Anthony Curtis, who died in 2014, was a life-long litterateur with a distinguished career as a lecturer, literary editor, journalist, critic and expert on Somerset Maugham.

After wartime service in the RAF, Curtis was a sometime Soho habitué (where he met both Dylan Thomas and Francis Bacon) before becoming deputy editor of the Times Literary Supplement, literary editor at the foundation of the Sunday Telegraph and later at the Financial Times. In his memoir Lit Ed, Curtis wrote that the 1984 award to Eric Newby ‘established the prize in the way it intended to continue – as an award to the best novel in absolute terms, not necessarily the one likely to give the greatest happiness to the greatest number’.