Cyril Connolly was the celebrated critic-editor of Horizon magazine. His book Enemies of Promise, about why he failed to become a novelist, has become the sacred text of literary underachievers ever since.

Connolly’s early friends included George Orwell, Cecil Beaton and Kenneth Clark. He would later, as editor of the hugely influential Horizon, befriend everyone from John Betjeman to Evelyn Waugh. A large man with a personality and lifestyle to match, Connolly spent decades at the gossipy, affair-laden, acrimonious centre of the British literary world and famously defined literature as ‘Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be grasped at once.’