R.C. Hutchinson: The Man and His Writing

By Barry Webb

Biographical and critical study on the often forgotten, but talented, 20th century writer, R.C. Hutchinson.

ISBN: 9780718898007


In R.C. Hutchinson, Barry Webb reclaims the legacy of a highly-acclaimed, yet often forgotten writer. Despite having been awarded the Sunday Times Gold medal for fiction, the W.H.Smith award for the best novelist of the year, being short-listed for the Booker Prize, and several of his 17 novels becoming best-sellers in the UK and America, Hutchinson has not withstood the test of time compared to his contemporaries. Combining Hutchinson’s own reflections with insightful critical analysis, Webb traces Hutchinson’s thoughtful, observational life alongside his extraordinary literary output. He draws out how Hutchinson’s firmly held Christian beliefs allowed him to eschew didacticism for nuanced reflections on the nature of human suffering.

Part biography, part critical study, R.C. Hutchinson sheds light on this influential and gifted writer, contextualising his work and highlighting his genius. He was described by Sebastian Faulks as deserving to be ‘compared to Balzac or Tolstoy, and is not embarrassed by the comparison’, and Cecil Day Lewis as ‘one of the very few living novelists who will be read fifty – even a hundred years hence’. Webb offers readers the opportunity to re-discover this exceptional writer.

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About the Author

Barry Webb has been a Fellow and Tutor in English at St. Peter’s College, Oxford, and has now realised his long-held ambition of writing a book on R.C. Hutchinson. He is also the official biographer of the poet and scholar, Edmund Blunden. He now lives in retirement in Oxford. He enjoys reading poetry, listening to Schubert, solving crosswords and watching cricket.