The acclaimed writer speaks to Prospect's Arts and Books Editor Sameer Rahimby Prospect Team / September 30, 2016 / Leave a comment
On Monday, 19th September, Prospect hosted a book club with Ferdinand Mount, whose essay collection English Voices: Lives, Landscapes, Laments (Simon and Schuster) was published this summer.
The description “man of letters” has an air of the dilettante about it—but in its truest, most generous sense, it is the right term for Mount. A prolific novelist and classicist, Mount is also a brilliant critic. His most recent piece for Prospect was “It could have been great”—a review of Tom Bower’s biography of Tony Blair. Mount edited the Times Literary Supplement for more than ten years, and prior to that was the head of Margret Thatcher’s policy unit.
English Voices covers decades of Mount’s non-fiction reviewing. He has written on the old masters as well as some of Britain’s finest modern authors—and the two groups are brought together in this book. Rahim and Mount use the work as a jumping-off point, going on to discuss politics, the meaning of the vote of 23rd June—and the meaning of Englishness.