J A M E S   H A R P U R        



"James Harpur wears his erudition lightly and has a highly engaging, compelling style … his lecture on poetry and imagination was both entertaining and profound."

Clarissa Farr, former High Mistress of St Paul’s Girls’ School, London


     James regularly gives readings and talks on poetry, imagination and inspiration in schools. These have included Geelong Grammar School (Australia), where he was invited to give a sermon; St Paul’s Girls’ School (UK); Cranleigh School (UK); Radley College (UK); Kilmeen NS (Ireland);  Rugby School (UK); and the Lycée Albert Premier (Monaco).


     His 15-sonnet sequence of poems about the death of his father from motorneurone disease, ‘The Frame of Furnace Light’, has been used in A Level English coursework, and his latest award-winning verse memoir The Examined Life, with a foreword by Stephen Fry, is due to be used in A Level coursework in 2022. 

    James himself was educated at Wallop School, Weybridge, then Cranleigh School, which he describes in The Examined Life – a poignant, powerful and humorous account of his five years there in the 1970s. Image


‘A quite marvellous work…an Odyssey, a Ulysses shaken up in the snow-dome of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.’ — From the foreword by Stephen Fry

‘Insanely courageous … a serious success — a subtle account of adolescence, friendship, confinement, the fashions of the 1970s, a meditation on the phrase in loco parentis, and a brilliant exercise of memory.’ — The Spectator 

‘Haunted and haunting… a terrific examination of homesickness – the Odyssey is a vibrant framework for Harpurs five years away at school.’  -- The Irish Times 


Buy The Examined Life  at Two Rivers Press and Amazon





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