Blue Plaque for Kingsley Amis, writer and former Swansea University lecturer

The writer Kingsley Amis, who taught at Swansea University in the 1950s, has been commemorated with a blue plaque, unveiled on the house where he lived in the Uplands, near the University.

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The plaque is at The Grove, Uplands SA2 0QT, and was unveiled on Wednesday 15 April. 

It is the 9th in a series of plaques, put in place by the City and County of Swansea to commemorate prominent figures in the history of the city.

Kingsley Amis (1922–1995) was a British novelist, poet, and critic, who was considered as one of the greatest satirical writers of the twentieth century.

Kingsley AmisBorn in suburban South London, the only child of a clerk in the office of the mustard-maker Colman’s, he went to the City of London School on the Thames before winning an English scholarship to St. John’s College, Oxford, where he began a lifelong friendship with fellow student Philip Larkin.

Following national service he completed his degree and in 1949 joined Swansea University - then known as the University College of Swansea – as a lecturer, where he stayed until 1961.

Lucky Jim, his first novel, for which he became famous, appeared in 1954, and drew heavily on his experiences in Swansea as it was set in a university. It is said that its main character is based on a former member of the Swansea University English department.

The New York Review of Books charts his career after leaving Swansea:

"Amis spent a year as a visiting fellow in the creative writing department of Princeton University and in 1961 became a fellow at Peterhouse College, Cambridge, but resigned the position two years later, lamenting the incompatibility of writing and teaching (“I found myself fit for nothing much more exacting than playing the gramophone after three supervisions a day”)."

"Ultimately he published twenty-four novels, including science fiction and a James Bond sequel; more than a dozen collections of poetry, short stories, and literary criticism; restaurant reviews and three books about drinking; political pamphlets and a memoir; and more."

"Amis received the Booker Prize for his novel The Old Devils in 1986 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990."

Study English at Swansea