Professor Martin Stannard (University of Leicester), ‘Meeting Muriel Spark’

8 December 2011

About the speaker:

Martin Stannard is Professor of Modern English Literature at the University of Leicester. He has published extensively on Evelyn Waugh, following The Critical Heritage (1984) with a major biography in two volumes (1986 and 1992). The first volume was selected by the New York Times as one of the twelve best books of the year; the second was chosen by Frank Kermode, Jonathan Raban, William Trevor, and Muriel Spark as one of their ‘Books of the Year’, and in the year 2000 by William Boyd as one of his Times Literary Supplement ‘Books of the Millennium’.

In 1995, he published the Norton Critical Edition of Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier, an experiment in textual editing which includes material engaging with the challenge of literary theory to traditional editorial practice, and with the phenomenon of ‘literary impressionism’. He recently completed work on the second edition.

In 2009, Martin’s biography of Muriel Spark was published to great critical acclaim from, among others, Frank Kermode, Jonathan Bate, John Carey, Ferdinand Mount, Ian Rankin, Frances Wilson, and David Lodge. He has also published essays and review-essays on Kingsley Amis, Michael Arlen, Dickens, Ford, David Garnett, Graham Greene, William Gerhardie, Christopher Isherwood, and Philip Larkin, and on the subjects of textual criticism, biography, autobiography and letters.

Martin is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the English Association, and until recently was President of the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society.

Meeting Muriel Spark