Only by Failure (Salt Modern Lives Series)

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9781844710041: Only by Failure (Salt Modern Lives Series)

Only By Failure is a biography of Terence Gray. He was an Irish aristocrat who in the Twenties became an Egyptologist and historian, writing books of short plays based on Ancient Egypt and the early history of Ireland. He co-founded the Cambridge Festival Theatre in 1926 and followed the inspiration of Gordon Craig. Actors there included Maurice Evans, Robert Donat, Flora Robson and Jessica Tandy. Ninette de Valois (Gray's cousin) began her career there. In 1933 Gray's interest in the theatre ended and he moved to France, to become Wei Wu Wei and he wrote eight books in his own style of Zen Buddhism.

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About the Author:

Paul Cornwell taught in primary education for almost forty years. His book Creative Playmaking in the Primary School was published by Chatto and Windus in 1970 and he wrote a chapter for Drama in Education 2 (Pitman, 1973). Articles on English teaching and reviews have appeared in The Use of English, Language for Learning (Exeter), Pirandello Studies and Teachers World. A recent book on Britten and the Cambridge Connection is in the Britten-Pears Library. Educated at the Perse School, Cambridge, he has a Diploma (Cambridge) and M.Ed (Leicester).

Review:

Absolutely invaluable for anyone interested in theatre of the inter-war period. The family background and detailing of Gray's struggles at school, and his sudden prowess as an Egyptologist, are not without interest or relevance, and nor is his transformation in later life into Wei Wu Wei, a distinguished Zen Buddhist. -- Steve Nicholson English Studies XIV Modern Literature Paul Cornwell's full-length and readable biography is a very welcome arrival. -- Steve Nicholson English Studies XIV Modern Literature Anglo-Irish plutocrat, the owner of Zarathustra, the horse that won the Gold Cup at Ascot in 1956, a recognized yet mysterious figure on that account in the Kildare Club and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, a sage who now has international fame under the name Wei Wu Wei, one of the leading lights of the theatre over in Britain under the name Terence Gray, a person who was half-forgotten in Ireland and in Britain until a biography was published last year under the marvellous title "Only by Failure: the Many Faces of the Impossible Life of Terence Gray". -- Gabriel Rosenstock The Irish Times

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Cornwell, Paul
Published by Salt Publishing (2004)
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Paul Cornwell
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