George D. Painter

George Duncan Painter OBE (5 June 1914 – 8 December 2005),[1] known as George D. Painter, was an English author most famous as a biographer of Marcel Proust.

Painter was born in Birmingham. His father was a schoolmaster, and his mother was an artist.[1] He studied classics at Trinity College, Cambridge, and later lectured in Latin at the University of Liverpool for one year. From 1938 until World War II and again after the war, he worked at the British Museum in the printed books section.

His two-volume biography of Proust was published in 1959 and 1965. According to Miron Grindea, this was "rightly greeted as one of the great achievements in literary history",[2] and it is still widely considered to be one of the finest literary biographies in the English language.[3] Its second volume won the Duff Cooper Prize.[1] His later work Chateaubriand: Volume 1 – The Longed-For Tempests was awarded the 1977 James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

In popular culture



  1. 1 2 3 Hayman, Ronald (2005-12-05). "George Painter: Writer whose life of Proust became the standard work". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
  2. Grindea, Miron (1972, Vol 37, Nos 364-366) "The Stuff of which Legends are Made", ADAM International Review.
  3. Smith, Dinitia (2000-04-13) "Why Proust? And Why Now?", The New York Times.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Details taken from a copy of Marcel Proust: a biography, London, Chatto and Windus (1959) - no ISBN

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