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A Forgotten Man: The Life and Death of John Lodwick

A Forgotten Man: The Life and Death of John Lodwick
Geoffrey Elliott

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John Lodwick (1916-1959) was one of the great novelists of the early twentieth century. Yet his novels, and indeed his own extraordinary life story, have been virtually lost to the mists of time. Geoffrey Elliott here, for the first time, pieces together Lodwick's eventful life, from his youth in Ireland, to his wartime experiences in the SOE and Special Boat Service, his subsequent literary career and his untimely death in a car crash in Spain at the age of just 43. Initially acclaimed by Somerset Maugham and Anthony Burgess, soon after his death Lodwick's novels fell out of fashion and they have largely remained out-of-print since. Elliott makes the case for a revival in the fortunes of this singular English novelist, in a biography which sheds new light on the early twentieth century literary scene, the surrealist art world and the real-life experiences of World War II.

Author Info

Geoffrey Elliott is an independent writer and historian. A retired investment banker, he is an Honorary Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford. He is the author of I Spy: The Secret Life of a British Agent; Kitty Harris: The Spy with 17 Names; Secret Classrooms: An Untold Story of the Cold War; From Siberia with Love: A Story of Exile, Revolution and Cigarettes; The Mystery of Overend and Gurney: Adventures in the Victorian Financial Underworld; The Shooting Star: The Colourful Life and Times of Denis Rake; Gentleman Spymaster: How Lt. Col. Tommy 'Tar' Robertson Double-crossed the Nazis.


‘An elegantly written and enthralling account of an action-packed but tragically short life that has all the ingredients of a modern-day picaresque. This is a brilliantly researched act of biographical reclamation; with this masterful biography, John Lodwick's life has been perfectly commemorated.’ – Colm Toibin

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781784538408
Publication Date: 29 Jun 2017
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 226
Width: 155
Illustrations: 20 black and white illustrations in a 16 page plate section

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