• "An entertaining history of literary life."

    Nicholas Shakespeare, Daily Telegraph
  • "Engaging, assured and entertaining."

    James Kidd, Independent
  • "Wide ranging, entertaining and thoughtful survey"

    Michael Prodger, The Times
  • "An amazing achievement"

    David Lodge
  • "A pleasingly gossipy history of literary life in England since 1918…very enjoyable"

  • "Elegantly written, defiantly intelligent, scrupulously researched and richly enjoyable."

    John Preston, Mail on Sunday
  • "Riveting"

    Max Liu, Independent on Sunday
  • "A cross between a series of critical essays and a connected history… Its great strength lies in the freshness of his critical responses… The sheer vitality of Taylor’s engagement with books…is infectious… Perceptive portraits and crisp judgments."

    Stefan Collini, Guardian
  • "[Taylor’s] grand historical survey, covering publishing, reviewing, writing, making a living, and teaching, charts the rise of the man of letters… Well researched and informative."

    Michele Roberts, Financial Times