Kingsley Amis was a brilliant and frequently outrageous correspondent. In his love letters and letters to intimate friends - in particular Philip Larkin and Robert Conquest - he wrote with a freedom and frankness impossible in work intended for publication. As a result the more than eight hundred letters contained in this volume - the vast majority of them published for the first time - contain some of his wittiest, most acerbic and most painfully revealing pages.
Spanning over fifty years, the letters open with Amis as a young undergraduate at Oxford, energetically advising a fellow recruit not to abandon the Communist Party, and end with him as one of the country's pre-eminent men of letters, with a public image - not altogether accurate, but not discouraged by Amis himself - as an arch-conservative. Along the way they trace the frustrations and discontents of his life as penniless research student and lecturer. Above all, 'The Letters of Kingsley Amis' provide a moving, scandalously funny, warts-and-all self-portrait of one of our finest, and most-missed writers.