James Fenton was born in Lincoln in 1949 and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford where he won the Newdigate Prize for poetry. He has worked as political journalist, drama critic, book reviewer, war correspondent, foreign correspondent and columnist. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was Oxford Professor of Poetry for the period 1994-99. In 2007, James Fenton was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.
Poems is an essential selection by, as Stephen Spender put it, 'a brilliant poet of technical virtuosity'. Don't talk to me of love. I've had an earful And I get tearful when I've downed a drink or two. I'm one of your talking wounded. I'm a hostage. I'm maroonded. But I'm in Paris with you. From In Paris With You by James Fenton. Winner of both the Queen's Gold Medal and the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, the author has given readers some of the most memorable lyric verse of the past decades, from the formal skill that marked his debut, Terminal Moraine, to the dramatic and political monologues of The Memory of War and Children in Exile.
After a lifetime of reading books on chivalry, Don Quixote decides to embark on a quest of his own. Taking up a lance and sword, he sets out to become a wandering knight, defending the helpless and vanquishing the wicked. Hopelessly unprepared and increasingly losing his grip on reality, he travels across Spain accompanied by his faithful and equally ill-suited squire, each calamitous adventure widening the gap between reality and the romantic ideal of Quixote's books. Cervantes' comic novel is widely regarded as one of the foundation stones of modern fiction. James Fenton's stage adaptation of Don Quixote marks the 400th anniversary of Cervantes' death. It premiered at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, with the Royal Shakespeare Company in March 2016. This playtext contains song lyrics by James Fenton. The music was composed by Grant Olding.
Winner of both the Queen's Gold Medal and the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, James Fenton has given readers some of the most memorable lyric verse of the past decades, from the formal skill that marked his debut, Terminal Moraine, to the dramatic and political monologues of The Memory of War and Children in Exile, through to the unforgettable love poems of Out of Danger and his most recent work: Poems is an essential selection by, as Stephen Spender put it, 'a brilliant poet of technical virtuosity'. Don't talk to me of love. I've had an earful And I get tearful when I've downed a drink or two. I'm one of your talking wounded. I'm a hostage. I'm maroonded. But I'm in Paris with you. From 'In Paris With You' by James Fenton
In the aftermath of the massacre of a clan, an epic story of self-sacrifice and revenge unfolds as a young orphan discovers the shattering truth behind his childhood. Sometimes referred to as the Chinese Hamlet and tracing its origins to the 4th century BC, The Orphan of Zhao was the first Chinese play to be translated in the West. James Fenton's adaptation of The Orphan of Zhao premiered with the RSC at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2012.
The Forgotten Army consists of the letters, photos and sketches of a soldier fighting the Japanese in Burma that were sent home to the author's parents in Lancashire. Call-up documents, medical certificate, service pay book, discharge papers, letter index, family tree, news cuttings, leaflets, and 440 letters spanning military service in the army at home, India, Burma and Malaya. Copies of sketches, illustrations, photographs and paintings have been placed with original letters where reference is made. Sketches of the attack on Myitson, and copies of illustrations printed in the magazine Soldier, are the only drawings of wartime actions that have survived. Original portraits in watercolour, pictorial scenes and photographs, have been exhibited at various venues, a larger number have never been on show. In additions to the letters sent to his family, many more were written to his brother Harry serving with the Royal Corps of Signals. Strict censorship regulations on leaving England prohibited the disclosure of troop ships, military activities, locations and place names, or information that may be of value to an enemy. Hostile encounters with Japanese forces during the Burma campaign were not allowed to be repeated until the closing days of the war. The last of the author's experiences as a soldier serving in uniform is related to letters to his wife. This is a continuous account of military service during World War 2, from the very first day in the army, to the last.
James Fenton (1820-1901) was born in Ireland and emigrated to Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen's Land) with his family in 1833. He became a pioneer settler in an area on the Forth River and published this history of the island in 1884. The book begins with the discovery of the island in 1642 and concludes with the deaths of some significant public figures in the colony in 1884. The establishment of the colony on the island, and the involvement of convicts in its building, is documented. A chapter on the native aborigines gives a fascinating insight into the attitudes of the colonising people, and a detailed account of the removal of the native Tasmanians to Flinders Island, in an effort to separate them from the colonists. The book also contains portraits of some aboriginal people, as well as a glossary of their language.
In this light-hearted essay, James Fenton describes a hundred plants he would choose to grow from seed. Flowers for colour, size, or exotic interest; herbs and meadow flowers; climbing vines and tropical species - Here is a happy, stylish, thought-provoking exercise in good principles, which exudes that rare thing: common-or-garden sense about gardens. 'A small book, yes, but how it grows in your mind after you put it down. It is a book about propagating plants from seeds, but it is also a book about love, for when you love you start from scratch.' Jamaica Kincaid
In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to some of the greatest poets of our literature. A painter, poet and engraver William Blake (1757-1827) was born in London. Poetical Sketches, his first volume of poetry, was published in 1783 and was followed by several of his best known works: Songs of Innocence (1789), The Book of Thel (1789), The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-93), Songs of Experience (1794) and Jerusalem (1804-20).
Reportage resists easy definition and comes in many forms - travel essay, narrative history, autobiography - but at its finest it reveals hidden truths about people and events that have shaped the world we know. This new series, hailed as 'a wonderful idea' by Don DeLillo, both restores to print and introduces for the first time some of the greatest works of the genre. A visceral, on-the-spot, and unforgettable account of the fall of Saigon, war-ravaged Cambodia, and the Philippines in the midst of revolution from James Fenton, the right man in the wrong place in dangerous times.
James Fenton's An Introduction to English Poetry offers a master class for both the reader and writer of poetry. Simply and elegantly written and discussing the work of poets as wide ranging as W. H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, Tennyson, Kipling, Milton and Blake, it covers all varieties of poetic practice in English. 'It is hard to imagine a beginner who could not learn from [this book]. If you know a young poet, give them this' The Times Literary Supplement