar only from novels now, of bedside vigil, of being there at the actual moment of death, then of burial, followed dear God, it embarrasses me to find myself writing this of talking to the grave under the ash tree. Lucy was my dog.