Alan Sillitoe: The Flame of Life

(2031 words)

The Flame of Life (1974), Alan Sillitoe’s ninth novel, is the last in the “William Posters” trilogy. Volumes one and two, The Death of William Posters (1965) and A Tree on Fire (1967), had appeared within two years of each other, but seven years elapsed before its final volume emerged. In his “Author’s Note” to Flame, Sillitoe says he began it in August 1967 and finished it in January 1974 and acknowledges this is “a long time for one book”; he attributes the delay both to the pressure of other writing and to the fact that “the plot and form” of Flame “weren’t so absolutely clear in my mind as they subsequently became over the years” (5).

Flame focuses on the …
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Tredell, Nicolas. "The Flame of Life". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 November 2012
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]