A major literary landmark: the second volume of one of the most extraordinary journals of our time. The first volume of John Fowles's Journals ended with him achieving international literary renown after the publication of The Collector and The Magus, and leaving London behind to live in a remote house on the Dorset coast near Lyme Regis. This final volume charts the rewards and struggles of his continuing literary career, but at the same time reveals the often reluctant celebrity behind the outward success. Enjoying a reputation as one of the world's leading novelists, Fowles wins enormous wealth, kudos and attention, has the satisfaction of seeing The French Lieutenant's Woman turned into a highly acclaimed Hollywood film, but none the less comes to regard his fame with deep ambivalence. It cannot repair the growing strains between himself and his wife Elizabeth, who does not share his taste for rural isolation, nor can it cure the disenchantment he feels for an increasingly materialist society.
While the challenges of the passing years - whether illness, depression or personal bereavement - underline the vanity of worldly ambition, he finds refuge and solace in his study of the animals, plants, birds and insects of the surrounding countryside. This concluding volume of the Journals contains an eloquent expression of this profound attachment to the natural world, but also marks a writer's continuing quest for wisdom and self-understanding. Unflinchingly honest, it provides an invaluable insight into the creative background of his novels, as well as the writer's inner life and preoccupations.
John Fowles was born in 1926. His books include The Collector, The Aristos, The French Lieutenant's Woman, The Ebony Tower, Daniel Martin, Mantissa, A Maggot and Wormholes. He died in Lyme Regis in November 2005. Charles Drazin is an editor and writer, whose previous books include In Search of the Third Man and Korda: Britain's Only Movie Mogul.