Advice for aspiring authors –from William Plomer.

William Plomer (1903 – 1973) was a South African and British author, poet and literary editor. The extract below is from ‘The Typewritten Word’, a chapter in his Autobiography. It should be required reading for anyone who has the merest atom of a wish to put pen to paper. Here Plomer recalls his time at Jonathan Cape, where Edward Garnett had installed him as principal reader. Few wiser descriptions of authorial delusion–and the delinquencies of publishers–exist outside these few pages. Plomer made a number of ‘discoveries’ during his publishing career, two of which are of particular interest. One was the diary of the nineteenth century English clergyman, Francis Kilvert – a great masterpiece of its kind. The other, decidedly different, discovery was Ian Fleming’s James Bond, whom Plomer was the first to spot as a potential winner.

Plomer accepts Garnett’s invitation to work at Cape…

…the book referred to is Kilvert’s Diaries, the subject of a future post!