The late Humphrey Carpenter was a biographer of great gifts and excellent taste in subjects. Finds is delighted to have his Dennis Potter, A Serious Character: A Life of Ezra Pound, and W.H. Auden, a work so indispensable to Alan Bennett in the writing of his Auden stage-drama The Habit of Art that, as AB put it, “eventually Carpenter found his way into the play…”
Another string to Carpenter’s bow was his run of cultural histories in the form of what we might call ‘group biographies’ – The Angry Young Men: A Literary Comedy of the 1950s, Geniuses Together: American Writers in Paris in the 1920s, Secret Gardens: A Study of the Golden Age of Children’s Literature, That Was Satire That Was: The Satire Boom of the 1960s – are all great assets to the Finds list… As is a title of Carpenter’s that I see was recently praised online by a blogger named Edmund Sykes, an English expatriate in Spain who seems to have made a brave foray into the courier business. He writes as follows here:
My father gave me for Christmas Humphrey Carpenter’s The Brideshead Generation. This is published by Faber Finds which specialise in re-printing out-of-print books… [T]he book I am glued to, subtitled Evelyn Waugh and His Friends, is absolutely fascinating and reminds me of so much of my own youth… Anyway, well done Faber for coming up with the idea and why can’t these things be published electronically? I would buy a Kindle or iPad or similar tomorrow if someone only guaranteed to provide for me the rare books I want to read…
The kind words are appreciated, and as to the electronic availability of Finds I should say that come the spring we expect that all new and upcoming Finds titles to be offered as e-books where this is contractually possible.