Alexander Baron

A Sheffield Talk 2

(This article is continued) Arthur Upfield inspired a killer to copy his fictional perfect murder. Kathleen Winsor became the subject of a sex scandal. Other authors like Simon Raven never learned how to deal with sudden success and succumbed to a variety of hideous fates. Some were simply unlucky, some shied from the spotlight and […]

Invisible Ink: Alexander Baron

It’s hard for frontline war writers to show an objective sensitivity to their subject matter while fighting for their country, but Alexander Baron certainly managed it. He’s one of the most consistently underrated British novelists of WWII. A left-wing author and soldier who read Jane Austen in the bomb-craters of Normandy, he was interested in […]

Polari Speech – Part Two

This is the concluding part of my speech at the Southbank Centre last week. It has been shortened, but the most salient points are here. ‘In the opera ‘Hansel and Gretel’ there’s an orchestral scene that’s traditionally awkward to stage, when the children are lost in the woods and protected by angels. In a production […]

The London Author Hardly Anyone Knows

He is one of the greatest London authors you’ve never heard of. He wrote possibly the best Second World War novel of them all, and his masterpiece of London life is virtually unknown – reading ‘King Dido’ I finally understood the missing links in the London before me. So what happened to Alexander Baron? This […]

A Forgotten London Author

‘Wotcha’ is a traditional London greeting still very much in use, but I have only just discovered where it comes from. It’s an abbreviation of ‘What cheer’, a standard Edwardian London greeting. This gem, and many more come from the works of Alexander Baron, best known for his wartime trilogy but also the author of […]