Colin MacInnes

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Colin MacInnes' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Colin MacInnes' page


By Fiona Green

I first met Colin in 1964 when he was an author with MacGibbon & Kee in Golden Square & my husband,Martin Green was his publisher.He had already published 'Absolute Beginners', 'City of Spades' & 'Mr Love & Justice'. His father was an opera singer & his mother a well known writer of romances.He had received little parental love or support as a youngster.He was closely related to Sir Edward Burne-Jones,Stanley Baldwin & Rudyard Kipling & proud of his early gift as a painter at the Euston Road School.

At our first meeting he was gruff & prickly,but as time went by I soon learned that this was his defence mechanism,hiding a gentle & sensitive soul.Colin inhabited Soho from the fifties until his death in 1976.He lived with us in Fitzrovia whenever he came to London which was about 6 times a year & soon became a part of our family. One of his favourite recordings was Count John Macormack singing Irish ballads because Colin loved Music Hall (his father was a singer) His love of black men is well documented ; I would accompany him to the Mangrove Restaurant in Notting Hill & he would bring his friends back home to our place too. At the end of his life when he was suffering from cancer, drugs were only given to him once a day to kill the pain, so I smuggled in some from his doctor who had retired.He wrote some astonishing diatribes against the health system he had believed in & supported. Just as he had written about the teenagers I had taught at my truancy project in Kings Cross.('The Open Way', TES Supplement, 2/8/1974) His funeral at sea was an amazing affair & the mourners sang the night away.One of the mourners was Frank Norman of "Fings Aint Wot They Used To Be" ..See Colin's biography 'Inside Outsider by Tony Gould

'Inside Outsider' by Tony Gould published by Alison & Busby 1993

Photograph of Colin by unknown photographer

This page was added by Fiona Green on 21/02/2013.

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