Jonathan Keates Biography
(1946– ), The Companion Guide to the Shakespeare Country, Historic London, Allegro Postillions, The Strangers' Gallery
British novelist, travel writer, and biographer, born in Paris, educated at Magdalen College, Oxford. His early works as a topographical writer include The Companion Guide to the Shakespeare Country (1979) and Historic London (with Angelo Hornak, 1979). He received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Hawthornden Prize for Allegro Postillions (1983), a collection of four stories set in nineteenth-century Italy, which also provides the background for his novel The Strangers' Gallery (1987); his fiction is highly regarded for its stylistic elegance, psychological authenticity, and rich historical allusiveness. Handel: The Man and His Music (1985) ranks among the finest biographies of the composer. His other works include Tuscany (with Charlie Waite, 1988), Italian Journeys (1991), Strandhal (1994), Venice (1994), and Purcell (1995). Keates also writes regularly on music, art, and literature for the Observer, the Independent, and the Times Literary Supplement.