Beverley Nichols

John Beverley Nichols (born September 9, 1898 in Bower Ashton, Bristol, died September 15, 1983 in Kingston, London), was an English writer, playwright, actor, novelist and composer. He went to school at Marlborough College, and went to Balliol College, Oxford University, and was President of the Oxford Union and editor of Isis.

Between his first novel, Prelude, published in 1920, and Twilight in 1982, he wrote more than 60 books and plays on topics such as travel, politics, religion, cats, novels, mysteries, and children's stories, authoring six novels, five detective mysteries, four children's stories, six plays, and no fewer than six autobiographies.

Nichols is perhaps best remembered as a writer for Woman's Own and for his gardening books, the first of which Down the Garden Path, was illustrated — as were many of his books — by Rex Whistler. This bestseller — which has had 32 editions and has been in print almost continuously since 1932 — was the first of his trilogy about Allways, his Tudor thatched cottage in Glatton, Cambridgeshire. A later trilogy written between 1951 and 1956 documents his travails renovating Merry Hall (Meadowstream), a Georgian manor house in Agates Lane, Ashtead, Surrey, where Nichols lived from 1946 to 1956. These books often feature his gifted but laconic gardener "Oldfield". Nichols's final trilogy is referred to as "The Sudbrook Trilogy" (1963–1969) and concerns his late 18th-century attached cottage at Ham, (near Richmond), Surrey.

Nichols was a prolific author who wrote on a wide range of topics. He ghostwrote Dame Nellie Melba’s "autobiography" Memories and Melodies (1925), and in 1966 he wrote A Case of Human Bondage about the marriage and divorce of William Somerset Maugham and Gwendoline Maud Syrie Barnardo, which was highly critical of Maugham. Father Figure, which appeared in 1972 and in which he described how he had tried to murder his alcoholic and abusive father, caused a great uproar and several people asked for his prosecution. His autobiographies usually feature Arthur R. Gaskin who was Nichols’ manservant from 1924 until Gaskin's death from cirrhosis in 1966. Nichols made one appearance on film - in 1931 he appeared in Glamour directed by Seymour Hicks and Harry Hughes playing the part of the Hon. Richard Wells.

Nichols' long-term homosexual partner was Cyril Butcher.[1] He died in 1983 from complications after a fall.
Selected bibliography
[edit] Gardening, homes and restoration
Down the Garden Path (1932) ISBN 978-0-88192-710-8
A Thatched Roof (1933) ISBN 978-0-88192-728-3
A Village in a Valley ISBN 978-0-88192-729-0
Green Grows the City ISBN 978-0-88192-779-5
Merry Hall (1951) ISBN 978-0-88192-804-4
Laughter on the Stairs (1953) ISBN 978-0-88192-460-2
Sunlight on the Lawn (1956) ISBN 978-0-88192-467-1
Garden Open Today (1963) ISBN 978-0-88192-533-3
Garden Open Tomorrow (1968) ISBN 978-0-88192-552-4
[edit] Novels
Prelude (1920)
Patchwork (1921)
Self (1922)
Crazy Pavements (1927)
Evensong (1932)
Revue (1939)
[edit] Mysteries
No Man's Street (1954)
The Moonflower (1955) (aka The Moonflower Murder)
Death to Slow Music (1956)
The Rich Die Hard (1957)
Murder by Request (1960)
[edit] Plays
Avalanche (1933)
[edit] Autobiographies
Twenty-Five (1926)
All I Could Never Be (1949)
Father Figure (1972)
Down the Kitchen Sink (1974)
The Unforgiving Minute (1978)
[edit] Political
Cry Havoc! (1933)
News of England (1938)
Verdict on India (1944)
[edit] Biography
A Case of Human Bondage (1966)
[edit] Children's Books
The Tree that Sat Down (1945)
The Stream that Stood Still (1948)
The Mountain of Magic (1950)
The Wickedest Witch in the World (1971)



[edit] References
^ Connon, Bryan (2000), Beverley Nichols: A Life, Timber Press, ISBN 088192444X

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