Dennis Potter was a brave man. His private life was a torture of extreme psoriasis coupled with arthritis which turned his hands into claws and his skin into snowflakes. His public life was a constant bombardment of censorial criticism as he pushed the boundaries of television with his challenging psychosexual dramas. Despite this, his genius was never questioned and the viewing public were forced to readjust their couch position. The biography takes us from Potter's childhood in the Forest of Dean, through a highly political Oxford career up to his marriage to his childhood and lifelong sweetheart. After this the work, a mutated hybrid of Potter's own life and his dream world constructed from songs and sexual fantasies. Carpenter treads carefully; there are still many living friends and relatives, and some of the material is emotionally complex. He presents Potter through detailed accounts of his work and extensive interviews with friends, lovers and colleagues, leaving readers to make up their own minds about this fiery, brilliant, demanding man. Potter's life has often been reduced to a tabloid blur of slur and as a writer, he is mainly known for Pennies From Heaven
. There was much more to him than that. This biography offers readers a chance to see the man in all his guises. --Hannah Griffiths
About the Author
Humphrey Carpenter was born and educated in Oxford, and attended the Dragon School and Keble College. He was a well-known biographer and children's writer, and worked previously as a producer at the BBC. He wrote biographies of J. R. R. Tolkien, W. H. Auden, Benjamin Britten, Ezra Pound, C. S. Lewis and Dennis Potter. Among his many books for children were the best-selling Mr Majeika
series. He also wrote several plays for the theatre and radio. A keen musician, he was a member of a 1930s-style jazz band, Vile Bodies, which was resident at the Ritz Hotel in London for a number of years. He died in 2005.
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