Penelope Fitzgerald The Knox Brothers

ISBN 13: 9780007118304

The Knox Brothers

3.94 avg rating
( 64 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780007118304: The Knox Brothers

Penelope Fitzgerald's biography of her remarkable family. 'When I was very young I took my uncles for granted, and it never occurred to me that everyone else in the world was not like them.' In this, only her second book, Penelope Fitzgerald turned her novelist's gaze on the quite extraordinary lives of her father and his three brothers. A masterly work of biography, within which we see Penelope Fitzgerald exercising her pen magnificently before she began her novel-writing career. Edmund Knox, her father, was one of the most successful editors of Punch. Dillwyn, a Cambridge Greek scholar, was the first to crack the Nazi's message decoding system, Enigma, and in so doing, is estimated to have shortened the Second World War by six months. Wilfred became an Anglo-Catholic priest and an active welfare worker in the East End of London. Ronald, the best known of the four during his lifetime, was Roman Catholic chaplain to Oxford University's student body, preacher, wit, scholar, crime-writer and translator of the Bible. A homage to a long-forgotten world and a fascinating account of the generation straddling the divide between late Victorian and Edwardian.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Penelope Fitzgerald's novels expertly map the unquiet heart. But so, too, do her three biographies, all of which mingle truth and tact, wit and documentary power. The Knox Brothers, first published in 1977, is suffused with rich, right strangeness and sad delight. Fitzgerald begins her group portrait of her father and three uncles a few generations back, establishing on the Knox side a tradition of religious fervor, dominant fathers, and invalid mothers. The Frenches were equally ecclesiastical but not so dour, her great-grandfather Thomas perhaps the most extraordinary of the lot: he ended his days wandering through Arabia preaching Christ's love. (In the end, "agents of the Sultan, who deeply respected the strange old fakir, were deputed to keep watch over him, but they could do nothing when they found him insensible, still with a book in his hand.")

We would gladly spend more time among these ancients, but this is the story of four sons--two of them agnostic, the other two deeply religious--born to Edmund and Ellen Knox between 1881 and 1886. Edmund George Valpy, Fitzgerald's father, would go on to edit Punch under the sobriquet Evoe. Alfred Dillwyn was first a classical scholar and then a world-class cryptographer. Wilfred Lawrence was concerned above all with poverty and inequity and made his life as an Anglo-Catholic priest. And, lastly, Ronald Arbuthnott, too, devoted his life to God, causing great familial distress by converting to Catholicism. (As a young boy, he would perform funeral rites for dead birds while sporting his sister Ethel's "pinafore for a surplice.") Raised in an era in which Anglicanism and Empire held sway, the brothers were blessed with a bright beginning in Leicestershire:

All the children were so happy there that in later years they could cure themselves of sleeplessness simply by imagining that they were back at Kibworth.... They were completely safe in the large nursery at the top of the back stairs, looking down into the kitchen garden, where in memory it was always summer, with the victoria plums ripening on the south wall. Their father mounted his stout horse, Doctor, to set off on his parish visits, and their dearly loved mother waved from an upper window.
This is only one beautiful passage among many in The Knox Brothers, and very characteristic as it weaves between sharp description and never-never-land nostalgia. Alas, it also points forward to irreparable change. First their father was granted a larger, less bucolic diocese in industrial Birmingham, and next their mother died too soon, in 1892.

The Knox Brothers is as acute as it is affectionate. Whether Fitzgerald is describing "slumbrous" turn-of-the-century Oxford or an infinitely more advanced Cambridge circa 1903--or Ronnie's 1951 private audience with the Pope, during which these men of the cloth mostly discussed the Loch Ness monster--she effortlessly evokes vanished worlds. She can also paint an entire relationship in a short space. As Dilly lay dying, his wife "nursed him devotedly. These two people had loved each other for twenty years without being able to make each other happy. They would have given the world, now they were at the point of separation, to understand one another." There is everything to savor in such scenes, so revealing of character and (perhaps) class. All four brothers, even as they grew into their separate visions, never lost their love for one another, and worked their wild talents as hard as was humanly possible. About the only enigma these intellectuals and devoted practical jokers could never resolve--and Penelope Fitzgerald makes us wonder if any of us can--was "an inner struggle between reason and emotion, and between emotion and the obligation not to show it." --Kerry Fried

About the Author:

Penelope Fitzgerald was one of the most elegant and distinctive voices in British fiction. Three of her novels, The Bookshop, The Beginning of Spring and The Gate of Angels have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She won the Prize in 1979 for Offshore. Her last novel, The Blue Flower, was the most admired novel of 1995, chosen no fewer than nineteen times in the press as the 'Book of the Year'. It won America's National Book Critics' Circle Award. She died in April 2000, at the age of eighty-three.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 22.00
US$ 10.77

Convert Currency

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Penelope Fitzgerald
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom (2002)
ISBN 10: 0007118309 ISBN 13: 9780007118304
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Penelope Fitzgerald s biography of her remarkable family. When I was very young I took my uncles for granted, and it never occurred to me that everyone else in the world was not like them. In this, only her second book, Penelope Fitzgerald turned her novelist s gaze on the quite extraordinary lives of her father and his three brothers. A masterly work of biography, within which we see Penelope Fitzgerald exercising her pen magnificently before she began her novel-writing career. Edmund Knox, her father, was one of the most successful editors of Punch. Dillwyn, a Cambridge Greek scholar, was the first to crack the Nazi s message decoding system, Enigma, and in so doing, is estimated to have shortened the Second World War by six months. Wilfred became an Anglo-Catholic priest and an active welfare worker in the East End of London. Ronald, the best known of the four during his lifetime, was Roman Catholic chaplain to Oxford University s student body, preacher, wit, scholar, crime-writer and translator of the Bible. A homage to a long-forgotten world and a fascinating account of the generation straddling the divide between late Victorian and Edwardian. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007118304

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.77
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Penelope Fitzgerald
ISBN 10: 0007118309 ISBN 13: 9780007118304
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97800071183040000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.78
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Penelope Fitzgerald
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom (2002)
ISBN 10: 0007118309 ISBN 13: 9780007118304
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Penelope Fitzgerald s biography of her remarkable family. When I was very young I took my uncles for granted, and it never occurred to me that everyone else in the world was not like them. In this, only her second book, Penelope Fitzgerald turned her novelist s gaze on the quite extraordinary lives of her father and his three brothers. A masterly work of biography, within which we see Penelope Fitzgerald exercising her pen magnificently before she began her novel-writing career. Edmund Knox, her father, was one of the most successful editors of Punch. Dillwyn, a Cambridge Greek scholar, was the first to crack the Nazi s message decoding system, Enigma, and in so doing, is estimated to have shortened the Second World War by six months. Wilfred became an Anglo-Catholic priest and an active welfare worker in the East End of London. Ronald, the best known of the four during his lifetime, was Roman Catholic chaplain to Oxford University s student body, preacher, wit, scholar, crime-writer and translator of the Bible. A homage to a long-forgotten world and a fascinating account of the generation straddling the divide between late Victorian and Edwardian. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007118304

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.06
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Penelope Fitzgerald, Richard Holmes
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN 10: 0007118309 ISBN 13: 9780007118304
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Knox Brothers, Penelope Fitzgerald, Richard Holmes, Penelope Fitzgerald's biography of her remarkable family. 'When I was very young I took my uncles for granted, and it never occurred to me that everyone else in the world was not like them.' In this, only her second book, Penelope Fitzgerald turned her novelist's gaze on the quite extraordinary lives of her father and his three brothers. A masterly work of biography, within which we see Penelope Fitzgerald exercising her pen magnificently before she began her novel-writing career. Edmund Knox, her father, was one of the most successful editors of Punch. Dillwyn, a Cambridge Greek scholar, was the first to crack the Nazi's message decoding system, Enigma, and in so doing, is estimated to have shortened the Second World War by six months. Wilfred became an Anglo-Catholic priest and an active welfare worker in the East End of London. Ronald, the best known of the four during his lifetime, was Roman Catholic chaplain to Oxford University's student body, preacher, wit, scholar, crime-writer and translator of the Bible. A homage to a long-forgotten world and a fascinating account of the generation straddling the divide between late Victorian and Edwardian. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007118304

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 7.41
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.70
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Penelope Fitzgerald
Published by Flamingo
ISBN 10: 0007118309 ISBN 13: 9780007118304
New Softcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Kennys Bookstore
(Olney, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Flamingo. Book Condition: New. 2002. New Ed. Paperback. Penelope Fitzgerald's biography of her remarkable family. Num Pages: 320 pages, portraits. BIC Classification: BG; WQY. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 134 x 23. Weight in Grams: 242. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780007118304

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.48
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Penelope Fitzgerald
Published by Flamingo (2002)
ISBN 10: 0007118309 ISBN 13: 9780007118304
New Softcover Quantity Available: 2
Rating
[?]

Book Description Flamingo, 2002. Book Condition: New. 2002. New Ed. Paperback. Penelope Fitzgerald's biography of her remarkable family. Num Pages: 320 pages, portraits. BIC Classification: BG; WQY. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 134 x 23. Weight in Grams: 242. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780007118304

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 16.10
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From Ireland to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Penelope Fitzgerald
ISBN 10: 0007118309 ISBN 13: 9780007118304
New Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Speedy Hen LLC
(Sunrise, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0007118309. Bookseller Inventory # ST0007118309

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 16.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Penelope Fitzgerald
Published by Fourth Estate (2013)
ISBN 10: 0007118309 ISBN 13: 9780007118304
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Rating
[?]

Book Description Fourth Estate, 2013. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # GH9780007118304

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 12.70
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 5.02
From Germany to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Penelope Fitzgerald, Richard Holmes
ISBN 10: 0007118309 ISBN 13: 9780007118304
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; Penelope Fitzgerald's biography of her remarkable family. 'When I was very young I took my uncles for granted, and it never occurred to me that everyone else in the world was not like them.' In this, only her second book, Penelope Fitzgerald turned her novelist's gaze on the quite extraordinary live. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780007118304_rkm

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.34
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 5.01
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Penelope Fitzgerald
Published by HarperCollins Publishers 2002-01-14, London (2002)
ISBN 10: 0007118309 ISBN 13: 9780007118304
New paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers 2002-01-14, London, 2002. paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 9780007118304

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 12.96
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 5.83
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book