cover image Selected Letters of Aldous Huxley

Selected Letters of Aldous Huxley

, . . Ivan R. Dee, $35 (497pp) ISBN 978-1-56663-629-2

The first collection of Huxley's correspondence since 1969, this presents hundreds of letters never before published, including previously embargoed love letters, offering an illuminating look at an author who left an indelible mark on the 20th century. Sexton's selections cover the full span of Huxley's life, from a six-year-old's note to his older brother in 1901 to his last letter to his son two months before Huxley's death from cancer in 1963. The letters, presented chronologically, illustrate Huxley's friendship with his patron, Lady Ottoline Morrell, and detail a young Huxley's search for employment. Huxley wrote fan letters to H.L. Mencken and Margaret Sanger, enjoyed lunching with Noël Coward and found Charlie Chaplin to be “[t]he most ravishing man.” Most notable are the playful and intimate letters to his mistress, Mary Hutchinson. To her, he frets about his “book about the future,” Brave New World : “It advances slowly—and the future becomes more and more appalling with every chapter.” Later letters detailing a plan to help a Jewish woman escape Nazi Germany by marrying an Englishman, show a determined antifascist and peace activist. Sexton, who co-edited Huxley's complete essays, helps reveal Huxley and the fast-changing world he loved to write about more fully than ever before. (Nov.)