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Life as Fiction: A Biographical Companion to the Novels of J.L. Carr

By Andrew Hall

With an Index to the Novels by Hazel K. Bell

The teacher, headmaster, publisher, author, artist, and stone carver J.L. Carr (1912 – 1994) often admitted that the characters and events in his eight novels were derived from his own life or from the experiences of people that he knew.

The Ellerbeck family in A Month in the Country is based on his own family’s life at Carlton Miniott in Yorkshire just after World War I; the football team in How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the F.A. Cup is based on the local success of a village team that Carr played for in 1931, extrapolated to a great degree; and the barefoot blonde who opens A Season in Sinji was a real person who was tragically murdered in 1942.

Carr used his hymn-singing Wesleyan upbringing, his first career as a primary school teacher and headmaster, his exchange visits to teach in a High School in a small town in South Dakota, his service in the Royal Air Force during World War II, his years spent living in lodgings, his second career as a publisher, and his life-long love of poetry, Anglican churches and cricket to provide many of the places, people and stories in his novels, because he had been there, he knew them, and they were authentic. The main plot of each novel may be fiction, but many of the details are autofiction.

This Biographical Companion provides in 893 alphabetically arranged text entries an attempt to identify in J.L. Carr’s unordinary life the sources of the stories, events, places, people, things, and quotations that he used in his eight novels and some of his other writings.

Cover of the Companion: a painting by J.L. Carr of a schoolhouse, now demolished, at Yale, South Dakota, 1957.

Image of cover

Publisher: 3C Press, 35 Mirabel Road, London SW6 7EQ, U.K.

Date of publication: April 2024

Format: A4 perfect bound paperback, 346 pages, 150 figures

First edition: 160 numbered copies of which 150 are for sale

ISBN: 978-1-3999-7864-4

Price: £25, to include U.K. postage from the publisher only

Email: ah2108@gmail.com

(Page created on 24/4/2024)