P. N. Furbank

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Philip Nicholas Furbank FRSL (/ˈfɜːrˌbæŋk/; 23 May 1920 – 27 June 2014)[1] was an English writer,[2] scholar and critic, and a professor (later emeritus) of the Open University.


He was known for significant biographies, including E. M. Forster: A Life (1977/8), and Diderot: A Critical Biography (1992), which won a Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism. He has also edited the works of Daniel Defoe and made major contributions to the question of attributions to Defoe in A Critical Bibliography of Daniel Defoe, The Canonisation of Daniel Defoe, and A Political Biography of Daniel Defoe all co-written with W. R. Owens, in addition to many others on aspects of Defoe.

He was a friend of Alan Turing, becoming his Executor, and general editor of Turing's collected works. He was also known as a reviewer.

Furbank's other books include ones on the poet Mallarmé and the painter Poussin, Italo Svevo: The Man and the Writer (1966)[3] and Behalf (1999) on political thought.[4]



  1. ^ PN Furbank obituary
  2. ^ Joseph, Epstein (October 10, 1971). "Maurice; By E. M. Forster. 256 pp. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. $6.95. Maurice". New York Times. p. BR1. Retrieved 20 May 2011. PN Furbank, who is preparing his biography, tells us that Forster felt large .... 
  3. ^ Sections of Italo Stevo on books.google.com Retrieved 6 January 2011
  4. ^ Sections of Behalf on books.google.com Retrieved 6 January 2011

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