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Julian Mitchell Biography

(1935– ), Imaginary Toys, The White Father, The Undiscovered Country, Half-Life, The Enemy Within

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: McTeague to Nancy [Freeman] Mitford Biography

British novelist and playwright, born in Epping, Essex, educated at Wadham College, Oxford. His novels include Imaginary Toys (1961), The White Father (1964), and the more experimental The Undiscovered Country (1968), in which a narrator, ‘Julian Mitchell’, in an apparently straight autobiographical mode, tells the story of his school and university days, describing his relationship with a boyhood friend who, on his suicide, leaves him the manuscript of a novel he then proceeds to transcribe. Subsequently, Mitchell has turned his hand to television and stage drama, adapting the novels of Ivy Compton-Burnett for the theatre and producing original plays in Half-Life (1977), The Enemy Within (1980), and After Aida (1986), as well as the highly successful Another Country (1981), about the alienating effects of public school life on two intellectually gifted boys in the 1930s, and the transformation of one into a Marxist radical and of the other into a potential spy, akin to the late Guy Burgess.

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