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Frank Swinnerton Biography

(1884–1982), The Merry Heart, The Happy Family, Nocturne, Young Felix, Harvest Comedy, Death of a Highbrow

British novelist and critic, born in London. After leaving school at the age of 14 he worked as an office boy, and eventually became an editor at Chatto and Windus. Early novels, such as The Merry Heart (1909) or The Happy Family (1912), emulated the Edwardian world of A. Bennett, whom he admired, but with Nocturne (1917) he achieved critical acclaim. A prolific writer, his subsequent novels included Young Felix (1923), Harvest Comedy (1937), and Death of a Highbrow (1961). Among his non-fiction works were biographies of George Gissing (1912), R. L. Stevenson (1914), and Arnold Bennett: A Last Word (1978). As literary critic of Truth and Nation, the Evening News, and the Observer he was a central figure in London literary circles; The Georgian Literary Scene (1934) provided an interesting account of the period, as did his autobiographies, Swinnerton: An Autobiography (1937) and Reflections from a Village (1969).

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: St Juliot Cornwall to Rabindranath Tagore Biography