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Book Review: The Prose Factory—Literary Life in Britain since 1918 by DJ Taylor

By Jane Shilling   February 2016

Vintage, £25

cover.jpg.rendition.460.707The startling proliferation of creative writing courses in the early 21st century suggests that the idea of a literary career has lost none of its romantic appeal, but DJ Taylor’s compendious account of English literary life in the past 100 years offers an antidote to the notion that writing is a glamorous or profitable trade.

From the muscular Georgian poet and editor, JC Squire (“effectively destitute”) to the post-war novelist Julian McLaren-Ross, the model for X Trapnel in Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of…

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