Having grown up without television in a house with shelves and shelves of books in almost every room, it is not surprising that as a boy reading was my principal window on the world and has remained so throughout life.
While very young, tales of adventure and exploration, from the nineteenth century Boys Own Annual to the Lord of the Rings, greatly influenced my unformed outlook on life. In acquiring a taste for literature, however, I consider that the works of Gide, Cocteau, W S Burroughs and Wilde, which I read and reread in my late teens and early twenties, to have been the most important.
At twenty three I began my university studies in the School of Human Communication, part of the university's arts faculty, and broadened my knowledge of world literature, more as a result of having access to an outstanding library than through the guidance of my tutors. As it transpired my own reading was to prove so diverting that it took over six years to complete my three year degree course, time which was spent, in my view, very well.
My reading always has been directed by chasing the books enjoyed by authors I like and, more recently, by reading works recommended by others or discussed in books such as "United States, Essays 1952-1992" by Gore Vidal and "The Western Canon" by Harold Bloom. The latter, particularly, lead me back into the classics of literature, many of which have given me enormous pleasure.
I have given some thought to providing a reading list of favourites for anyone who may have arrived thus far, but wonder at the usefulness to anyone of a long list which may commence at Aristophanes, Seutonius, Martial and Petronius, include Shakespeare, Marlowe and Jonson, wind by way of Defoe, Dickens, Tolstoy and Proust, and on and on before concluding in the vicinity of Genet and Vidal.
Accordingly, I decided to provide instead a list of authors whose works, while perhaps lesser known, may prove worthwhile discoveries for those who, like myself, enjoy an amble from the well travelled path.
Willian Bartram (18th century) Richard Spruce (19th century) Alfred Russell Wallace (19th century) Restif de la Bretonne (18th century) Yves Navarre (20th century) James Hogg (19th century) Frederick Rolfe (Edwardian) Alan Hollinghurst (contemporary) Thornton Wilder (20th century) Frederic Prokosch (20th century) Dawn Powell (20th century) Martin Boyd (20th century) Mikhail Bulgakov (20th century)
Richard Spruce (19th century)
Alfred Russell Wallace (19th century)
Restif de la Bretonne (18th century)
Yves Navarre (20th century)
James Hogg (19th century)
Frederick Rolfe (Edwardian)
Alan Hollinghurst (contemporary)
Thornton Wilder (20th century)
Frederic Prokosch (20th century)
Dawn Powell (20th century)
Martin Boyd (20th century)
Mikhail Bulgakov (20th century)
It's unimaginable that anyone who has succeded in finding and reading this page will require guidance to search further information on these authors. Their works are availble in print through Abebooks or ebooks from Zlibrary if not obtainable through your usual sources.
I would be most grateful to receive email from other readers who may wish to recommend works for my own reading or who may have any questions or comments to make regarding this page. Email me at: moss33 (the squiggley thing) airmail.cc Thank you for visiting.