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JL Carr

"JL Carr lives in England" - his idea of autobiography, from the US edition of 'A Month in the Country'

JL Carr was born in Yorkshire in 1912.  He was a teacher, cricket enthusiast, RAF Officer, lover of old churches, headmaster and latterly a publisher of novels, myriad small books and enigmatic maps from the back-bedroom of his house in Kettering.  He parcelled up his careers, friends and interests, mining each area for his writing.  As such, one novel is quite different from the next yet they all retain the same hallmarks of wry observation, captivating narrative, beguiling characters and dry humour.​

Byron Rogers aptly described him as "a man who couldn't pass a piece of paper without writing on it".  Notwithstanding fiction for both children and adults, the Pocket Books and Maps, Carr compiled a social history of the Great Plains inspired by his time in South Dakota and spent 40 years assembling a Northamptonshire Record; seven vast volumes of annotated paintings and drawings of churches and landscapes from across the county.​

He died in 1994.  Alongside a mountain of manuscripts the family inherited his writing chair, underneath the seat is inscribed: "Come financial weather foul or fair, cursed be the Carr that sells this chair."  We still have it...​

Read more about his life in Byron Rogers' biography

'The Last Englishman'

Novelist and publisher JL Carr with the Malvern hills in the background

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