William Pryor

Gwen Raverat’s grandson, manages Raverat Ltd, which was set up to manage and market the remaining contents of the archive of Gwen’s original prints. Author of Virginia Woolf and the Raverats (2004), William was born in Farnborough where his landed-gentry entomologist father was sticking Mosquito aircraft together with the epoxy resin glue he invented. War over, the family moved back to Cambridge and William, age twelve, was sent away to Eton. In 1963, he went up to Trinity to read Moral Sciences. Beckett, Coltrane, Ferlinghetti, Ornette, Camus, Burroughs, Mingus, Ginsberg and Dada-ism were at the centre of his life and he joined a group of trainee beatniks that met at El Patio, the Criterion, the Old Mill, Millers Jazz Club and in furtive college rooms. Syd Barrett floated about with his guitar. Several months in a garret in Paris in a mist of Morning Glory hallucinogens convinced William he was a genius. Heroin addiction eventually got him sacked from Trinity. It lasted 12 years. He came close to death several times before finally getting straight in 1975. He founded Airlift Book Company, market leader in the distribution of US books in Europe; the Green Catalogue, Europe’s first environmental goods mail order business; Arq Web developers; Floot.com pioneered the concept of niche aggregation of music on the Web; and Clear Press, a publisher of non-fiction. He had two books of poetry published in the 70s and 80s, and a memoir of his addictions in 2003, The Survival of the Coolest, which he has adapted into a fictional screenplay, Cool, which is in development. He has been a regular speaker at seminars and conventions, in particular at the addiction conference he established in 2006, Unhooked Thinking.

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