In this perceptive and affectionate account of the four Knox
brothers, Booker Prize-winning novelist Penelope Fitzgerald pays a
memorable tribute to her father, the poet and famous Punch editor
Eddie Knox and her three Uncles. The most famous of whom was,
undoubtedly, Ronnie, a Catholic convert Priest who was also a wit,
scholar and translator of the Bible. Dilwyn, the second brother
used his agile brain to solve puzzles first as a Greek scholar and
then as a highly regarded cryptographer in both World Wars, while
Wilfred, the third and equally gifted boy became an Anglo Catholic
Priest who dedicated much of his life to welfare work in the East
End of London. All four sons of the evangelical Bishop of
Manchester shared a passion for words, and the author brings the
Victorian vicarage household and its brilliant inhabitants vividly
alive. (Kirkus UK)
Penelope Fitzgerald's biography 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.' In this,
only her second book, Penelope Fitzgerald turned her novelist's
gaze on the quite extraordinary lives of her father and his three
brothers. A masterly work of biography, within which we see
Penelope Fitzgerald exercising her pen magnificently before she
began her novel-writing career. Edmund Knox, her father, was one of
the most successful editors of Punch. Dillwyn, a Cambridge Greek
scholar, was the first to crack the Nazi's message decoding system,
Enigma, and in so doing, is estimated to have shortened the Second
World War by six months. Wilfred became an Anglo-Catholic priest
and an active welfare worker in the East End of London. Ronald, the
best known of the four during his lifetime, 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.
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