Anthony Powell - Books Do Furnish a Room

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Joining John and Andy for this live Christmas special recorded at the London Review Bookshop are Hilary Spurling, one of this country’s most respected biographers and literary editors, whose books have won multiple awards including the 2005 Whitbread Book of the Year for Matisse the Master, the second volume of her life of the artist. She is also the official biographer of the novelist Anthony Powell, and her Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time was published to universal acclaim last year. Hilary is also the author of Invitation to the Dance, a handbook for readers of the 12-volume novel sequence that the author himself described as a ‘master-key’. She is joined by Philip Hensher, the novelist and critic. Philip’s novel The Northern Clemency was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2008 and Scenes from Early Life won the Ondaatje Prize in 2013. Earlier this year Penguin released The Penguin Book of the Contemporary Book of the British Short Story edited by Philip and 4th Estate released his latest novel, The Friendly Ones, described by The Times as ‘the book you should give someone who thinks they don’t like novels.’ Hilary and Philip are here to talk to about Books Do Furnish a Room, the tenth novel in Anthony Powell’s magnificent roman fleuve A Dance to the Music of Time, this volume first published by Heinemann in 1971.

Books mentioned:

Hilary Spurling - Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time; An Invitation to the Dance: A Handbook to A Dance to the Music of Time; Matisse the Master; The Girl From the Fiction Department: A Portrait of Sonia Orwell
Philip Hensher - The Northern Clemency; Scenes from Early Life; The Penguin Book of the Contemporary Book of the British Short Story; The Friendly Ones.
Anthony Powell - Books Do Furnish A Room; A Dance to the Music of Time: Volume 4
Marcel Proust - In Search of Lost Time


Other links:

Anthony Powell on Desert Island Discs
Powell on The Anatomy of Melacholy discussed in the New Yorker
John Peel on Desert Island Discs
Anthony Powell’s house in The World of Interiors
The Anthony Powell Society on Twitter