One For The Books


AUTHOR! AUTHOR! Alan Bennett

It's a wonder the modern world can find a place for Alan Bennett. In an age of braying, he whispers. In a pop culture consecrated to Don Juan, he seems the grayish professor — a wan don. His plays, for stage and TV, are subtle comedies about daft people (The Madness of George III, The Lady in the Van) or lost ones (An Englishman Abroad, Talking Heads). His method is understatement, indirection, irony. "In England, we never entirely mean what we say, do we?" a Bennett character declares in the 1977 play The Old Country. "Do I mean that? Not...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!