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Good Night, Beloved Comrade

The Letters of Denton Welch to Eric Oliver

Daniel J. Murtaugh (editor)

ISBN: 9780299310103

Publication Date: Feb 2017

Format: Hardback

Denton Welch died at the age of thirty-three after a brief but brilliant career as a writer and painter. The fifty-one letters that Welch wrote to Eric Oliver, his companion, comrade, lover, and caretaker, are collected and annotated here for the first time. They offer a timeless testament of one young man's tender and intimate emotions, his courage in adversity, and his continual struggle for love and creative existence.
£28.50

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Denton Welch (1915–48) died at the age of thirty-three after a brief but brilliant career as a writer and painter. The revealing, poignant, impressionistic voice that buoys his novels was much praised by critics and literati in England and has since inspired creative artists from William S. Burroughs to John Waters. His achievements were all the more remarkable because he suffered from debilitating spinal and pelvic injuries incurred in a bicycle accident at age eighteen.

Though German bombs were ravaging Britain, Welch wrote in his published work about the idyllic landscapes and local people he observed in Kent. There, in 1943, he met and fell in love with Eric Oliver, a handsome, intelligent, but rather insecure "landboy"–an agricultural worker with the wartime Land Army. Oliver would become a companion, comrade, lover, and caretaker during the last six years of Welch's life. All fifty-one letters that Welch wrote to Oliver are collected and annotated here for the first time. They offer a historical record of life amidst the hardship, deprivation, and fear of World War II and are a timeless testament of one young man's tender and intimate emotions, his immense courage in adversity, and his continual struggle for love and creative existence.

Reviews

"Readers are in for a treat: Good Night, Beloved Comrade is a masterpiece. The account of a thrilling and tormenting gay love affair, it is also a devastating experience of disability and, above all, the awakening of a remarkable and unforgettable literary voice."–Richard Canning, author of Gay Fiction Speaks

"Whenever a student tells me he has nothing to write about I refer him to Denton Welch. It is time that Denton received the attention he deserves."–William S. Burroughs
Illustrations 10 black & white photographs
Pages 232
Dimensions 209 x 140
Date Published 28 Feb 2017
Publisher The University of Wisconsin Press
Series Living out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiographies
Subject/s Literature: history & criticism   Biography & True Stories  
Daniel J. Murtaugh teaches literature and history at Park University and at Johnson County Community College. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

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