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James Agate

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Category: General Interest
Reference No: 7163
Status: Available
Price: £15.00
  James Agate

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Hugely influential British drama critic and diarist.

After working in his father's linen drapery business until his late twenties he found his way into journalism, being on the staff of The Manchester Guardian (1907–14); drama critic for The Saturday Review (1921–23), and The Sunday Times (1923–47), and holding the same post for the BBC (1925–32).

Agate's diaries and letters, published in a series of nine volumes under the title of Ego, are a record of the British theatre of his era and also of his non-theatrical interests, including sports, social gossip and his private preoccupations with his health and precarious finances. In addition to drama criticism he wrote about the cinema and English literature for London newspapers, and published three novels and regularly brought out collections of his theatre essays and reviews.

At the age of 37, Agate volunteered in May 1915 for the Army Service Corps, and was posted to France. His fluency in French and knowledge of horses landed him a job as a hay procurer (described in the first volume of his Ego), a jog in which he proved outstandingly successful. His system of accounting for hay purchases in a foreign land in wartime was eventually recognised by the War Office and made into an official handbook.

This is a very fine signature in blue fountain pen ink on a 5.5" x 3.5" vintage album page. In excellent condition.