A Vision of Battlements

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A Vision of Battlements
First edition
Author Anthony Burgess
Illustrator Edward Pagram
Published Sidgwich and Jackson: London, 1965
Pages 265
OCLC 559438259

A Vision of Battlements is a 1965 novel by Anthony Burgess based on his experiences during World War II in Gibraltar, where he was serving with the British army. It is Burgess's first novel.[1] While not published until 1965, Burgess wrote it in 1949. As he explains, "I was empty of music but itching to create. So I wrote this novel...to see if I could clear my head of the dead weight of Gibraltar."[2]


The story draws from Burgess's experience of being stationed in Gibraltar during World War II and satirizes traditional notions of battle heroism by parodying the Aeneid with antihero Richard Ennis taking the place of Aeneas.[3][4]

The title, in addition to its Gibraltarian associations, contains a reference to the appearance of certain objects in the eye of one who suffers from astigmatism.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Nichol, Donald (August 1989). ""Flagrant" versus "Fragrant" in Beaumont, Pope, Pound, and Burgess". Modern Philology. 87 (1): 76–82. doi:10.1086/391749. 
  2. ^ Burgess, Anthony (1965). A Vision of Battlements (Introduction). Norton. pp. 7–8. 
  3. ^ Burgess, Anthony; Charles T. Bunting (Winter 1973). "A "Studies in the Novel" Interview: An interview in New York with Anthony Burgess". Studies in the Novel. 4 (4): 504–529. 
  4. ^ Ziolkowski, Theodore (Spring 2000). "The Fragmented Text: The classics and postwar European literature". International Journal of the Classical Tradition. 6 (4): 549–562. doi:10.1007/bf02907070.