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Dennis Wheatley

From Academic Kids

Dennis Wheatley (8 January 1897-10 November 1977) was a British writer born in London. His prolific output of stylish thrillers and occult novels made him one of the world's best-selling authors in the 1950s and 1960s.

Dennis Yates Wheatley was born South London 8th January 1897 the eldest of three children of an upper middle class family, owners of a wine business Wheatley and Son of Mayfair. He was expelled from Dulwich College (which had been attended by another writer, P.G. Wodehouse from 1894-1900), and became an officer cadet at a training ship, HMS Worcester, for the merchant navy.

He took part in the First World War but was chlorine gassed and invalided out as a second lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery after seeing service in Flanders on the Ypres Salient and in France at Cambrai and St. Quentin official service biographies indicate. He took over the family wine making business in 1919, but, following a decline in business after the depression in 1931, set about writing at the time he remarried his second wife.

During Second World War Wheatley's literary talents led him onto planning staffs for the war office. The most famous of his submissions to the Joint Planning Staff of the war cabinet was on "Total War". He was given a commission directly into the JPS as Wing Commander, RAFVR; and took part in advanced planning for the Normandy Invasions.

His first book, Three Inquisitive People, was not immediately published; but a second book, The Forbidden Territory, was, and was a great success.

He wrote adventure stories, with many books in a series of linked works. His plots covered the French Revolution (Roger Brook Series), Satanism (Duc de Richleau), World War 2 (Gregory Sallust) and espionage (Julian Day).

Around the 1960s his publishers were selling 1 million copies of his books per year. A small number of his books were made into films by Hammer , of which the best known is The Devil Rides Out. His writing is very descriptive and in many works he manages to introduce his characters into real events while meeting real people. For example, in the Roger Brook series the main character involves himself with Napoleon, and Josephine whilst being a spy for the Prime Minister William Pitt. Similarly, in the Gregory Sallust series, Sallust shares an evening meal with Hermann Göring.

He also wrote non-fiction works, including accounts of the Russian Revolution and King Charles II, and his autobiography. He was considered an authority on the supernatural, satanism, the practice of exorcism, and black magic; as well as other black arts. However, two weeks before his death in November of 1977, Wheatley received conditional absolution from his old friend Cyril ‘Bobby’ Eastaugh, the Bishop of Peterborough.

52 of Wheatley's novels were published in a set by Heron Books.

His estate library was sold in a catalogue sale by Basil Blackwell's in the 1970s, and indicates a throughly well-read individual with wide-ranging interests particularly in historical fiction, and Europe. His influence, though, has declined from difficulties in reprinting his works from copyright problems.

External links

  • Biography (http://www.abfar.co.uk/bibliogs/dw_bib.html)

List of Works

  • The Forbidden Territory 1933
  • 'Old Rowley' 1933
  • Such Power is Dangerous 1933
  • Black August 1934
  • The Devil Rides Out 1934
  • The Fabulous Valley 1934
  • The Eunuch of Stamboul 1935
  • Contraband 1936
  • Murder Off Miami 1936
  • They Found Atlantis 1936
  • Red Eagle 1937
  • The Secret War 1937
  • Who Killed Robert Prentice? 1937
  • The Golden Spaniard 1938
  • The Malinsay Massacre 1938
  • Uncharted Seas 1938
  • Herewith the Clues 1939
  • Sixty Days to Live 1939
  • The Quest of Julian Day 1939
  • Faked Passports 1940
  • The Black Baroness 1940
  • The Scarlet Impostor 1940
  • Three Inquisitive People 1940
  • Strange Conflict 1941
  • The Sword of Fate 1941
  • Total War 1941
  • Mediterranean Nights 1942
  • V for Vengeance 1942
  • Gunmen, Gallants and Ghosts 1943
  • The Man Who Missed the War 1945
  • Codeword Golden Fleece 1946
  • Come into My Parlour 1946
  • The Launching of Roger Brook 1947
  • The Haunting of Toby Jugg 1948
  • The Shadow of Tyburn Tree 1948
  • The Rising Storm 1949
  • The Seven Ages of Justerinis 1949
  • The Second Seal 1950
  • The Man Who Killed the King 1951
  • The Star of Ill Omen 1952
  • Curtain of Fear 1953
  • To the Devil - a Daughter 1953
  • The Island Where Time Stands Still 1954
  • The Dark Secret of Josephine 1955
  • The Ka of Gifford Hillary 1956
  • The Prisoner in the Mask 1957
  • Traitors' Gate 1958
  • Stranger than Fiction 1959
  • The Rape of Venice 1959
  • The Satanist 1960
  • Saturdays with Bricks 1961
  • Vendetta in Spain 1961
  • Mayhem in Greece 1962
  • Gunmen,Gallants and Ghosts 1963
  • Mediterranean Nights 1963
  • The Sultan's Daughter 1963
  • Bill for the Use of a Body 1964
  • They Used Dark Forces 1964
  • Dangerous Inheritance 1965
  • The Eight Ages of Justerinis 1965
  • The Wanton Princess 1966
  • Unholy Crusade 1967
  • The White Witch of the South Seas 1968
  • Evil in a Mask 1969
  • Gateway to Hell 1970
  • The Devil and all His Works 1971
  • The Ravishing of Lady Mary Ware 1971
  • The Strange Story of Linda Lee 1972
  • The Irish Witch 1973
  • Desperate Measures 1974
  • The Young Man Said 1977
  • Officer and Temporary Gentleman 1978
  • Drink and Ink 1979
  • The Deception Planners 1980
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