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Frederic Raphael (Frederic Michael Raphael) Biography

(1931– ), (Frederic Michael Raphael), The Limits of Love, A Wild Surmise, The Trouble with England

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American novelist, born in Chicago, educated St John's College, Cambridge; he has lived chiefly in England as a fulltime writer. His early novels include The Limits of Love (1960) and A Wild Surmise (1961), which display the moral and psychological concern with relations between the individual and a larger community that pervades his writing. The Trouble with England (1962) and The Graduate Wife (1962) are understated satires ironically invoking British middle-class values. Lindmann (1963) won widespread acclaim for its narrative of a British civil servant seeking to atone for his treatment of Jewish refugees during the Second World War. Individuals constrained by moral dilemmas inherent in their social and cultural circumstances feature prominently in his work of the 1970s, which includes Like Men Betrayed (1970) and California Time (1975), the latter reflecting his familiarity with the motion picture industry; his screenplays include Darling (1965) and Far from the Madding Crowd (1967). Among his subsequent novels are Richard's Things (1973), an elegiac study of transience and loss; The Glittering Prizes (1976), tracing the fortunes of a group of Cambridge graduates, which was successfully serialized for television; and A Double Life (1993), a psychologically acute account of a retired French diplomat taking stock of his life. Other novels by Raphael include The Earlsdon Way (1958), Orchestra and Beginners (1967), Heaven and Earth (1985) and Old Scores (1995). Sleeps Six (1979) and The Latin Lover (1994) are collections of short stories. Notable among his numerous works as a translator is Aeschylus (1991), the two-volume edition of the plays he produced with Kenneth McLeish.

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