Re: [SPAM] RARA-AVIS: Alan Williams

From: Willow Arune (
Date: 04 Jul 2007

While I cannot find anything on Alan Williams, his English publisher is indeed an interesting type:

An eccentric scion of the Marks & Spencer family and one of the most innovative publishers of the 20th century, Anthony Blond was born into the Manchester Jewish haute bourgeoisie. As a publisher he nurtured talents as diverse as Harold Robbins and Jean Genet, Spike Milligan and Graham Greene.

      Jew Made In England
          Anthony Blond
          Jew Made in England is a Rake's Progress by one of the great eccentrics and, without doubt, one of the most innovative and idiosyncratic publishers of the twentieth century. Charismatic, daring and outrageous, Anthony Blond harvested talents as diverse as Harold Robbins and Jean Genet, Spike Milligan and Graham Greene. An inveterate promoter of the young, he gave over seventy writers their first chance. Although Blond's various publishing enterprises all came to assorted grief, he left behind a legacy of brilliance which few others will ever match. Along the way Blond encountered many of the great and not so good of our times, providing him with a treasure chest of wonderfully entertaining anecdotes about figures as illustrious as John Betjeman, as notorious as Robert Maxwell and as obscure as Sir Anthony de Hoghton, a wealthy profligate who ended up a beggar in Sloane Square, in sharp contrast to the fate of fellow Blond cronies Jimmy Goldsmith, John Aspinall and A
 lan Clark.

      Anthony Blond has produced an intimate, often touching memoir of his childhood, his education and his bizarre collection of relatives, wives, children and friends. Blond writes frankly and hilariously about his bisexuality, whether running aground with a young Sarah Miles on the Beaulieu River or running amok in Australia with a handsome young beach boy, and, most movingly, of his profound awareness of his own Jewishness. Funny, erudite, sharp and slyly self-deprecating, Jew Made in England is a delightful celebration of a free spirit which no social, sexual, racial, religious or geographical boundary has been able to contain.

      Anthony Blond was born in 1928. In 1952 he left the family firm, which made underwear for Marks & Spencer, to start his own literary agency. He subsequently created three publishing businesses, guaranteed Private Eye's overdraft, initiated a literary agency in Japan and a radio station in Manchester, and stood for Parliament. He is the author of two books on publishing, and a novel, Family Business. Having owned houses in places as far flung as Sri Lanka, Corfu, New York and Islington, he now lives in France with his second wife and second son.


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