Gripping new book imagines life and queer heartbreak of real-life poet Charles Causley
Patrick Gale’s new fictional biography, Mother’s Boy, fills in the blanks about “Poet of Cornwall” Charles Causley’s life.
Causley was born in 1917 in Launceston, Cornwall. His father died from war wounds, and he grew up in the long shadow of his mother, which he never escaped.
Gale describes their co-dependency – she held to him as tightly as he did to her. But as Charles hit puberty he knew there was something odd about himself. His friend Ginger took him cruising at a local swimming spot but Charles remained chaste.
In 1940, Causley joined the Royal Navy and was posted to HMS Eclipse. His sea sickness never abated and he was given a desk job in Gibraltar.
In Mother’s Boy, Charles experiences a harrowing bombing on the Rock, and takes cover with a