Philip Hoare was born and brought up in Southampton, next to Netley's military hospital. After a punk-inspired spell in indie music, running his own label and managing bands, he turned to writing. He is the author of 'Serious Pleasures - The Life of Stephen Tennant', 'Noel Coward' and 'Wilde's Last Stand'.
'Spike Island has kept me company these past few days. It is an astonishing book not only for what it contains but also for its synoptic vision and for its wonderful prose style. If 10per cent of the population read it, the place we live in would be much improved'. W.G.Sebald 'Philip Hoare's deeply personal foray into the past is a tour-de-force' Michael Bracewell, Independent on Sunday 'The story of the Royal Victoria Hospital is a fascinating one, and Mr Hoare's book extremely valuable' Anthony Daniels, Sunday Telegraph 'Hoare develops a gothic theme that marries glamour with morbidity and runs throughout the workHis literary tones - ghostly, haunting, reminiscent of du Maurier - find their echo is Netley's grim history' Nicola McAllister, The Observer