Wilson was an English novelist and critic. He was born in a small house in
Harpurhey and was the son of a bookkeeper and part-time pianist. He was found
lying in his cot when he was a baby with his mother and sister dead beside him.
They were said to have been victims of the Spanish Flu. Anthony attended the
Bishop Bilsborrow- Primary School, Moss Side, Xavier College and lastly
Manchester University. He then spent six years as a wartime soldier and after he
went into education, he became an education officer in Malaya and Brunei. In
1959 he was diagnosed with a terminal illness, so he became a professional
writer, hoping to provide for his wife.
The diagnoses turned out to be wrong;
however, he decided to stick with it and he wrote over thirty novels. Anthony
Burgess was a very well-rounded artist. He drew, wrote novels, was a musician
and produced a lot of works. At the age of twelve, his drawings were being
accepted by national newspapers and at fourteen, he taught himself to play the
piano and compose music.
He wrote two symphonies, concertos, songs, sonatas and
incidental music for plays. In his very first year he wrote five novels, a
couple of plays and several radio scripts and stories. He had all sorts of
different topics, themes and styles. Of all his writings, the most well-known
was and still is A Clockwork Orange.
It is also his most controversial work. A
Clockwork Orange was his eighth novel and was published in 1962. Although this
was among his best works, he had his own thoughts on it. In an interview done in
1981 in “Modern Fiction Studies” Burgess was quoted, “I’m not
particularly proud of A Clockwork Orange because it has all the thoughts I rail
against in fiction.
It’s didactic. It tends to pornography.” John Anthony
Burgess Wilson died in 1993 and will always be remembered by the remains of some
of his classic works.