(Arthur Annesley) Ronald Firbank (17 January 1886 – 21 May 1926)

In The Book of Forgotten Authors (2017), Christopher Fowler writes of Firbank’s books:

“These slim novels appeared in the aftermath of the First World War, but reflect nothing of the time. The Flower Beneath the Foot takes place in a vaguely Balkan state, and is as exotic as a poisonous orchid. “Whenever I go out,” the king complains, “I get the impression of raised hats.” “Raised hats?” “Nude heads, Doctor.” You have to work at understanding his distilled prose, which it is best to read aloud.”

“A person who dislikes Ronald Firbank,” quipped W. H. Auden, “may, for all I know, possess some admirable quality, but I do not wish ever to see him again.”

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