Jeffery Meyers

Jeffrey Meyers is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His life of Samuel Johnson will appear in 2008, and he is now writing a biography of Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe.

Latest by Jeffery Meyers in Chronicles

Results: 27 Articles found.
  • December 2007

    The Lady Vanishes

    In September 2000, I went to Burma to see the places where George Orwell had worked as a policeman in the 1920’s. As I planned my trip, I fantasized about meeting the brave and beautiful Suu Kyi, daughter of the national hero, Aung San, who was assassinated by a rival political faction in 1947.

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  • Objective, Burma!
    January 2004

    Objective, Burma!

    The Burma campaign began in January 1942 with the Japanese invasion from Thailand in the south. Chinese troops, with Stilwell as Chiang’s chief of staff, invaded from the east, along the 715-mile Burma Road from Kunming to Lashio.

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  • Flawed Genius
    October 2003

    Flawed Genius

    Vladimir Nabokov—like Hemingway, Lorca, and Borges—was born in 1899, began life in the stable Victorian era, lived through the horrors of the Great War, and came to artistic maturity in the 1920’s.

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  • The Authority of Pain
    September 2003

    The Authority of Pain

    In April 1970—between the fall of Prince Sihanouk's government and the American and South Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia—the young Sean Flynn, war photographer and son of Errol Flynn, deliberately drove into a Vietcong roadblock in Cambodia.

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  • Bad News From Africa
    August 2003

    Bad News From Africa

    In previous books, now classics of travel writing, Paul Theroux described his long train journeys through India and Russia, South America, and China; his ramblings around England and the Mediterranean; his paddling through Oceania.

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  • Agonies of Intrigue
    May 2003

    Agonies of Intrigue

    Lord Byron was the most fascinating literary figure of the 19th century. Fiona MacCarthy’s solid and competent biography covers the ground in great detail (the deformed foot, the scandalous exile, the endless wandering, the early death in Greece) but fails to engage our interest or do justice to its subject.

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  • Tame Monster
    April 2003

    Tame Monster

    Randall Jarrell was born in Nashville in 1914 and grew up in Tennessee and Southern California. He studied under poet and critic John Crowe Ransom at Vanderbilt University and followed him to Kenyon College, where he lived in Ransom’s attic with the young Robert Lowell and wrote his thesis on A.E. Housman.

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  • April 2003

    Unseen Places

    In Huysmans’ Against the Grain (1884), the precious hero Des Esseintes has “the idea of turning dream into reality, of traveling [from France] to England in the flesh as well as in the spirit, of checking the accuracy of his visions.

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  • Palm and Pine
    February 2003

    Palm and Pine

    David Gilmour’s witty and elegant, original and useful book chronicles “Kipling’s political life, his early role as apostle of the Empire, the embodiment of imperial aspiration, and his later one as the prophet of national decline.”

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  • The Realms of Gold
    July 2002

    The Realms of Gold

    In Vienna, during the decade before the Great War, an astounding concentration of creative genius coincided with the final stages of political collapse.

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  • In the Shadow of Bibendum
    May 2002

    In the Shadow of Bibendum

    In his Journals of the early 1990’s, English novelist Anthony Powell observed that Kingsley Amis (1922-95) “has begun to look oddly like Evelyn Waugh. He now seems to be behaving rather like Evelyn too.”

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  • Hold the Gush
    January 2002

    Hold the Gush

    Like Virginia Woolf and Mary McCarthy, Rupert Brooke and Bruce Chatwin, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s striking appearance greatly enhanced her literary reputation. Readers were drawn to her poetry by her good looks and notorious sexual behavior.

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  • January 2002

    Hollywood and the Convent

    Biographers do much of their work in the study and the library, but they also get to some out-of-the-way places. I’ve interviewed people in bars, nursing homes, and insane asylums, chased down wealthy informants in country houses and elegant apartments, poor ones in drafty cottages and cluttered flats.

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  • The Study of Wisdom
    October 2001

    The Study of Wisdom

    The second half of the life of Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) is not nearly as interesting as the first, when Russell did his major work in philosophy and mathematics and, through close contacts with the Bloomsbury Group, knew all the major writers of his time.

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  • Prince of Painters
    August 2001

    Prince of Painters

    Titian, the greatest painter of the Venetian Renaissance, was born about 1488 in Pieve di Cadoro, in the foothills of the Dolomites. He came down to Venice at the age of nine and was apprenticed to the workshops of Gentile and Giovanni Bellini.

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  • Hugging Himself
    March 2001

    Hugging Himself

    James Boswell (1740-95), whose frank and revealing London Journal sold are than a million copies, is the most "modern" and widely read 18th-century author. His circle of friends—Johnson, Burke, Gibbon, Reynolds, Hume, Goldsmith, Garrick, and Fanny Burney—was the most brilliant in the history of English literature.

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  • Kissing the Toad
    August 2000

    Kissing the Toad

    John Richardson, the brilliant biographer of Picasso, resembles (by his own account) those charming and attractive young men of limited means and boundless ambition who use any means to make their way in the world.

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  • Military Messiah
    July 2000

    Military Messiah

    Orde Wingate, the most eccentric and innovative commander in World War II, was remarkably like his distant cousin Lawrence of Arabia. Both came from a guilt-ridden fundamentalist background and grew up in an atmosphere of religious gloom and repression.

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  • July 2000

    Dashing Through Asia

    Not as horrible as Calcutta or as ugly as Seoul, Bangkok, spreading along the flat flanks of the Chao Phraya river, is the whorehouse of Asia. Berth girls and boys will do anything you like with a Coke bottle or Ping-Pong ball.

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  • The Displaced Person
    June 2000

    The Displaced Person

    "The depravity of Tiberius, or the salacity of Suetonius," wrote Anthony Burgess, "had left its mark on an island all sodomy, lesbianism, scandal and cosmopolitan artiness."

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Results: 27 Articles found.