FICTION BY JONATHAN BAYLISS

GLOUCESTERMAN is the name which the American novelist Jonathan Bayliss (1926-2009) gave to his massive 20th-century fiction series, the novels Prologos, Gloucesterbook, Gloucestertide, and Gloucestermas.

Gloucesterbook, Gloucestertide, and Gloucestermas take place during the 1960s and 1970s on "Cape Gloucester," in a seaport called "Dogtown," the author's fictional name for Gloucester, Massachusetts, on Cape Ann. The setting of Prologos is 1950s Berkeley and Oakland, California, with flashbacks to the Great Depression in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and rural Vermont; wartime New York City; and the final days of WW2 in the western Pacific. It is "Cape Gloucester" that draws the men and women of the novels together. 

The 2,000+ pages of this semi-autobiographical fiction interweave big subjects including 20th-century American society (from business systems and technology to politics and culture); dance, ritual, myth, and tragedy; history, from Sumer to Gloucester; sexual attraction and domestic life; and theories of art and philosophy.

GLOUCESTERMAN is a web of ideas, people, and place, created by a writer whose interests were broad and whose diction and vocabulary are unusual and stimulating.

In Prologos, the main character Michael Chapman remembers that as a boy in 1930s Cambridge, Massachusetts, he had christened his homemade toy schooner Gloucesterman as he launched it on the Charles River during a downpour. In Gloucestermas, which takes place during the 1970s in a seaport city modeled on Gloucester, Massachusetts, a retired Navy man joins a fateful ocean voyage on an old schooner named Gloucesterman

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Copyright 2019 Jonathan Bayliss Trust