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For other authors named Alan Taylor, see the disambiguation page.

7+ Works 804 Members 15 Reviews

About the Author

Alan Shaw Taylor was born in 1955 in Portland, Maine. He graduated from Colby College in Waterville, Maine in 1977. He went on to earn his PhD. from Brandeis University in 1986. He has become a professor of history at the University of California. Taylor is best known for his contributions to show more microhistory which he demonstrated in his Pulitzer Prize winning history of William Cooper and the settlement of Cooperstown, New York. In this work, Alan Taylor uses court records, land records, letters and diaries to reconstruct the economic, political and socila history of New England and the settlement of New York. He is also a regular contributor of book reviews and essays to The New Republic. His books include William Cooper's Town: Power & Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic, which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for history and the Bancroft Prize in American History. In 2014, he once again won the Pulitzer Prize for History in his title: The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Alan Taylor

Associated Works

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) — Introduction, some editions — 5,176 copies
Memento Mori (1959) — Foreword, some editions — 1,721 copies
The Girls of Slender Means (1963) — Foreword, some editions — 1,316 copies
A Far Cry from Kensington (1988) — Foreword, some editions — 1,252 copies
The Driver's Seat (1970) — Foreword, some editions — 979 copies
Loitering with Intent (1981) — Foreword, some editions — 835 copies
The Ballad of Peckham Rye (1960) — Foreword, some editions — 733 copies
Aiding and Abetting (2000) — Foreword, some editions — 575 copies
The Finishing School (2004) — Foreword, some editions — 520 copies
The Mandelbaum Gate (1965) — Foreword, some editions — 511 copies
The Comforters (1957) — Foreword, some editions — 502 copies
Symposium (1990) — Foreword, some editions — 487 copies
The Abbess of Crewe (1974) — Foreword, some editions — 466 copies
The Bachelors (1960) — Foreword, some editions — 449 copies
The Public Image (1968) — Foreword, some editions — 311 copies
The Only Problem (1984) — Foreword, some editions — 285 copies
Not to Disturb (1971) — Foreword, some editions — 275 copies
Territorial Rights (1979) — Foreword, some editions — 266 copies
Robinson (1958) — Foreword, some editions — 241 copies
Reality and Dreams (1996) — Foreword, some editions — 241 copies
The Takeover (1976) — Foreword, some editions — 217 copies
The Hothouse by the East River (1973) — Foreword, some editions — 201 copies


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Common Knowledge

Spark, Muriel (friend)



This is a great collection of diary excerpts. I found favorite diarists that I will track down to read all of their writing. Nice short bios at the back as well as a good bibliography make this a wonderful resource as well as a fun read. I'm glad I had this showed up on a reading list. My sister and my Mama and I all read it this year. Very enjoyable and inspires me to get writing myself!
njcur | 3 other reviews | Dec 21, 2021 |
Alan Taylor met Muriel Spark and her friend Penelope Jardine when he went to Italy to interview them for The Scotsman in 1990. They discovered a shared sense of humour and a common Edinburgh background (quite a few decades apart) and hit it off immediately, and that evening in a restaurant in Arezzo led to a friendship that was to last for the rest of Spark's life. It sounds as though she treated him as a kind of honorary stepson: Taylor and his family were invited to house-sit for the ladies when they went off travelling in the hot summer, when required he acted as an informal research assistant for Spark's writing projects and escort on her professional travels, and he had to sympathise and advise on endless domestic disasters. He has gone on to edit Spark's collected novels, and has written many introductions to her books and essays about her.

This modest and entertaining memoir of their friendship is more like an extended review of Spark's importance as a novelist than a name-dropping exercise, though. We get glimpses of Spark in private life and a discussion of her endless fights with biographers and memoirists — Taylor is conscious that he's on thin ice in this regard, so he stresses that everything he's written has been checked and approved by Jardine — but the real focus is on how she came to write those wonderful novels and why we should go on reading them. Perhaps redundant, but enjoyable anyway! And I learnt a few interesting things about Spark I didn't know, for instance that William Shawn provided her with her own office at the New Yorker that she could use whenever she happened to be in the city — she insisted on having it redecorated, because she found the colour-scheme too drab.
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thorold | 2 other reviews | Oct 13, 2019 |
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and every time I had to put it down I eagerly looked forward to getting back into it. Well done and good choices from diaries and journals. Reread this at last and it is as good the second time as the first. Spent a lot of time on Google looking up details on the people who's diaries were excerpted in this book. I even ordered a few and started reading a couple I already had like The Greville Memoirs.
Karen74Leigh | 7 other reviews | Sep 4, 2019 |
This is a fabulous book! I really enjoyed reading the day's entries before bed. I'm afraid some nights I just couldn't put it down and had to read a few extra days. I met some wonderful people. I am happy that short bios of the writers is included in the back as well as a full bibliography. There are several diarists whose complete diaries I will want to track down. The index of diarists allowed me to search through for favorites. Very thoughtfully put together. I'm grateful that my terrific sister shared this great book with me. I highly recommend!… (more)
njcur | 7 other reviews | Jul 11, 2019 |



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