Constantine FitzGibbon (1919-1983) is generally remembered for his vivid Life of Dylan Thomas (1965), a volume that effectively recounts the troubled existence of a true bohemian whose passion for words was combined with a Celtic enthusiasm for drink. Constantine had wider interests than writing books about others, however. For example, he made a mark as a novelist able to relate his characters to topical political events, as is shown in one of his most original books, The Iron Hoop (1949), which even stands comparison with the fiction of Kafka.

Constantine was also an alert journalist who in general commented with sureness and insight on ideas and situations. But he did not follow the fashionable leftish line of the day; he was his own man. Thus he often earned the contempt of the radical-chic brigade because he was prepared to champion opinions that ran counter to those favored by most of the intelligentsia. He...


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