The Journals: Volume II: 1966-1990
The second and concluding volume of John Fowles’s eloquent, revelatory journals, the first of which was widely greeted as a literary landmark (“The book is gripping, and one can’t help feeling that Fowles was writing—with a dogged passion, and almost inadvertently—what may come to be seen as one of the very best of his works” —Literary Review). Commencing in 1966, after the author had already achieved international renown with the publications of The Collector and The Magus, these journals chart the rewards and struggles of Fowles’s continuing career and the inner life of the often-reluctant celebrity.Bravely forthright and honest, Fowles writes in his journals about the attention and wealth that accrued to him with each new book—among them The French Lieutenant’s Woman in 1969 (a film version of which was released to international acclaim in 1981), The Ebony Tower in 1974, Daniel Martin in 1977, A Maggot in 1985—and about his deep ambivalence toward his growing fame. He chronicles his move from London to a remote house on England’s Dorset coast near the town of Lyme Regis, the increasingly isolated life he cultivated there, his disenchantment with what he saw as an unrelenting materialism at the center of contemporary society, and his unwillingness to adopt a public persona for his readers and fans. He describes the strains that grew between him and his wife, Elizabeth, and tells about the challenges—illness, depression, loss—of the passing years. But he describes, as well, the pleasure he found in his ten-year post as curator of the small Lyme Regis historical museum, and the great solace he took in gardening, in books, and in his impassioned study of the flora, fauna, and fossils of the countryside around his home. Fiercely candid, and as ardent, gripping, and beautifully written as his novels, Fowles’s journals illuminate the complex life and mind of one of the most important writers of our time.