Julian Maclaren-Ross shares with Evelyn Waugh the distinction of having written the best stories of British army life in the Second World War.

He did not just write well, he wrote stylishly and became one of the best-read writers and critics of his time.

Julian was one on the first to write about ordinary people and may be considered the precursor of Amis, Sillitoe, Braine, Storey, and the other 'proletarian' writers, and 'Angry Young Men' of the1950s and after.

Unlike Waugh, Julian did not produce a body of major novels to ensure his position in the literary firmament but, without doubt, his contribution to English literature was substantial.

There were several distinct phases to Julian's life, and he wrote of each in suitably distinctive styles. 

His childhood in seaside towns in England and in the south of France; his early adulthood; his time in the Army; a promising period in London's Soho and Fitzrovia, working with Dylan Thomas; and a short interlude in Oxford.

Why is Julian Maclaren-Ross important? Possibly because his impressions of his own life and times are depicted by him with honesty, accuracy, and an ironic sort of humorous acceptance.


Praise for The Quest For Julian

‘A compliment to Paul Willetts's biography which is especially fascinating on the Fitzrovian circles in which Maclaren-Ross mixed. Bologna quotes extensively from the writing to demonstrate that Maclaren-Ross is a writer who deserves to be better known.’ (Andrew Lownie, author of Stalin’s Englishman)

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