Anthony Burgess: A Clockwork Archive

Anthony Burgess: A Clockwork Archive


He may have been best known for his sadistic Droogs, postmodern flair and razor-sharp wit, but how much do we know about the real Anthony Burgess? In this brutally honest account, Paul Morley explores the depths of a literary career both blessed and plagued by A Clockwork Orange, while revealing a private life at odds with the writer’s carefully honed public image.

Too intellectual for the streets of Manchester, yet naturally suspicious of the Oxbridge elite, Burgess was always on the run from those around him. Through an extensive selection of clips, we also hear how the novelist struggled with his Catholicism and hid his ambition to compose classical music. Burgess may have been prolific, opinionated, an “urbane man of the world”, but here is a conformist and, above all, a martyr.


As the 50th anniversary of the publication of A Clockwork Orange approaches, Paul Morley explores some less well-known aspects of author Anthony Burgess's life, such as his northern roots and his composing over 200 pieces of classical music - including the soundtrack to a dramatisation of his most famous novel. Paul visits Xaverian College, the Free Trade Hall and the Central Library in Manchester, key landmarks of Burgess's early years, as well as the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, where a catalogue of the writer's literary and recorded output is preserved. First aired in 2012.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Paul Morley
Contributor Dr Andrew Biswell
Contributor Paul Philips
Contributor Dr Kevin Malone
Producer Nick Holmes
Documentary Arts