Category Archives: Manchester

Crumpsall

Lilian View, early childhood home of Anthony Burgess. About five kilometres north of downtown Manchester, it is at 91 Delaunays Road, Higher Crumpsall, opposite Crumpsall Infirmary.

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Moss Side

screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-18-38-11A stroll in the quarter of Manchester where dwelt the young Burgess for a time.

‘…the cats roamed at night and screamed, that was our only evening music…dustbins, sly copulation…squalor, squalor.’

Midland Hotel

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 10.03.42Burgess (John Wilson) stayed at the Midland Hotel when he paid a return visit to the town of his birth and youth.

Burgess claims to have received an anonymous letter, slipped under the door of his room, that read:

Wilson, we got three graves waiting for you in Manchester: one for yer corpse, one for yer boooks, and one for yer fookin’ EGO!

Moss Side

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 19.25.18A stroll in and around the street where the novelist grew up.

The cats roamed at night and screamed, that was our only evening music. Dustbins, sly copulation. Squalor, squalor.

Burgess confesses

At the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, Manchester

At the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, Manchester

Manchester University

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 21.12.50Burgess writes in the first part of his Confessions that what was needed at the Victoria University of Manchester (motto: Arduus ad solem) was

a touch of the epicene exquisite, the flavour of wealthy and cultivated decadence.

But

we were too grimly utilitarian for perverse chic.

The

civilising force of aristocratic land

was lacking. There were no aristocrats

other than the Manchester Jews. Our foreigners were mostly Germans like Oscar Buneman, Klaus Pickard and Carl Prausnitz, the odd Armenian or Russian, hardworking research chemists who specialised in new techniques of industrial dyeing. We needed the air of a sybaritic world, but that was alien to our fog and blunt vowels.

Higher Crumpsall

It is not known whether his (Protestant) maternal aunt, with whom he was living at Lilian View, his early childhood home, ever took Burgess to St Matthew’s parish church to attend a service. The house is at 91 Delaunays Road opposite Crumpsall Infirmary, about five kilometres north of downtown Manchester.

St Matthew with St Mary, Crumpsall

St Matthew with St Mary, Crumpsall

Miles Platting

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 21.34.11The Golden Eagle public house was in Lodge Street, Miles Platting. Burgess lived here with his father and stepmother — Margaret Byrne as she had once been known — in the early and mid 1920s. Nothing whatsoever remains in these two streets from Burgess’s time.

Site of the pub today

Site of the pub today

John B. Wilson, B.A.

Blue plaque

The first blue plaque in honour of Anthony Burgess will be unveiled at the Samuel Alexander Building at the University of Manchester at 5pm on Wednesday, October 10th. A trumpet fanfare, one of Burgess’s own compositions, will be played.