Julian Symons here presents a unique view of the 1930s. Rejecting the standard historical line, he instead examines the decade as an artistic movement using sources as diverse as the 'Communist Daily Worker' and the 'Fascist Action', together with a wealth of contemporary prose and poetry. His sympathetic treatment of the material allows a picture of the hopes and aspirations of Britain’s young artists to emerge, and through this, he poignantly reveals their wilful belief that the social difficulties of the time were necessary as a herald of society’s glorious rebirth.
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Julian Symons is primarily remembered as a master of the art of crime writing. However, in his eighty-two years he produced an enormously varied body of work. Social and military history, biography and criticism were all subjects he touched upon with remarkable success, and he held a distinguished reputation in each field. His novels were consistently highly individual and expertly crafted, raising him above other crime writers of his day. It is for this that he was awarded various prizes, and, in 1982, named as Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America - an honour accorded to only three other English writers before him: Graham Greene, Eric Ambler and Daphne Du Maurier. He succeeded Agatha Christie as the president of Britain's Detection Club, a position he held from 1976 to 1985, and in 1990 he was awarded the Cartier Diamond Dagger from the British Crime Writers for his lifetime's achievement in crime fiction. Symons died in 1994.Review:
‘A brilliant fragment, cool and compassionate' (The Guardian)
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