A Cage To Hold My Dreams


Terence Pettigrew gained the attention of the media with the publication in 1977 of his first biography, 'Bogart'. Other books followed. These include 'British Film Character Actors' (1982), 'British Films' (1985, sponsored by the Post Office), 'Raising Hell' (1993), and 'Trevor Howard : A Personal Biography' (2001).

'Bogart' proved a popuar book in the UK and America. In 1985, the star's widow Lauren Bacall asked to meet the author in London, and told him how impressed she was with his work.

On the Trevor Howard biography, the actor and his wife Helen Cherry co-operated fully and enthusiastically. The result, published several years after Howard's death, was a candid and affectionate portrait of a man whose natural talent took him to film stardom but who struggled constantly with his 'dark' side.

Pettigrew's radio work comprises a large number of 60 min and 30 min documentaries for the BBC. For Radio 2, he made 'Nobody Cried When The Trains Pulled Out' which told the dramatic story of the evacuation of children from major cities during World War II. His guests included Henry Cooper, Vince Hill and Derek Nimmo.

This was followed with 'Caught In The Draft', the story of compulsory military service in Britain between 1939 and 1961. Guests included Bob Monkhouse, John Junkin. and broadcaster John Dunn. Both these programmes were narrated by Michael Aspel, with whom he later collaborated on the TV special, 'The Trouble with the 'Fifties', for London Weekend Television.

On BBC Radio 4 Terence Pettigrew wrote and presented documentaries under the titles 'You're Tearing Me Apart', the story of James Dean. His studio guests included Hollywood 'Baby Doll' star Carroll Baker, and singer/actor Adam Faith ; and 'I Had The Misery Thursday', a profile of another 1950s Hollywood legend Montgomery Clift. His guests included Susannah York, David Kossof and Lord (formerly David) Puttnam. For the BBC World Service he wrote and narrated a 6-part documentary series, 'Screen Partners'. At the start of his writing career, during the 1960s, he wrote scenarios for several popular UK television drama series including 'The Avengers', with Patrick Macnee ; 'The Power Game', with Patrick Wymark and Barbara Murray ; and 'The Public Eye', with Alfred Burke.

His feature articles and poetry have appeared in a wide variety of national newspapers and glossy magazines including the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Mail On Sunday, You Magazine, Radio Times, Photoplay, and dozens more.

He has also written for the theatre. 'Mainly Edward', a play based on the life and work of the celebrated Victorian novelist and statesman Edward Bulwer-Lytton was scripted in 2001 with the co-operation of the Lytton family. This was followed by 'Blackpool Rock', a behind-the-scenes comedy about the preparations for an ENSA show in 1944, and, more recently, 'Arousing Passions', another comedy, this time co-written with Barbara Butcher.

Due for publication by Bredline Books in September 2010 is 'Brotherly Sisters', a collection of over sixty original poems written by Terence Pettigrew which re-creates, in chronological sequence, many dramatic episodes from the creative lives and love-lives of the Brontes. Comprising an epic 15,000 words of narrative poetry, plus 7,000 words of introduction which references the individual poems to dramatic events in the Brontes' lives, 'Brotherly Sisters' offers a poet's vision of their triumphs and tragedies.

It also contains many evocative descriptions of the Yorkshire moors, whose bleak landscape, stormy weather and splendid isolation feature so powerfully in the sisters' classic novels.

Currently in preparation, also to be published by Bredline Books, are two other poetry collections by Terence Pettigrew. The first, due out April 2011, is 'Love And Other Weaponry', an anthology of over sixty love poems which describe not only the idyllic emotions aroused by love, but also its cruel, darker side.

The second is 'Gaius And His Lady', due for publication in September 2011, which tells the story, in 15,000 words of narrative poetry, of the passionate love affair between Pontius Pilate and Claudia Procula. Set in ancient Rome and in Judaea at the time of Christ, this was a romance which should not have happened. Claudia Procula was the step daughter of emperor Tiberius Caesar, and Pontius Pilate was an equestrian officer forbidden by law from associating with a royal lady. Yet they met and fell in love. This sequence of poems tells their true dramatic story, against a background even more dramatic--the beginnings of Christianity.

Terence Pettigrew has had the same literary agent for 35 years. She is Shelley Power, previously London-based who currently runs her business from Paris.

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