Who was Cyril Connolly?

Culture's Ways - "We love but once, for once only are we perfectly equipped for loving." Cyril Connolly

“We love but once, for once only are we perfectly equipped for loving.” Cyril Connolly


Who was Cyril Connolly?

Cyril Vernon Connolly (1903 – 1974) was an English literary critic and writer. He was the editor of the influential literary magazine Horizon (1940–49) and wrote Enemies of Promise (1938), which combined literary criticism with an autobiographical exploration of why he failed to become the successful author of fiction that he had aspired to be in his youth.

Beginning of literary career

In August 1926, Connolly met Desmond MacCarthy, who had come to stay at “Big Chilling”. MacCarthy was the literary editor of the New Statesman and was to be another major influence on Connolly’s development. MacCarthy invited Connolly to write book reviews for the New Statesman. In August 1927, he was invited to become a regular reviewer and joined the staff of the New Statesman.


In 1940, Connolly founded the influential literary magazine Horizon, with Peter Watson, its financial backer and de facto art editor. He edited Horizon until 1950, with Stephen Spender as an uncredited associate editor until early 1941. He was briefly (1942–1943) the literary editor for The Observer until a disagreement with David Astor. During World War II, he wrote The Unquiet Grave under the pseudonym ‘Palinurus’, a noteworthy collection of observations and quotes.

In 1962, Connolly wrote Bond Strikes Camp, a spoof account of Ian Fleming’s character engaged in heroic escapades of dubious propriety as suggested by the title and written with Fleming’s support. It appeared in the London Magazine and in an expensive limited edition printed by the Shenval Press, Frith Street, London. It later appeared in Previous Convictions.

Connolly had previously collaborated with Fleming in 1952 in writing an account of the Cambridge Spies Guy Burgess and Donald MacLean entitled The Missing Diplomats, an early publication for Fleming’s Queen Anne Press.

Text : Wikipedia contributors. “Cyril Connolly.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 Aug. 2017. Web.

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