TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
John Osborne - Life Stories, Books, and Links
 
Biographical Information

Stories about John Osborne

Selected works by this author

Selected books about / related to this author

Recommended links
 
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
 
John Osborne   (1929 - 1994)
 
Category:  English Literature
 
Born:  December 12, 1929
London, England
 
Died:  December 24, 1994
Shropshire, England
 
Related authors:
Edward Albee, Harold Pinter
 
list all writers
 
 
John Osborne - LIFE STORIES
 
 
5/8/1956     Osborne's Look Back in Anger
On this day in 1956 John Osborne's first play, Look Back in Anger, opened at London's Royal Court Theatre. The press release for the play called the twenty-six-year-old Osborne "an angry young man," a phrase that would become a label for a generation. Critic Clive Barnes cites the opening night of Look Back in Anger as the "actual birthday...of modern British theatre."
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SELECTED WORKS BY THIS AUTHOR
 
 
Look Back in Anger
drama
 
Looking Back: Never Explain, Never Apologise
memoirs
 
Luther
drama
 
The Entertainer
drama
 
 
FIND BOOKS BY JOHN OSBORNE AT Powell's Books
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SELECTED BOOKS ABOUT (or related to) THIS AUTHOR
 
 
John Osborne: Vituperative Artist (Studies in Modern Drama, Volume 13)
by Luc M. Gilleman
literary criticism and analysis
 
FIND BOOKS BY JOHN OSBORNE AT Powell's Books
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A Lifelong Satirist of Prigs and Puritans
speech
A reprint of David Hare's speech at John Osborne's memoiral service, in June 1995.

"The whole world knew that it was John who established the idea that it would be to the stage that people would look for some sort of recognisable portrait of their own lives. It would not be from this country's then weedy novels, nor from its still shallow and mendacious journalism that people would expect strong feeling or strong intelligence, but from its often clumsy, untutored living theatre. Free from the highbrow pieties of the university on one side, and from the crassness of what came to be called the media on the other, the theatre alone could celebrate John's approved qualities of joy and curiosity. It could also affront his deadly enemy, opinion."
John Osborne - The man who turned anger into art (BBC)
biography
This BBC article focuses on Osborne's dramatic career, and provides a historical framework for understanding the impact of the playwright's works:

"Osborne's protagonist, Jimmy Porter, captured the angry and rebellious nature of the postwar generation, a dispossessed lot who were clearly unhappy with things as they were in the decades following World War II. Jimmy Porter came to represent an entire generation of 'angry young men.'"
Theatre's Great Malcontent (Guardian Unlimited, UK)
literary criticism and analysis
He is dismissed as a misogynist and a little Englander but, argues David Hare, John Osborne was a defiant romantic whose power and passion created a landmark in British culture:

"John's great trilogy of Look Back in Anger, The Entertainer and Inadmissible Evidence are important, not for what they are said to have removed from the English stage - good taste, irony, deflection, lame jokes, and rigidly chewed upper lips - but revolutionary for what everyone now forgets they put in their place. I mean strong feeling. [...] John's subject is failure. John brings you news of what it is like not to succeed, to know you are not succeeding, either with yourself or with others . . . . John is poet laureate of flopsweat, of lost opportunity, of missed connections and hidden dread, of what he calls 'the comfortless tragedy of isolated hearts.'"
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May 22, 2017
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