Frederic Raphael

Frederic Michael Raphael (born 14 August 1931) is an American-born, British screenwriter, biographer, nonfiction writer, novelist and journalist.

Frederic Raphael
Born (1931-08-14) 14 August 1931

Early life

Raphael was born to a Jewish family,[1] in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Irene Rose (née Mauser) and Cedric Michael Raphael, an employee of the Shell Oil Co.[2]. He moved to Putney, England, in 1938 aged 7, when his parents emigrated to the UK.

Raphael was educated at Copthorne Preparatory School, Charterhouse School and St John's College, Cambridge.


Raphael won an Oscar for the screenplay for the 1965 movie Darling, and two years later received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for Two for the Road. He also wrote the screenplay for the 1967 film adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd directed by John Schlesinger.

His articles and book reviews appear in a number of newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times and The Sunday Times. He has published more than twenty novels, the best-known being the semi-autobiographical The Glittering Prizes (1976), which traces the lives of a group of Cambridge University undergraduates in post-war Britain as they move through university and into the wider world. The original six-part BBC television series, from which the book was adapted, won him a Royal Television Society Writer of the Year Award.[3] Fame and Fortune, which continues the story to 1979, was adapted in 2007 and broadcast on BBC Radio 4, television channels having refused to commission the sequel themselves. In 2010, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a further sequel in a series entitled Final Demands, with Tom Conti as Adam Morris, the central character, bringing the story to the late 1990s.

Raphael has published several history books, collections of essays and translations. He has also written biographies of Somerset Maugham and Lord Byron. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1964.

In 1999, Raphael published Eyes Wide Open, a memoir of his collaboration with the director Stanley Kubrick on the screenplay of Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick's final movie. Raphael wrote a detailed account of his working with Kubrick, based on his own journals, but upon its publication the book was publicly criticised by several of the director's friends and family members, among them Christiane Kubrick,[4] Jan Harlan,[5] and Michael Herr[6], for its unflattering portrayal of him.

Referring to an article by Raphael about his book in the New Yorker, Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise also professed criticism.[7][8]

That year, Penguin Books published a new translation of Arthur Schnitzler's Dream Story, the basis for Eyes Wide Shut, featuring an introduction by Raphael.

Personal life

He married Sylvia Betty Glatt on 17 January 1955, and they had three children.



  • Obbligato 1956
  • The Earlsdon Way 1958
  • The Limits of Love 1960
  • A Wild Surmise 1961
  • The Graduate Wife 1962
  • The Trouble with England 1962
  • Lindmann 1963
  • Orchestra and Beginners 1967
  • Like Men Betrayed 1970
  • Who Were You With Last Night? 1971
  • April, June and November 1972
  • Richard's Things 1973
  • California Time 1975
  • The Glittering Prizes 1976
  • Oxbridge Blues 1979
  • Heaven and Earth 1985
  • Think of England 1986
  • After the War 1990
  • The Hidden Eye 1990
    • Of Gods and Men 1992
    • Coast to Coast 1998
    • Fame and Fortune (sequel to The Glittering Prizes) 2007
    • Final Demands (sequel to Fame and Fortune) 2010
  • Private Views 2015


  • Somerset Maugham and his World (1976)
  • The Poems of Catullus (with Kenneth McLeish) (1979)
  • The List of Books: A Library of Over 3000 Works (with Kenneth McLeish) Harmony Books, New York City, 1981. ISBN 0-517-54017-7.
  • The Necessity of Anti-Semitism (1998)
  • Popper: Historicism and Its Poverty]] 1998
  • Eyes Wide Open (1999)
  • Personal Terms (2001)
  • The Benefit of Doubt: Essays (2003)
  • A Spoilt Boy: A Memoir of a Childhood (2003)
  • Rough Copy: Personal Terms 2 (2004)
  • Cuts and Bruises: Personal Terms 3 (2006)
  • Some Talk of Alexander: A Journey Through Space and Time in the Greek World (2006)
  • Literary Genius: 25 Classic Writers Who Define English & American Literature (2007) (Illustrated by Barry Moser)
  • Ifs and Buts (journals) (2011)
  • How Stanley Kubrick Met His Waterloo (2011)[9]
  • A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus (2013)
  • Distant Intimacy: A Friendship in the Age of the Internet (2013)
  • Going Up, Autobiography, Cambridge and After (2015)
  • Anti-Semitism (2015)

Screenplays (partial list)


  1. Erens, Patricia (August 1988). The Jew in American Cinema. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-20493-6.
  2. "Frederic Michael Raphael Biography (1931–)". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  3. Dust jacket notes to The Glittering Prizes (London: Allen Lane, 1976) ISBN 0-7139-1028-3
  4. "Christiane Kubrick's Website". Archived from the original on 31 March 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  5. "Those Close to Kubrick – IGN". IGN. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  6. "The Kubrick FAQ Part 3". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  8. Roger Ebert. "Cruise opens up about working with Kubrick – Interviews – Roger Ebert". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  9. Raphael, Frederic (13 August 2011). "How Stanley Kubrick Met His Waterloo". The Wall Street Journal.
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