The Dog at Clambercrown takes its name from a mysterious pub - seductive and frightening, never visited, only heard of – that fascinates Brooke’s child narrator in this beautiful and utterly original work of autobiographical fiction.
Both a journey through Europe and a return to the forbidden kingdoms of a Kentish childhood, the novel interweaves past and present as Brooke, responding to the magical potency of “Abroad”, summons the obsessions and terrors of his youth, and conjures an almost pagan vision of the English countryside – even as he sits down to tea with the Sicilian mafia.
First published in 1955, The Dog at Clambercrown epitomises what Anthony Powell termed as Brooke’s unique genre of “reminiscence lightly touched with fiction”. Disarmingly clever, deliciously opinionated and irrepressibly amusing, this neglected classic of gay literature is ripe for rediscovery.
‘One of the most interesting and talented of contemporary writers’ – Anthony Powell
‘He is subtle as the devil’ – John Betjeman
‘Here is a writer possessed by the magic—the voodoo—of childhood’ – New Statesman