The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler review – a bibliophile’s treat

A lively, diligent guide to more than 100 authors who are not as well-known as perhaps they should be

In 99 potted biographies and 12 short essays, Christopher Fowler endeavours to exhume the names of more than 100 authors who he believes are unjustly forgotten. Well researched and wide-ranging, there are some factual gems: that the author of Bambi sold the film rights to Disney for $1,000; that EM Delafield, famous for The Diary of a Provincial Lady, also wrote novels that “tackled lesbian feelings, real-life murder, alcoholism, family cruelties, adulteries and betrayals”. An essay devoted to forgotten Booker prize-winners should serve to temper the jubilation of future nominees while multiple tales of successful writers suddenly falling foul of publishing trends read all too appositely. The Book of Forgotten Authors is a bibliophile’s treat written with verve, diligence and the author’s evident passion. It’s an anthology for browsing that ...