Philip Hoare

Philip Hoare
Patrick K. Moore

Southampton, England, UK
WebsitePhilip Hoare's homepage

Philip Hoare (born Patrick Moore, 1958) is an English writer, especially of history and biography. He instigated the Moby Dick Big Read project. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Southampton and Leverhulme artist-in-residence at the Marine Institute, Plymouth University, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2011.[citation needed]


He was born Patrick Moore.[1] He chose the name Philip Hoare to avoid confusion with astronomer Patrick Moore:[2]

Imagine having to spend your entire life living with people asking: 'You're not that astronomer, are you?' Or: 'Do you play the xylophone?' Another reason was that when I was managing bands I used to review my own bands for the NME and Sounds as Philip Hoare. Philip was my confirmation name; Hoare my mother's maiden name.


Hoare was born in Southampton and attended St Mary's College.[citation needed]

In 1982–83, he ran the record label Operation Twilight, a UK-based subsidiary of the Belgian Les Disques du Crépuscule,[2][3][4] which launched the career of the Pale Fountains. In 2009 he exhibited artworks made with Angela Cockayne at Viktor Wynd Fine Art Inc in London[5]


Hoare is the author of ten works of non-fiction:

  • Serious Pleasures: The Life of Stephen Tennant (1990).
  • Noël Coward: A Biography (1995)
  • Wilde's Last Stand: Decadence, Conspiracy, and the First World War (1997)
  • Spike Island: The Memory of a Military Hospital (2000), the story of Netley Hospital in Southampton
  • The Ghosts of Netley (2004)
  • England's Lost Eden: Adventures in a Victorian Utopia (2005), about Mary Anne Girling and the New Forest Shakers
  • Leviathan or, The Whale (2008), which won the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction
  • The Whale: In Search Of The Giants Of The Sea (2010)
  • The Sea Inside (2013)
  • RisingTideFallingStar (2017)

He has also edited The Sayings of Noël Coward (1997).

Hoare has co-authored or contributed to the following publications:

  • Essay on the evolution of class in the UK in a British Council pamphlet, Posh: The Evolution of the Traditional British Brand (ed. Sorrel Hershberg, 1999).
  • An essay in Linder: Works 1976–2006 (2006), a collection about Linder Sterling.
  • Gabriel Orozco (2006), exhibition catalogue and texts, with Mark Godfrey.
  • Pet Shop Boys (2006), catalogue and texts, with Chris Heath.
  • Introduction to David Austen (2007) (eds. Emma Dean and Michael Stanley).
  • Foreword to Made in Southampton (2008), a box-set of prints.
  • Provenance (2010), with Angela Cockayne, a response to Wunderkammen.
  • Essay, "Something against nothing", in Tania Kovats (2011) (ed. Jeremy Millar).
  • Dominion: A Whale Symposium (2012) (eds. Hoare and Angela Cockayne).
  • Essay in Malicious Damage: the Defaced Library Books of Kenneth Halliwell and Joe Orton (2013), (ed. Ilsa Colsell).
  • Essay in Southampton: A City Lost ... And Found (2013), a collection of drawings by Eric Meadus.
  • Record of a discussion between Hoare, Christopher Frayling and Mark Kermode on David Bowie's cultural impact, in David Bowie is the subject (2013) (eds. Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh).
  • Greetings from Darktown : an illustrator's miscellany, a collection of the work of Jonny Hannah, with texts by Hoare, Sheena Calvert and Peter Chrisp (2014).
  • Foreword to As is the sea (2014), writing by students from the Royal College of Art (ed. Jessie Bond).
  • Another Green World – Linn Botanic Gardens: Encounters with a Scottish Arcadia (2015), photographs by Alison Turnbull, text by Hoare.

Other projects

He has been interested in cetaceans since early childhood.[citation needed] He wrote and presented the BBC Arena film The Hunt for Moby-Dick, and directed three films for BBC's Whale Night.

Between 2011 and 2012, his self-professed 'whale obsession' led him to create the Moby Dick Big Read. The project, curated by Hoare and artist Angela Cockayne, involved the construction of an online audiobook of all 135 chapters of Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick; or, the Whale. The readings were delivered by a multitude of celebrities, including Tilda Swinton, Stephen Fry, Sir David Attenborough, John Waters, Simon Callow and David Cameron, and accompanied by images from contemporary artists such as Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley, George Shaw and Susan Hiller. The readings were uploaded to the Moby Dick Big Read website, with one chapter available for download per day from 16 September 2012. All downloads are free but donations are invited to 'Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society' (WDCS).

Hoare is a contributor to the animal news site, The Dodo.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "HOW WE MET: HUGO VICKERS AND PHILIP HOARE". The Independent. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b Sukhdev Sandhu (21 June 2013). "Philip Hoare: a life in writing". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  3. ^ http://www.discogs.com/label/Operation%20Twilight
  4. ^ "Operation Twilight: Post Script". Planet.nl. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  5. ^ "VIKTOR WYND FINE ART INC". viktorwyndfineart.co.uk. Retrieved 4 October 2015.

External links

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