David John Lodge was born on January 28, 1935, in London’s lower-middle-class East End, the only son of a musician father and a staunchly Catholic mother. The family’s straitened economic situation, his conservative Catholic upbringing, and the dangers of wartime London left their mark on young David. He began his first novel (unpublished) at eighteen while still a student at University College, London, where he received his B.A. in English (with first honors) in 1955 and an M.A. in 1959. From 1955 to 1957, Lodge performed what was then an obligatory stint in the National Service; although the two years were in a sense wasted, his stint in the army did give him time to complete his first published novel, The Picturegoers, and provided material for his second, Ginger, You’re Barmy, as well as the impetus to continue his studies. In 1959, Lodge married Mary Frances Jacob; they had three children. After a year working as an assistant at the British Council, Lodge joined the faculty at the University of Birmingham, where he completed his Ph.D. in 1969; he eventually attained the position of full professor of modern English literature in 1976.
The mid-1960’s proved an especially important period in Lodge’s personal and professional life: He became close friends with fellow critic and novelist Malcolm Bradbury (then also at Birmingham), under whose influence Lodge wrote his first comic novel, The British Museum Is Falling Down, for which the publisher, not so comically, forgot to distribute review copies; he was awarded a Harkness Commonwealth Fellowship to study and travel in the United States for a year (1964-1965); he published his first critical study, the influential The Language of Fiction; and he learned that his third child, Christopher, suffered from Down syndrome (a biographical...
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