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D. J. Taylor - Author

About the Author

D.J. Taylor was born in Norwich in 1960. He is a novelist, critic and acclaimed biographer, whose Orwell: The Life won the Whitbread Biography prize in 2003. His most recent books are Kept: A Victorian Mystery (a Publishers Weekly Book of the Year), Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940, and the novels Ask Alice and At the Chime of a City Clock.

Featured books by D. J. Taylor

The Windsor Faction

The Windsor Faction

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/07/2014

Terrific . (Daily Mail). Tremendous . (Guardian). Page-turning . (The Times). Gripping . (Daily Telegraph). Autumn 1939. In an alternative world, where Edward VIII still sits on the throne, storm clouds gather over Europe, German troops amass and a 'King's Party' of fascist peace campaigners is stealthily undermining the war effort. For Cynthia Kirkpatrick, the war brings a new-found freedom - lunchtime drinks at the Ritz, rented attic rooms, late-night rackety parties and intriguing new acquaintances. But two new friends loom larger than others, her glamorous colleague Anthea and Tyler, an enigmatic American working at the Embassy. Initially Cynthia is dazzled by them both but soon discovers they have secrets which could prove dangerous, both to her and the country at large.

Derby Day

Derby Day

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/06/2011

As the shadows lengthen over the June grass, all England is heading for Epsom Downs - high life and low life, society beauties and Whitechapel street girls, bookmakers and gypsies, hawkers and acrobats, punters and thieves. Whole families stream along the Surrey back-roads, towards the greatest race of the year. Hopes are high, nerves are taut, hats are tossed in the air - this is Derby Day. For months people have been waiting and plotting for this day. Even in dark November, when the wind whistles through the foggy London courts, the alehouses and gentlemen's clubs echo to the sound of disputed odds. In Belgrave Square old Mr Gresham is baffled by his tigerish daughter Rebecca, whose intentions he cannot fathom. In the clubs of St James' rakish Mr Happerton plays billiards with his crony Captain Raff, while in darkest Lincolnshire sad Mr Davenant broods over his financial embarrassments and waits for his daughter's new governess. Across the channel the veteran burglar Mr Pardew is packing his bags to return, to the consternation of the stalwart detective Captain McTurk. Everywhere money jingles and plans are laid. Uniting them all is the champion horse Tiberius, on whose performance half a dozen destinies depend.

Other books by D. J. Taylor

The New Book of Snobs A Definitive Guide to Modern Snobbery

The New Book of Snobs A Definitive Guide to Modern Snobbery

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/2017

'Hugely enjoyable' AN Wilson, Sunday Times 'Thoughtful, entertaining and enjoyable' Michael Gove, Book of the Week, The Times Inspired by William Makepeace Thackeray, the first great analyst of snobbery, and his trail-blazing The Book of Snobs (1848), D. J. Taylor brings us a field guide to the modern snob. Short of calling someone a racist or a paedophile, one of the worst charges you can lay at anybody's door in the early twenty-first century is to suggest that they happen to be a snob. But what constitutes snobbishness? Who are the snobs and where are they to be found? Are you a snob? Am I? What are the distinguishing marks? Snobbery is, in fact, one of the keys to contemporary British life, as vital to the backstreet family on benefits as the proprietor of the grandest stately home, and an essential element of their view of who of they are and what the world might be thought to owe them. The New Book of Snobs will take a marked interest in language, the vocabulary of snobbery - as exemplified in the 'U' and 'Non U' controversy of the 1950s - being a particular field in which the phenomenon consistently makes its presence felt, and alternate social analysis with sketches of groups and individuals on the Thackerayan principle. Prepare to meet the Political Snob, the City Snob, the Technology Snob, the Property Snob, the Rural Snob, the Literary Snob, the Working-class Snob, the Sporting Snob, the Popular Cultural Snob and the Food Snob.

The Prose Factory Literary Life in Britain Since 1918

The Prose Factory Literary Life in Britain Since 1918

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/01/2017

`An entertaining history of literary life' Nicholas Shakespeare, Daily Telegraph Spanning a century of literary history, from the pitched battles fought between Eliot-era modernists and Georgian traditionalists to the impact of creative writing degrees and the media don of today and taking in `star reviewers', sniping critics, caballing editors and megalomaniac professors along the way, The Prose Factory explores the myriad influences on English literary life in the past century and the way in which they have shaped our preferences. `An amazing achievement' David Lodge `A pleasingly gossipy history of literary life in England since 1918...very enjoyable' Observer `Elegantly written, defiantly intelligent, scrupulously researched and richly enjoyable' Mail on Sunday

The New Book of Snobs A Definitive Guide to Modern Snobbery

The New Book of Snobs A Definitive Guide to Modern Snobbery

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/10/2016

'Hugely enjoyable' AN Wilson, Sunday Times 'Thoughtful, entertaining and enjoyable' Michael Gove, Book of the Week, The Times Inspired by William Makepeace Thackeray, the first great analyst of snobbery, and his trail-blazing The Book of Snobs (1848), D. J. Taylor brings us a field guide to the modern snob. Short of calling someone a racist or a paedophile, one of the worst charges you can lay at anybody's door in the early twenty-first century is to suggest that they happen to be a snob. But what constitutes snobbishness? Who are the snobs and where are they to be found? Are you a snob? Am I? What are the distinguishing marks? Snobbery is, in fact, one of the keys to contemporary British life, as vital to the backstreet family on benefits as the proprietor of the grandest stately home, and an essential element of their view of who of they are and what the world might be thought to owe them. The New Book of Snobs will take a marked interest in language, the vocabulary of snobbery - as exemplified in the 'U' and 'Non U' controversy of the 1950s - being a particular field in which the phenomenon consistently makes its presence felt, and alternate social analysis with sketches of groups and individuals on the Thackerayan principle. Prepare to meet the Political Snob, the City Snob, the Technology Snob, the Property Snob, the Rural Snob, the Literary Snob, the Working-class Snob, the Sporting Snob, the Popular Cultural Snob and the Food Snob.

The Windsor Faction

The Windsor Faction

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/07/2014

Terrific . (Daily Mail). Tremendous . (Guardian). Page-turning . (The Times). Gripping . (Daily Telegraph). Autumn 1939. In an alternative world, where Edward VIII still sits on the throne, storm clouds gather over Europe, German troops amass and a 'King's Party' of fascist peace campaigners is stealthily undermining the war effort. For Cynthia Kirkpatrick, the war brings a new-found freedom - lunchtime drinks at the Ritz, rented attic rooms, late-night rackety parties and intriguing new acquaintances. But two new friends loom larger than others, her glamorous colleague Anthea and Tyler, an enigmatic American working at the Embassy. Initially Cynthia is dazzled by them both but soon discovers they have secrets which could prove dangerous, both to her and the country at large.

The Windsor Faction A Novel

The Windsor Faction A Novel

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/09/2013

Derby Day A Victorian Mystery

Derby Day A Victorian Mystery

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/05/2012

It's Derby Day and all of England is heading for the Epsom Downs. Society beauties rub shoulders with Whitechapel street girls, as every class of society gathers with high hopes and taut nerves for the greatest race of the year. All through winter, from London to France, plans have been laid, money exchanged, disputes begun. And uniting the destinies of old Mr Gresham and his tigerish daughter, the rakish Mr Happerton and his crony Captain Raff, brooding Mr Davenant, Mr Pardew the burglar and detective Captain McTurk is the champion horse Tiberius. In this rich and exuberant novel, rife with the idioms of Victorian England, the mysteries pile high, propelling us towards the day of the great race, and we wait with bated breath as the story gallops to a finish that no one expects. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2011.

Derby Day

Derby Day

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: eBook Release Date: 03/04/2012

Nominated for the Man Booker Prize, an exquisite tale of romance and rivalry, gambling and greed, from one of England's finest writersAs the shadows lengthen over the June grass, all England is heading for Epsom Downhigh life and low life, society beauties and Whitechapel street girls, bookmakers and gypsies, hawkers and thieves. Hopes are high, nerves are taut, hats are tossed in the airthis is Derby Day.For months people have been waiting and plotting for this day. Everyone's eyes are on champion horse Tiberius, on whose performance half a dozen destinies depend. In this rich and exuberant novel, rife with the idioms of Victorian England, the mysteries pile high, propelling us toward the day of the great race, and we wait with bated breath as the story gallops to a finish that no one expects.

Derby Day

Derby Day

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: eBook Release Date: 01/04/2012

As the shadows lengthen over the June grass, all of England is heading for Epsom Down-high life and low life, society beauties and Whitechapel street girls, bookmakers and gypsies, hawkers and thieves. Hopes are high, nerves are taut, hats are tossed in the air-this is Derby Day. For months people have been waiting and plotting for this day. Everyone's eyes are on champion horse Tiberius, on whose performance half a dozen destinies depend. In this rich and exuberant novel, rife with the idioms of Victorian England, the mysteries pile high, propelling us toward the day of the great race, and we wait with bated breath as the story gallops to a finish that no one expects.

At the Chime of a City Clock

At the Chime of a City Clock

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/03/2011

Summer 1931 in seedy Bayswater and James Ross is on his uppers. An aspiring writer whose stories nobody will buy ('It's the slump'), with a landlady harassing him for unpaid rent and occasional sleepless nights spent in the waiting room at King's Cross Station, he is reduced to selling carpet-cleaning lotion door-to-door. His prospects brighten when he meets the glamorous Suzi ('the red hair and the tight jumper weren't a false card: she really was a looker and no mistake'), but their relationship turns out to be a source of increasing bafflement. Who is her boss, the mysterious Mr Rasmussen - whose face bears a startling resemblance to one of the portraits in Police News - and why he so interested in the abandoned premises above the Cornhill jeweller's shop? Worse, mysterious Mr Haversham from West End Central is starting to take an interest in his affairs. With a brief to keep an eye on Schmiegelow, James finds himself staying incognito at a grand Society weekend at a country house in Sussex, where the truth - about Suzi and her devious employer - comes as an unexpected shock. Set against a backdrop of the 1931 financial crisis and the abandonment of the Gold Standard, acted out in shabby bed-sitters and Lyons tea-shops, At the Chime of a City Clock is an authentic slice of Thirties comedy-noir. Praise for Kept: A Victorian Mystery: 'Very entertaining and well done, with a sharp appreciation for the details' The Times 'An ingenious tale of madness, murder and deception.' The Guardian 'A stylish page-turner ... all done with humour and cunning.' Sunday Telegraph

Ask Alice

Ask Alice

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2010

Glamorous Alice Keach is one of 1930s London's foremost hostesses. Despite humble American origins, she has secured her place in high society through marriage to one of England's wealthiest bachelors. But Alice has a secret. Its roots run years back, and miles away, to the dust-blasted prairies of Kansas. It corncerns a lost little boy left under the haphazard guidance of an eccentric uncle. Now, a visit from America looks set to blow apart Alice's glittering pre-eminence forever.

Bright Young People The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940

Bright Young People The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/10/2008

Bright Young People/ Making the most of our youth/ They talk in the Press of our social success/ But quite the reverse is the truth. [Noel Coward] The Bright Young People were one of the most extraordinary youth cults in British history. A pleasure-seeking band of bohemian party-givers and blue-blooded socialites, they romped through the 1920s gossip columns. Evelyn Waugh dramatised their antics in Vile Bodies and many of them, such as Anthony Powell, Nancy Mitford,Cecil Beaton and John Betjeman, later became household names. Their dealings with the media foreshadowed our modern celebrity culture and even today,we can detect their influence in our cultural life. But the quest for pleasure came at a price. Beneath the parties and practical jokes was a tormented generation, brought up in the shadow of war, whose relationships - with their parents and with each other - were prone to fracture. For many, their progress through the 'serious' Thirties, when the age of parties was over and another war hung over the horizon, led only to drink, drugs and disappointment, and in the case of Elizabeth Ponsonby - whose story forms a central strand of this book - to a family torn apart by tragedy. Moving from the Great War to the Blitz, Bright Young People is both a chronicle of England's 'lost generation' of the Jazz Age, and a panoramic portrait of a world that could accommodate both dizzying success and paralysing failure. Drawing on the writings and reminiscences of the Bright Young People themselves, D.J. Taylor has produced an enthralling social and cultural history, a definitive portrait of a vanished age.

Returning Three Novels by D.J. Taylor

Returning Three Novels by D.J. Taylor

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/04/2007

Kept A Victorian Mystery

Kept A Victorian Mystery

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/02/2007

A stuffed bear, a pet mouse, fraud and felony on the streets of London, and strange goings-on in the fens... Full of suspense and teeming with life, Kept is a Victorian mystery about the curious things men do to get - and keep - what they want. August 1863. Henry Ireland, a failed landowner, dies unexpectedly in a riding accident, and his young widow disappears. Three years later his friend James Dixey, a celebrated naturalist, is found dead on his grounds with his throat torn out. Are these deaths connected? What has happened to Mrs Ireland? And what are the sinister bonds that link these men to the poaching of osprey eggs in Scotland, the doomned romance of Dixey's kitchen maid and the first Great Train Robbery?

On The Corinthian Spirit The Decline of Amateurism in Sport

On The Corinthian Spirit The Decline of Amateurism in Sport

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/05/2006

In January 1929, before 20,000 spectators, Norwich City of the Third Division South went down 0-5 in the third round of the FA Cup to an amateur side composed of ex-public school boys who disdained professional tactics in favour of instinct and teamwork. Within a decade, the Corinthians, the club that for forty years had supplied the entire English national side, had all but ceased to exist. The world was changing. By the time of the last 'Gentleman vs. Players' cricket match in 1962 a whole era in English sport had come to an end. But the passing of amateur sportsmen - footballers, cricketers, golfers, tennis players - had implications beyond the playing field. A century ago 'amateur' was a compliment to someone who played a game simply for love of it. A hundred years later it is a byword for cack-handed incompetence. In this brilliant study of the patterns of sporting and cultural life, D J Taylor examines the process that led to professionalism's triumph and the long rearguard action fought by sportsmen - and literature - on amateurism's behalf. On the Corinthian Spirit has many heroes - from 'Charlie Bam', the legendary Corinthian defender, who once played a game with a broken leg, to the boys' school story hero Strickland of the Sixth, Old Etonian cricket-lover George Orwell and the 14th Norwich Cub Scout XI of the early 1970s. Drawing on his own experiences of 'amateurism', D J Taylor describes a changing moral universe with profound consequences both for sport and the world beyond it.

Egypt

Egypt

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/05/2005

Orwell The Life

Orwell The Life

Author: D. J. Taylor Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/03/2004

Orwell has become one of the most potent and symbolic figures in western political thought. Even the adjective 'Orwellian' is now a byword for a particular way of thinking about life, literature and language yet, despite this iconic status, the man who was born Eric Blair in 1903 remains an enigma. Drawing on a mass of previously unseen material, D J Taylor offers a strikingly human portrait of the writer too often embalmed as a secular saint. Here is a man who, for all his outward unworldliness, effectively stage-managed his own life; who combined chilling detachment with warmth and gentleness, disillusionment with hope; who battled through illness to produce two of the greatest masterpieces of the twentieth century. Moving and revealing, Taylor's Orwell is the biography we have all been waiting for, as vibrant, powerful and resonant as its extraordinary hero.

Author Info

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http://www.djtaylorwriter.co.uk/

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