Clay, John

John Clay

Elected: 1998

Year of death: 2023

John Clay’s first biography was of Culbertson, The Man who Made Contract Bridge (Weidenfeld, 1985). This was followed by the life of the novelist John Masters, A Regimented Life (Hodder and Stoughton, 1987). After training as a Jungian Psychotherapist, he wrote Men at Midlife (Sedgwick and Jackson, 1989) and then a biography of R D Laing, A Divided Self (Hodder and Stoughton, 1996). A second bridge book followed, Tales from the Bridge Table (Hodder and Stoughton, 1998). Having helped start up Peper Harow, a therapeutic community for disturbed adolescents, in the 1970s, he next wrote Maconochie’s Experiment (John Murray, 2002), which described a transformative penal colony set up in Australia in the 1840s. Since then, he has written a family history and memoir, Getting There (privately published, 2020).

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Fellowship Election Process​

Fellows are nominated by peers and elected by our Council of writers – our governing Board. Being elected a Fellow of the RSL is a lifetime honour. This role gives them the opportunity to support other writers, readers and the future of literature. The RSL connects writers in the Fellowship to one another, and to a wider readership.