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C. P. Taylor (Cecil Philip Taylor) Biography

(1927–82), (Cecil Philip Taylor), Allergy, Bread and Butter, The Black and White Minstrels

British dramatist, born in Glasgow of Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, educated in the same city. He worked as an electrician, a television engineer, and a salesman before writing a series of plays which, though written from a broadly socialist stance, were notable for their gentle mockery of moral and political attitudinizing, as well as their warmth of characterization. Among them were Allergy (1966), Bread and Butter (1966), and The Black and White Minstrels (1972). His later work included And a Nightingale Sang (1979), a nostalgic comedy set in wartime Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Good (1981), probably his finest work, concerns Halder, a German writer and academic of the 1930s; maddened by his senile mother, he publishes a novel sympathetic to euthanasia, whereupon he finds himself courted by Nazis in search of intellectual respectability. He is persuaded to exercise his ‘humane’ scruples first in a subnormality hospital, then in a concentration camp, and ends up a functionary at Auschwitz, having successfully convinced himself that the Jews have brought their sufferings on themselves. Throughout his abbreviated career Taylor was unusually prolific, and wrote many television plays, as well as an adaptation of Sternheim's Schippel (1974).

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Sir Rabindranath Tagore Biography to James Thomson Biography