V.S Pritchett’s Biography
V. S. Pritchett (1900-1997) was an English short story writer, novelist, literary critic, journalist, travel writer, biographer, and autobiographer. Though not an innovator in terms of style, he was nevertheless an interesting and highly competent writer. V. S. Pritchett, who was born on December 16, 1900, in Ipswich, England, to Sawdon and Beatrice (Martin) Pritchett, told the story of his life in two volumes. The first of these is A Cab at the Door: A Memoir (the British subtitle is Childhood and Youth, 1900-1920), and the second is Midnight Oil (1971). His account of his life is humorous at times and rather detached. His father, a religious seeker, found refuge in later years in Christian Science. Micawber-like, Sawdon Pritchett was optimistic about the get-rich-quick schemes which left the family in straitened circumstances and which accounted for the title, A Cab at the Door. The family had to move frequently, with disastrous consequences for Pritchett's formal education. The mother, Beatrice Martin, was a sometimes vain and sometimes foolish woman of a decent lower class family. Pritchett loved literature and read Dickens and Hardy. He felt that he lacked grounding in mathematics and science. When his father, in 1915, decided that the son must learn a trade, the youth was upset at having his education interrupted. Though he didn't like his work in the leather trade, he did enjoy meeting and associating with people. At 20 he left for Paris. He continued to read not only British authors and poets but the more important modern French ones. He acquired a fluency in French of which he was very proud. It was almost by chance that he submitted three pieces for publication in 1921. The Christian Science Monitor published one of these, and his career was launched. During his two-year stay in Paris he made friends with other young people, though he was rather shy and certainly innocent by...