Friends of Promise: Cyril Connolly and the World of Horizon

Michael Shelden, Author
Michael Shelden, Author HarperCollins Publishers $24.95 (254p) ISBN 978-0-06-016138-5
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
In his first book, Sheldon, professor of English at Indiana State University, provides in essence a dual biography: of Cyril Connolly and of Horizon magazine, which he edited. The magazine was launched in London in 1939 and folded in 1949. Subsidized by a wealthy young man named Peter Watson, Horizon was a great boost to British morale during World War II, and to the careers of artists. Sheldon's impressively researched, stylish book delves into the triumphs, tragedies and farce in Connolly's life (1903-1974), his wives and many lovers. Unfortunately, as Connolly himself acknowledged in Enemies of Promise , he never fulfilled the expectations created by his early success. Nevertheless, shows Sheldon, as cultural innovator he takes his place with Auden, Orwell, Stephen Spender, Elizabeth Bowen, Evelyn Waugh and the other luminaries who play a role in this celebratory re-creation of an era and an artistic milieu. Photos. (Sept.)
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