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Literary & General


Joyce Cary


NYRB Classics



Rights available:

French, German, Italian


Joyce Cary was born in 1888 into an old Anglo-Irish family. He studied art, before going up to Trinity College, Oxford, to read law. On coming down he served as a Red Cross orderly in the Balkan War of 1912-13, the inspiration for Memoir of the Bobotes. He served in the Nigeria Regiment during the First World War, was wounded while fighting, and returned to civil duty in Nigeria as a district officer. His time in Africa provided the inspiration for his first four novels. Though he settled in Oxf...





The Horse’s Mouth, famously filmed with Alec Guinness in the central role, is a portrait of an artistic temperament. Its principal character, Gulley Jimson, is an impoverished painter who bothers little about conventional values. His unquestioning certainty that he must live and paint according to his intuition without regard for the cost to himself or others makes him a man of great, if sometimes flawed, vision. The third and most celebrated volume of Joyce Cary's First Trilogy, Horse's Mouth is perhaps the finest novel ever written about an artist. Its painter hero, the charming and larcenous Gulley Jimson, has an insatiable genius for creation and a no less remarkable appetite for destruction.


"Mr Joyce Cary is an important and exciting writer: there’s no doubt about that.. To use Tennyson’s phrase, he is a Lord of Language…if you like rich writing full of gusto and accurate original character drawing, you will get it from The Horse’s Mouth"  -John Betjeman "The coming to perfect ripeness of a rare and blessed talent; and I recommend it out of a profound personal appreciation and joy."  - Pamela Hansford Johnson "The Horse’s Mouth has the kick of ten stallions. Mr Joyce Cary writes at top pace, at the top of his voice, and the top of his form”   -Observer  "The richest comic novel of the last ten years."  -VS Pritchett "Mr Joyce Cary is a most exciting novelist. There is a thrill in his books which comes from his own extraordinary vision of men and w...


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