An original study of John Fowles, combining a clear overview of his work with detailed critical readings and new and challenging theoretical perspectives. This original study divides John Fowles's work into three chronological phases, making sense of his development as a novelist, essayist and thinker. As well as discussing Fowles in the light of his literary predecessors such as Hardy, Defoe and Scott, William Stephenson examines the key biographical influences on Fowles's writing, including his travels abroad and his experience of the natural world. Through an examination of Fowles's commitment to individualism and his complex fictional treatments of sexuality, Stephenson challenges current critical readings that situate his work in a canon of postmodern fiction or that question his declared feminism. The study breaks new ground by exploring the hitherto overlooked role of ethnicity in Fowles's novels, and his idiosyncratic treatment of the past in The French Lieutenant's Woman and A Maggot.
Stephenson's book surveys all Fowles's fiction and his most important non-fiction, it combines the broad sweep of an overview with close readings and theoretical interpretations of some of the most rewarding passages in the work of this important storyteller and philosopher.
William Stephenson is a Lecturer in English at Chester College of Higher Education, where he teaches twentieth-century literature. He has also taught at the Universities of Leeds, Hull and Central Lancashire.