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'A diary is an assassin's cloak which we wear when we stab a comrade in the back with a pen', wrote William Soutar in 1934. But a diary is also a place for recording everyday thoughts and special occasions, private fears and hopeful dreams. The Assassin's Cloak gathers together some of the most entertaining and inspiring entries for each day of the year, as writers ranging from Queen Victoria to Andy Warhol, Samuel Pepys to Adrian Mole, pen their musings on the historic and the mundane. Spanning centuries and international in scope, this peerless anthology pays tribute to a genre that is at once the most intimate and public of all literary forms. This new updated edition is published to mark the twentieth anniversary of the book's original publication.

 

Details

ISBN: 9781786899118
Audience: General
Format: Hardback
Number of Pages: 720
Edition: Main - New edition
Publication Date: 5 Nov 2020
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Publication City, Country: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 24(H) x 16.2(L) x 5.8(W)
Weight (gm): 1003

 

Reviews

Triumphantly eclectic and entertaining . . . What this delightful book demonstrates is that there is nothing more gripping than everyday life, and nothing more extraordinary than the commonplace * * Observer * *
Utterly compulsive, thanks, in part, to the excellent editing and the way in which they have allowed the commonplace to co-exist with the sage, the hackneyed with the gnostic. Its cumulative effect is surprisingly moving * * The Times * *
Wonderful . . . The range of diarists and subjects is remarkable, and the anthology is one to which you will want to return again and again * * Sunday Times * *
For a delicious daily read, nothing can eclipse The Assassin's Cloak. This is the ultimate bedside book * * Daily Mail * *
This gloriously serendipitous gathering of diarists provides wonderfully diverse comments on virtually everything under the sun * * Sunday Telegraph * *
A superb collection . . . Gossipy, funny, perceptive and vicious . . . Every dip-in is a sheer delight * * Observer * *
So enthralling that one devours chunks at a time. One of the paperbacks of this year, or any year * * Herald * *
The sublime and the ridiculous for once co-exist rather marvellously, letting us take insight from the mundane or the momentous, or simply from unique moments in time * * Observer * *
There are tremendous riches here. You are left with a kaleidoscope of images . . . There is profound despair, excitement, hope and a great deal of confession. The overall result is strangely uplifting * * Daily Telegraph * *
Like Shakespeare, the Bible and some of those other bedside titles, The Assassin's Cloak is not so much a book as a world * * Washington Post * *

 

Author Biography

Alan Taylor has been a journalist for over thirty years. He was deputy editor of the Scotsman, managing editor of Scotsman Publications, and writer-at-large for the Sunday Herald. He has edited several acclaimed anthologies, most recently Glasgow: The Autobiography (2016). He is the author of Appointment in Arezzo: A Friendship with Muriel Spark and, in 2018, series editor of the centenary edition of Spark's novels. He is the co-founder and editor of the Scottish Review of Books. Irene Taylor was born and brought up in Edinburgh. For many years she worked in public libraries. She has a degree in history from Edinburgh University and she now works for the National Trust for Scotland.
The Assassin's Cloak: An Anthology of the World's Greatest Diarists
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