This is a collection of personal essays on greater and lesser known writers whose lives and careers have sparked some of Philip Mosley’s own literary and historical interests. Drawing on the experience of a forty-year academic career, he also introduces elements of personal narrative into his appreciations of this diverse set of authors whose backgrounds range from English (Vita Sackville West, Whitwell Elwin, George Barker, John Seymour, Virginia Haggard, J.K. Nettlefold), Welsh (Dylan Thomas) and American (Ned Washington) to Belgian (Maurice Maeterlinck), Danish (Karen Blixen), Mexican (Octavio Paz, Rosario Castellanos) and Kenyan (Ngugi wa Thiong’o). Corresponding to the growing academic sub-discipline of celebrity studies, a unifying theme of literary celebrity and its discontents runs throughout the volume. Chapter 1, ‘Resuming Maurice,’ on Maeterlinck, is the capstone essay and includes a ‘Pre-amble’ on the celebrity theme. The essays on Barker, Elwin, Seymour and Nettlefold have strong East Anglian connections, while the one on Virginia Haggard invokes the Norfolk origin of her famous great-uncle, the Victorian novelist Sir Henry Rider Haggard. The collection aims at the ‘common reader’ (in Virginia Woolf ’s sense), a broad audience of literary enthusiasts and especially those interested in how literary history and criticism, biography and memoir, and celebrity studies may intersect in productive and engaging ways.