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The Knox Brothers

The Knox Brothers [Kindle Edition]

Penelope Fitzgerald , Richard Holmes
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Description


‘Reading a Penelope Fitzgerald novel is like being taken for a ride in a peculiar kind of car. Everything is of top quality – the engine, the coachwork and the interior all fill you with confidence. Then, after a mile or so, someone throws the steering-wheel out of the window.’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Wise and ironic, funny and humane, Fitzgerald is a wonderful, wonderful writer.’ David Nicholls

‘A portrait of English intelligence, religion, eccentricity, pig-headedness and wisdom, written with directness and wit.’ A.S. Byatt

‘A funny, tender, clever book. A study in a lost civilisation…destined to become a 20th century classic.’ Richard Holmes

Product Description

Penelope Fitzgerald, the Booker Prize-winning author of ‘Offshore’ and ‘The Blue Flower’, turns her attention to the story of her remarkable family.

When I was very young I took my uncles for granted, and it never occurred to me that everyone else in the world was not like them.’

Penelope Fitzgerald turns her novelist’s gaze on the quite extraordinary lives of her father and his three brothers.

Edmund Knox, her father, was one of the most successful editors of Punch. Dillwyn, ‘Dilly’, a Cambridge Greek scholar, was the first to crack the Enigma code and in so doing, is estimated to have shortened the Second World War by six months. Wilfred became a priest and welfare worker in the East End of London. Ronald was Roman Catholic chaplain to Oxford University’s student body, preacher, wit, scholar, crime-writer and translator of the Bible.

A homage to a long-forgotten world and a fascinating account of the generation straddling the divide between late Victorian and Edwardian.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 618 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; New Ed edition (13 Mar 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #36,664 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Penelope Fitzgerald was one of the most elegant and distinctive voices in British fiction. Three of her novels, The Bookshop, The Beginning of Spring and The Gate of Angels have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She won the Prize in 1979 for Offshore. Her last novel, The Blue Flower, was the most admired novel of 1995, chosen no fewer than nineteen times in the press as the 'Book of the Year'. It won America's National Book Critics' Circle Award.
She died in April 2000, at the age of eighty three.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Tribute 28 Nov 2002
By taking a rest HALL OF FAME
Penelope Fitzgerald produced some of the finest short novels written. Before she started her career as a novelist she wrote these collected biographies of her father and his 3 brothers in 1977. It seems appropriate that this collection of familial histories was updated and placed in its final form by Ms. Fitzgerald shortly before her death.

For those that believe Genetics play a role in the hereditary talent of later generations, this book certainly will reinforce that view. Whether when reviewing her Father's life, or that of his 3 brothers, all these men were exceptional in there own manner. There were characteristics they held in common; amongst them were brilliant wits, and integrity. The latter trait would seem redundant, or perhaps should be one we hope someday will be, for all men like her Uncle Wilfred and her Uncle Ronald. Both of these men were Priests, but even here these Brothers maintained their own identities. Wilfred was an Anglo-Catholic Priest, and his Brother was a Priest of The Roman Catholic Church. The History of these men's lives are all of great interest, however the differences in the Religious Denominations, at first so similar to the ear, and then so different theologically, provided some of the more interesting aspects of the book.

Father Ronald went beyond the normal duties of his calling, and expanded his talents not only into journalism, but I believe rather unusually as an Author of Detective Novels. All this was in addition to being The Chaplain At Oxford, and a man who translated a revised form of The New Testament, so that so many more could enjoy the writings.

For readers familiar with World War II, the word Enigma has a meaning in excess of the dictionary definition.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Koox's an extraordinary family 6 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the story of 4 gifted brothers, famous in their day, told by the novelist daughter of one of them. Her father was Edmund Knox, editor of Punch. Her youngest uncle was Monsignor Ronald Knox. Another was Alfred Knox, a skilled code-breaker who served in the two world wars, He was at Bletchley Park during the Second World War. Finally there was Wilfred, a zealous Anglican priest who worked in the East End of London, and was a dedicated socialist.Not least interesting is the information on life in Bletchley Par not involving computers.Monsignor Knox's great work, a translation of the Bible into modern English was widely used in the post-War period, but went out of favour when translations from the original Hebrew and Greek were required.

A well-written group biography which throws light on life in England in the first half of the 20 century. cannot fail to be interesting. A paperback of 288 pages, it has an excellent index, and a family tree of the Knox family that you keep referring to..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased 7 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The recipient was very pleased with this book - he didnt knbow he wanted to read it until he did!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Knox Brothers 11 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good read, I am part way through it and enjoying it, lots of history in this book.
Well worth a read
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