Search-icon

The Fatal Englishman

Three Short Lives

By

Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

have you read it? rate it!
Histogram_reset_icon
(2 REVIEWS)
ADD TO MY SHELF
About This Book
In The Fatal Englishman, his first work of nonfiction, Sebastian Faulks explores the lives of three remarkable men. Each had the seeds of greatness; each was a beacon to his generation and left something of value behind; yet each one died tragically young.
Christopher Wood, only twenty-nine when he killed himself, was a painter who lived most of his short life in the beau monde of 1920s Paris, where his charm, good looks, and the dissolute life that followed them sometimes frustrated his ambition and achievement as an artist.
Richard Hillary was a WWII fighter pilot who wrote a classic account of his
experiences, The Last Enemy, but died in a mysterious training accident while defying doctor’s orders to stay grounded after horrific burn injuries; he was twenty-three.
Jeremy Wolfenden, hailed by his contemporaries as the brightest Englishman of
his generation, rejected the call of academia to become a hack journalist in Cold War Moscow. A spy, alcoholic, and open homosexual at a time when such activity was still illegal, he died at the age of thirty-one, a victim of his own recklessness and of the peculiar pressures of his time.
Through the lives of these doomed young men, Faulks paints an oblique
portrait of English society as it changed in the twentieth century, from the Victorian era to the modern world.
Show less
In The Fatal Englishman, his first work of nonfiction, Sebastian Faulks explores the lives of three remarkable men. Each had the seeds of greatness; each was a beacon to his generation and left something of value behind; yet each one died tragically young.
Christopher Wood, only twenty-nine when he killed himself, was a painter who lived most of his short life in the beau monde of 1920s Paris, where his charm, good looks, and the dissolute life that followed them sometimes frustrated his ambition and achievement as an artist.
Richard Hillary was a WWII fighter pilot who wrote a classic account of his
experiences, The Last Enemy, but died in a mysterious training accident while defying doctor’s orders to stay grounded after horrific burn injuries; he was twenty-three.
Jeremy Wolfenden, hailed by his contemporaries as the brightest Englishman of
his generation, rejected the call of academia to become a hack journalist in Cold War Moscow. A spy, alcoholic, and open homosexual at a time when such activity was still illegal, he died at the age of thirty-one, a victim of his own recklessness and of the peculiar pressures of his time.
Through the lives of these doomed young men, Faulks paints an oblique
portrait of English society as it changed in the twentieth century, from the Victorian era to the modern world.
Product Details
Paperback (336 pages)
Published: March 12, 2002
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780375727443
Other books bySebastian Faulks
  • Devil May Care

    Devil May Care
    Bond is back in this electrifying new novel of intrigue and suspense. A masterful continuation of the James Bond legacy, Devil May Care picks up right where Ian Fleming left off—at the height of the Cold War, with a story of almost unbearable tension. An Algerian drug runner is brutally executed on the desolate outskirts of Paris and Bond is assigned a new task; to shadow the mysterious Dr. Julius Gorner, a power-crazed pharmaceutical magnate. Gorner has lately taken a disquieting interest in opiate derivatives, both legal and illegal. After finding a willing accomplice in the shape of a glamorous Parisian named Scarlett Papava, Bond must stop a chain of events that could lead to global catastrophe. Charged with adrenaline, deception, and Bond's signature wit, Faulks brings us this exhilarating new chapter in the life of the world's most iconic spy.

    Birdsong

    Birdsong
    A Novel of Love and War
    Published to international critical and popular acclaim, this intensely romantic yet stunningly realistic novel spans three generations and the unimaginable gulf between the First World War and the present. As the young Englishman Stephen Wraysford passes through a tempestuous love affair with Isabelle Azaire in France and enters the dark, surreal world beneath the trenches of No Man's Land, Sebastian Faulks creates a world of fiction that is as tragic as A Farewell to Arms and as sensuous as The English Patient. Crafted from the ruins of war and the indestructibility of love, Birdsong is a novel that will be read and marveled at for years to come.

    Human Traces

    Human Traces
    Sixteen-year-old Jacques Rebière is living a humble life in rural France, studying butterflies and frogs by candlelight in his bedroom. Across the Channel, in England, the playful Thomas Midwinter, also sixteen, is enjoying a life of ease-and is resigned to follow his father's wishes and pursue a career in medicine. A fateful seaside meeting four years later sets the two young men on a profound course of friendship and discovery; they will become pioneers in the burgeoning field of psychiatry. But when a female patient at the doctors' Austrian sanatorium becomes dangerously ill, the two men's conflicting diagnosis threatens to divide them--and to undermine all their professional achievements. From the bestselling author of Birdsong comes this masterful novel that ventures to answer challenging questions of consciousness and science, and what it means to be human.

    A Week in December

    A Week in December
    In the blustery final days of 2007, seven characters will reach an unexpected turning point: a hedge fund manager pulling off a trade, a professional football player recently arrived from Poland, a young lawyer with too much time on his hands, a student led astray by Islamist theory, a hack book reviewer, a schoolboy hooked on pot and reality TV, and a Tube train driver whose Circle Line train joins these lives in a daily loop. And as the novel moves to its gripping climax, they are forced, one by one, to confront the new world they inhabit.   Panoramic and masterful, A Week in December melds moral heft and piercing wit, holding a mirror up to the complex patterns and crossings of modern urban life.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • One day in the spring of 1921 a beautiful young Englisman set off for Paris to become the greatest painter the world had ever seen.

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • 'Jeremy was a strong influence, of course, and still is. I can only say how very much I appreciate having known him.'

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
Quote Cannot be Empty

Submitted quotes are usually posted within 48 hours

ThanksYour Quote Will be posted Shortly
Bookish