Derek Marlowe (1938-96); biography and famous works

Derek Marlowe (1938-96) was a novelist and screenwriter. He was born in Perivale, Middlesex. Derek was educated at Queen Mary College of the University of London to study English literature. Marlowe wrote and edited an article for the college magazine, a parody of J. D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye which reflected what Marlowe called “the boredom of college seminars”.His first novel, the spy thriller A Dandy in Aspic (1966), remains the best known of his nine novels, although his later work was more ambitious. Do You Remember England? (1972), his most autobiographical work, is both the story of a tragic love affair and a revealing picture of the idle rich at play. His fiction was characterized equally by an elegant style and a facility for Byzantine plotting. He spent his last ten years writing for television and in Hollywood, with a tenth novel left unfinished. His first work for the screen was as co-author with Larry Kramer of a semi-documentary about swinging London called Reflections on Love (1966). In 1968 he wrote the screenplay of his own novel A Dandy in Aspic, directed by Anthony Mann His credits include two episodes of the classic Granada Television series Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Jeremy Brett, in 1984-5.

  • A Dandy in Aspic (1966)
  • Memoirs of a Venus Lackey (1968)
  • A Single Summer With L.B.: The Summer of 1816 (1969; published in the US as A Single Summer With Lord B in 1970)
  • Echoes of Celandine (1970) (re-published as The Disappearance in 1978)
  • Do You Remember England? (1972)
  • Somebody’s Sister (1974)
  • Nightshade (1975)
  • The Rich Boy from Chicago (1979)
  • Nancy Astor (1982; based on Marlowe’s own screenplay; published in the US as Nancy Astor, the Lady from Virginia: A Novel)
Short fiction
  • “1916 Was a Very Good Year”
  • “Sweet Nothing” (1991)
  • “Digits” (1992)

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