John Osborne

John Osborne

The Many Lives of the Angry Young Man

Book - 2007
Rate this:
John Osborne, unapologetic rebel and original Angry Young Man, first won acclaim with the 1956 production of his play Look Back in Anger, which completely transformed postwar theater and established him as one of Britain's greatest playwrights. This startling biography--the first informed by the secret notebooks in which he recorded his otherwise hidden anguish and immobilizing depression--reveals Osborne in all his heartrending complexity.
Osborne was born in rented rooms in South London, in 1929, to a tubercular father and a barmaid mother. An ailing child, he learned to box and was later expelled from school for hitting his headmaster. At fifteen, he began as a lowly journalist for Gas World but soon fled to join a repertory theater company. The craft he learned--as an actor and dramatist--would change his life, creating the means of both self-expression and self-concealment. Through five marriages--to actresses Pamela Lane, Mary Ure and Jill Bennett, and critics Penelope Gilliatt and Helen Dawson--his private life generated its own tumult and drama, farce and pathos. An impossible father, he denounced his teenage daughter as smug and suburban, threw her out of the house and never spoke to her again. When he died, on Christmas Eve, 1994, his last written words were I have sinned.
This impeccably researched biography includes personal interviews with Osborne's estranged daughter, scores of friends and enemies, and a bombshell of a confession from his alleged male lover. Heilpern, a theater critic himself, presents a contradictory genius--a hopelessly romantic English melancholic, a defiant individualist neither of the right nor of the left, an ogre with charm, a radical who hated change, a patriot who defended national values of language, music and custom. This is an essential, unorthodox, moving and extraordinarily frank portrait of the artist, the man and his times.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A.Knopf, 2007.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780375403156
0375403159
Branch Call Number: B OSBORNE JOHN
Characteristics: xv, 527 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at SLPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top