Amber Lane Press

JOHN WAIN (1925 -1994) was a journalist, critic and Professor of Poetry. He was known as one of the so-called 'angry young men' - a group of radical writers in 1950s Britain which included John Osborne, Alan Sillitoe and Keith Waterhouse. He was also associated with post-war poets such as Philip Larkin and Thom Gunn. He wrote fifteen novels including Young shoulders (which won the 1982 Whitbread Prize) as well as literary studies of such luminaries as Samuel Johnson and Arnold Bennett. He also wrote numerous poems, and three plays - Johnson is leaving (1973), Harry in the night (1975) and Frank (1984).

Frank by John Wain publisher Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9780906399552
£8.99 £7.99
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John Wain

Frank Barber, born in Jamaica, a slave and the child of slaves, was brought to England by a serving officer at the end of his tour of duty, and at the age of about seven became a servant in the strange household of Dr Samuel Johnson. Frank remained in Johnson's service until Johnson died thirty-two years later, when he became the chief — indeed, almost the only — beneficiary of Johnson's will. Their relationship, which began as that of employer and servant, and also protector and protégé (Johnson hated the slave trade), evolved through the years into something like that of father and son — though Frank was like most sons in having spells of rebellion. This play takes the handful of hard facts we know about Frank and supplies, imaginatively, the background of motive and feeling. First heard on BBC Radio 4 in 1982, directed by Jane Morgan. (Cast 7+m, 5f)

“A beautiful and humane fiction which will enhance Wain's reputation. Work of this quality should be available permanently...”
Geoffrey Cannon, The Sunday Times



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