World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

John Creasey

John Creasey MBE (17 September 1908 – 9 June 1973) was an English crime and science fiction writer who wrote six hundred novels using twenty-eight pseudonyms.

He created several characters which are now famous, such as Gideon of Scotland Yard, Inspector Roger West, The Baron (John Mannering), Doctor Emmanuel Cellini and Doctor Stanislaus Alexander Palfrey. The most popular of these was Gideon of Scotland Yard, who was the basis for the television series Gideon's Way and for the John Ford movie Gideon of Scotland Yard (1958), also known by its British title Gideon's Day. The Baron character was also made into a 1960s TV series starring Steve Forrest as The Baron.

Contents

  • Life and career 1
    • Richard Creasey 1.1
  • Crime Writers' Association (CWA) 2
  • Pseudonyms 3
  • Political career 4
  • Honours 5
  • Bibliography 6
    • The Commander George Gideon series (published under the pseudonym "J. J. Marric," 1955–1976) 6.1
    • Dr. Palfrey (Z5) series, writing as John Creasey (1942–1979) 6.2
    • The Department Z series, as John Creasey (1933–1957) 6.3
    • Chief Inspector Roger West series, as John Creasey (1942–1978) 6.4
    • The Toff series, as John Creasey (1938–1978) 6.5
    • Sexton Blake series, writing as John Creasey (1937–1943) 6.6
    • Standalone novels, as John Creasey 6.7
    • The Baron series (under the pseudonym "Anthony Morton," 1937–1979) 6.8
    • The Bruce Murdoch series (under the pseudonym "Norman Deane," 1939–1942) 6.9
    • The Liberator series (as "Norman Deane," 1943–1945) 6.10
    • The Mark Kirby series (under the pseudonym "Robert Caine Frazer," 1959–1964) 6.11
    • The Superintendent Folly series (under the pseudonym "Jeremy York," 1942–1948) 6.12
    • The Fane Brothers series 6.13
    • The Doctor Cellini series 6.14
    • Standalone novels (as "Jeremy York," 1941–1960) 6.15
    • Standalone novels (written under the pseudonym "Peter Manton," 1937–1954) 6.16
    • The Patrick Dawlish Series (written under the pseudonym "Gordon Ashe," 1939–1975) 6.17
    • Standalone novels (as "Gordon Ashe," 1940–1957) 6.18
    • Westerns (various pseudonyms) 6.19
    • Romance novels (various pseudonyms) 6.20
  • Footnotes 7
  • External links 8

Life and career

John Creasey was born in Southfields, Surrey, to a working-class family. He was the seventh of nine children of Ruth and Joseph Creasey, a poor coach maker. Creasey was educated at Fulham Elementary School and Sloane School, both in London. From 1923 to 1935 he worked various clerical, factory, and sales jobs while trying to establish himself as a writer. After a number of rejections, Creasey's first book was published in 1930. His first crime novel, Seven Times Seven, was published in January 1932 by Melrose. It was a story about a gang of criminals. In 1935 he became a full-time writer. In 1937 alone, twenty-nine of his books were published. A phenomenally fast writer, he once suggested that he could be shut up in a glass-box and write there a whole book.

In 1938, he created the character The Toff with the first novel Introducing the Toff. The Toff series would continue for 59 novels from 1938 to 1978. The Toff, The Honourable Richard Rollison, is an aristocrat and an amateur sleuth. ("Toff" is a British slang expression for an aristocrat.)

During World War II, he created the character of Dr. Stanislaus Alexander Palfrey, a British secret service agent, who forms Z5, a secret underground group that owes its allegiance to the Allies. The first novel of the Dr. Palfrey 34-book series was Traitor's Doom, published in 1942 by John Long Ltd., while the last was The Whirlwind in 1979.

Several adaptations were made of Creasey's novels. On film these included: Salute the Toff (1952, also known as Brighthaven Express in the USA), Hammer the Toff (1952), Gideon's Way, was produced from 1964 to 1965 by ITC Entertainment and starring John Gregson in the title rôle. ITC followed this with a version of Creasey's The Baron character (1965–66), starring Steve Forrest. Between 1967 and 1971 the BBC produced a radio version of Creasey's Roger West stories with actor Patrick Allen in the title role as Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Roger "Handsome" West, with Allen's real-life wife Sarah Lawson playing the role of West's wife Janet.

In 1962, Creasey won an Edgar Award for Best Novel, from the Mystery Writers of America (MWA), for Gideon's Fire, written under the pseudonym J. J. Marric. In 1969 he received the MWA's greatest honour, the Grand Master Award.

Creasey had as many publishers as he had pseudonyms, but enjoyed enduring relations with John Long and Hodder & Stoughton in the UK. After he finally broke into the American market in the 1950s, many of his books were released by Harper and Scribners; Walker reissued many older titles in the revised editions.

He died at Salisbury, Wiltshire in 1973.

In 2007, his family transferred all of Creasey's copyrights and other legal rights to Owatonna Media. Owatonna Media on-sold these copyrights to Coolabi Plc in 2009, but retained a master licence in radio and audio rights. These rights are commercially licensed in the UK and abroad.

Richard Creasey

John's son Richard Creasey is also an author as well as a distinguished television producer, having served both in the private sector and at the BBC, and as the British producer of Patrick Watson's worldwide Canadian television documentary series The Struggle for Democracy. He has developed his father's "Doctor Palfrey" series by penning a new series of techno-thrillers around the character of Doctor Thomas Palfrey.

Crime Writers' Association (CWA)

In 1953, John Creasey founded the Crime Writers' Association (CWA) in the UK. The CWA New Blood Dagger is awarded in his memory, for first books by previously unpublished writers; sponsored by BBC Audiobooks, it includes a prize of £1000. This award was known previously as the John Creasey Memorial Dagger.

Pseudonyms

His pseudonyms include:

Westerns under the names of Ken Ranger, Tex Riley, William K. Reilly, and Jimmy Wilde. Romantic novels under the names of Margaret Cooke, M.E. Cooke, and Elise Fecamps.

Political career

As well as being an author, Creasey was a committed Bournemouth West in 1946 and appeared on the platform at the 1947 Liberal Assembly, which was held in Bournemouth.

He fought Bournemouth West in the 1950 general election, coming third. He became increasingly unhappy with the party through the 1950s though and disagreed so much with the party's policy concerning the Suez Crisis he resigned his membership. However, after the Orpington by-election success of 1962 and impressed with Jo Grimond's leadership of the party he seemed to be reviving his Liberal activity. By January 1966 however, he had founded the All Party Alliance, a pressure group which sought to unite the best people from all parties.

Creasey fought by-elections as an independent in support of this idea in 1967 at Nuneaton, Brierley Hill and Manchester Gorton. He also fought Oldham West during the by-election of June 1968. He did well for an independent with the first-past-the-post system, having limited resources and often little time to campaign.

In Oldham West he beat his old party's candidate into fourth place. He could not seem to shed his affection for the Liberal party however, congratulating Birmingham Ladywood by-election victor Wallace Lawler in July 1969 and attending the 1969 party assembly albeit to promote All Party Alliance aims.

Honours

He was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services in the United Kingdom's National Savings Movement during World War II.

Bibliography

This literature-related list is ; you can help by .

The Commander George Gideon series (published under the pseudonym "J. J. Marric," 1955–1976)

The series was continued after Creasey's death by William Vivian Butler ("as J.J. Marric"):

  • Gideon's Force (1978)
  • Gideon's Law (1981)
  • Gideon's Way (1983)
  • Gideon's Raid (1986)
  • Gideon's Fear (1990)

Dr. Palfrey (Z5) series, writing as John Creasey (1942–1979)

Four additional Z5 stories have been written by the author's son Richard; in these, the central figure is Thomas Palfrey, the doctor's grandson: Eternity's Sunrise (2012); Hard Targets (2013, an omnibus of three shorter adventures – "Wings of Fear," "Burning Night," and "Deadly Sleep").

The Department Z series, as John Creasey (1933–1957)

Chief Inspector Roger West series, as John Creasey (1942–1978)

The Toff series, as John Creasey (1938–1978)

Sexton Blake series, writing as John Creasey (1937–1943)

Standalone novels, as John Creasey

The Baron series (under the pseudonym "Anthony Morton," 1937–1979)

The Bruce Murdoch series (under the pseudonym "Norman Deane," 1939–1942)

  1. Secret Errand (1939)
  2. Dangerous Journey (1939)
  3. Unknown Mission (1940)
  4. The Withered Man (1940)
  5. I Am the Withered Man (1941)
  6. Where is the Withered Man (1942)

The Liberator series (as "Norman Deane," 1943–1945)

  1. Return to Adventure (1943)
  2. Gateway to Escape (1944)
  3. Come Home to Crime (1945)

The Mark Kirby series (under the pseudonym "Robert Caine Frazer," 1959–1964)

  1. Mark Kilby Solves a Murder (1959) a.p.a. R.I.S.C. (1962), a.p.a. The Timid Tycoon (1966)
  2. Mark Kilby and the Secret Syndicate (1960)
  3. Mark Kilby and the Miami Mob(1960)
  4. Mark Kilby Stands Alone (1962)
  5. Mark Kilby Takes a Risk (1962)
  6. The Hollywood Hoax (1964)

The Superintendent Folly series (under the pseudonym "Jeremy York," 1942–1948)

In the asterisked titles, Folly was added for the revised editions of novels originally written as standalones.

The Fane Brothers series

Written under the pseudonym "Michael Halliday" for UK publication (1952–1955), but published under the pseudonym "Jeremy York" in the US (all in 1972).

The Doctor Cellini series

Written under the pseudonym "Michael Halliday" for UK publication (1965–1975), but published under the pseudonym "Kyle Hunt" for US.

Standalone novels (as "Jeremy York," 1941–1960)

Standalone novels (written under the pseudonym "Peter Manton," 1937–1954)

The Patrick Dawlish Series (written under the pseudonym "Gordon Ashe," 1939–1975)

Standalone novels (as "Gordon Ashe," 1940–1957)

  1. Who Was the Jester? (1940)
  2. The Man Who Stayed Alive (1955)
  3. No Need to Die (1956)
  4. You Bet Your Life (1957)

Westerns (various pseudonyms)

One-Shot Marriott and Roaring Guns were written under the pseudonym "Ken Ranger"; the rest were written under the pseudonyms "Tex Riley" (asterisked below) or "William K. Riley" (indicated below by # sign after date of publication).

Romance novels (various pseudonyms)

Those indicated by "1" after the publication date were written under the pseudonym "Margaret Cooke";
those indicated by "2" after the publication date were written under the pseudonym "Elise Fecamps";
those indicated by "3" after the publication date were written under the pseudonym "Henry St John Cooper".

Footnotes

  1. ^ "Man of Mystery", Ian Millsted, Journal of Liberal History, Issue 57, Winter 2007–08

External links

  • John Creasey presentation by the holder of his copyright, Owatonna Media
  • H2G2 profile of John Creasey
  • John Creasey fan website
  • Works by Henry St. John Cooper at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about John Creasey at Internet Archive
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.