Looking Back: "Better Class of Person: An Autobiography, 1929-56", "Almost a Gentleman: An Autobiography, 1955-66": Never Explain, Never Apologise

Looking Back: "Better Class of Person: An Autobiography, 1929-56", "Almost a Gentleman: An Autobiography, 1955-66": Never Explain, Never Apologise

Paperback

By (author) John Osborne

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  • Publisher: FABER & FABER
  • Format: Paperback | 624 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 192mm x 52mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 12 June 1999
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0571196497
  • ISBN 13: 9780571196494
  • Illustrations note: 32pp b&w photographs
  • Sales rank: 691,263

Product description

e single-volume edition of Osborne's two autobiographical works, A Better Class of Person: 1929-1956 and Almost a Gentleman: 1955-1966. The book also contains a review of the former by Alan Bennett entitled Bad John, and David Hare's eulogy delivered at Osborne's memorial service in 1995.

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Author information

John Osborne was born in London in 1929. Before becoming a playwright he worked as a journalist, assistant stage manager and repertory theatre actor. Seeing an advertisement for new plays in The Stage in 1956, Osborne submitted Look Back in Anger. Not only was the play produced, but it was to become considered as the turning point in post-war British theatre. Osborne's protagonist, Jimmy Porter, captured the rebelliousness of an entire post-war generation of 'angry young men'. His other plays include The Entertainer (1957), Luther (1961), Inadmissible Evidence (1964), and A Patriot for Me (1966). He also wrote two volumes of autobiography, A Better Class of Person (1981) and Almost a Gentleman (1991) published together as Looking Back: Never Explain, Never Apologise. His last play, Deja Vu (1991), returns to the characters of Look Back in Anger, over thirty years later. Both Look Back in Anger and The Entertainer were adapted for film, and in 1963 Osborne won an Academy Award for his screenplay for Tom Jones. John Osborne died on 24 December 1994.

Editorial reviews

Besides being one of the best playwrights of his generation, whose work provoked both high acclaim and loud derision, Osborne, who died in 1994, was also a brilliant autobiographer. His talent for dramatization was given plenty of scope in his own life, which featured five marriages and numerous affairs besides his theatrical activity. His two autobiographies, A Better Class of Person: 1929-1956 and Almost A Gentleman: 1955-1966, are collected here in one volume. Funny, bitter, acerbic, melancholy and painfully honest, the life of this most passionate of Englishmen is brilliantly entertaining. (Kirkus UK)