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Arthur Calder-Marshall (19 August 1908 – 17 April 1992) was an English novelist, essayist, critic, memoirist, and biographer.

Arthur Calder-Marshall
Born(1908-08-19)August 19, 1908
El Misti, Wallington, Surrey, England
DiedApril 17, 1992(1992-04-17) (aged 83)
United Kingdom
OccupationNovelist, essayist, critic, memoirist, biographer
GenresFiction, essays, criticism, memoir, biography


Life and careerEdit

Calder-Marshall was born in El Misti, Woodcote Road, Wallington, Surrey, the son of Alice (Poole) and Arthur Grotjan Marshall (later Calder-Marshall; 1875 –1958),[1][2] a civil engineer.[3] The elder Arthur was grandson of the sculptor William Calder Marshall (1813–1894). William Calder Marshall's father William Marshall (1780–1859), D.L. (Edinburgh), a goldsmith (including to the King in the early nineteenth century) and jeweller, had married Annie, daughter of merchant William Calder, Lord Provost of Edinburgh 1810-11, by his wife Agnes, a daughter of landed gentleman Hugh Dalrymple. The Marshall family were Episcopalian goldsmiths from Perthshire; the Calder family were merchants.[4]

A short, unhappy stint teaching English at Denstone College, Staffordshire, 1931–33, inspired his novel Dead Centre.[5] In the 1930s, Calder-Marshall adopted strong left-wing views. He joined the Communist Party of Great Britain[6] and was also a member of the London-based left-wing Writers and Readers Group which also included Randall Swingler, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Mulk Raj Anand, Maurice Richardson and Rose Macaulay.[7]

In 1937, Calder-Marshall wrote scripts for MGM although none appears to have been filmed.[8]

Calder-Marshall's fiction and non-fiction covered a wide range of subjects. He himself remarked, "I have never written two books on the same subject or with the same object."[9]

In the 1960s, Calder-Marshall took on commissioned work which included a novelisation of the Dirk Bogarde film Victim. He has additionally been proposed as the author of The Adventures of James Bond Junior 003½ a children's novel about British spy James Bond's nephew, published under the pseudonym R. D. Mascott.[10]

With his wife, documentary screenplay-writer[11] Ara (born Violet Nancy Sales),[12] he was the father of the actress Anna Calder-Marshall and the grandfather of the actor Tom Burke.

Media adaptationsEdit

Orson Welles adapted The Way to Santiago in 1941 for RKO. However Welles's troubles with the studio saw to it that no film got made.[13]

James Mason purchased the film rights to Occasion of Glory, intending to make this project his directorial debut.[14] Mason hired Christopher Isherwood to write the script.[15]



"The Enthusiast; An Enquiry into the Life Beliefs and Character of the Rev. Joseph Leycester Lyne alias Fr. Ignatius,O.S.B., Abbot of Elm Hill, Norwich and Llanthony Wales" (1962, Faber and Faber; Facsimile reprint 2000, Llanerch Publishers, Felinfach)

Adult fictionEdit


  • Two of a Kind (1933)
  • About Levy (1933)
  • At Sea (1934)
  • Dead Centre (1935)
  • Pie in the Sky (1937)
  • The Way to Santiago (1940)
  • A Man Reprieved (1949)
  • Occasion of Glory (1955)
  • The Scarlet Boy (1961)

Short fiction:

  • Crime Against Cania (1934)
  • A Pink Doll (1935)
  • A Date with a Duchess (1937)


  • Season of Goodwill (1965) (based on Every Third Thought by Dorothea Malm) [16]

As William Drummond:

Children's fictionEdit

  • The Man from Devil's Island (1958)
  • The Fair to Middling (1959)

Adult non-fictionEdit


  • The Magic of My Youth (1951)


  • Glory Dead (Trinidad) (1939)
  • The Watershed (Yugoslavia) (1947)


  • (With Edward J. H. O'Brien and J. Davenport) The Guest Book (1935 and 1936)
  • Challenge to Schools: A Pamphlet on Public School Education (1935)
  • The Changing Scene (essays on English society) (1937)
  • (With others) Writing in Revolt: Theory and Examples (1937)
  • The Book Front (1947)
  • No Earthly Command (biography of Alexander Riall Wadham Woods) (1957)
  • Havelock Ellis: A Biography (1959) US title The Sage of Sex: A Life of Havelock Ellis (1960)
  • The Enthusiast (biography of Joseph Leycester Lyne) (1962)
  • The Innocent Eye (biography of Robert Flaherty) (1963)
  • Wish You Were Here: The Art of Donald McGill (1966)
  • Lewd, Blasphemous, and Obscene: Being the Trials and Tribulations of Sundry Founding Fathers of Today's Alternative Societies (1972)
  • The Grand Century of the Lady (1976)
  • The Two Duchesses (1978)

Children's non-fictionEdit

  • Lone Wolf: The Story of Jack London (1963)


Calder-Marshall edited and wrote the introduction to:

  • Tobias Smollett (1950)
  • The Bodley Head Jack London (four volumes: 1963–66)
  • Prepare to Shed Them Now: The Ballads of George R. Sims (1968)
  • Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man and Other Writings (1970)


  1. ^ Journal of the Institute of Electrical Engineers, vol. 4, issue 45, 1958, p. 510
  2. ^ The Admission Registers of St Paul's School from 1876 to 1905, Rev. Robert Barlow Gardiner, George Bell & Sons, 1906, p. 524
  3. ^ "".
  4. ^ Seekers of Truth: The Scottish Founders of Modern Public Accountancy, T. A. Lee, JAI Press, 2006, pp. 246-7
  5. ^ Pritchard, J.W.H. Appreciation: Mevagissey autobiography, quietly received – Arthur Calder-Marshall. The Guardian (London, England). (2 May 1992): News: p28.
  6. ^ Andy Croft, A Weapon in the Struggle: the cultural history of the Communist Party in Britain Pluto Press, 1998. ISBN 0745312047, (p. 26).
  7. ^ Andy Croft, Comrade Heart: A Life of Randall Swingler. Manchester University Press, 2003. ISBN 0719063345 (p.71).
  8. ^ Motion Picture Herald, 1937, Volume 128, announces that MGM has signed four writers including Calder-Marshall.
  9. ^ Arthur Calder-Marshall; Obituary. Source: The Times (London, England). (22 April 1992): News: p13.
  10. ^ Palmer, Martyn. Rider on the storm; The Times (London, England), 15 July 2006. p.8
  11. ^ British Film and Television Yearbook vol. 4, Peter Noble, British and American Film Press, 1952, p. 100
  12. ^ "Google Books".
  13. ^ "".
  14. ^ "Google News".
  15. ^ Isherwood, Christopher. Diaries: 1939–1960. Methuen, 1996.
  16. ^ Some authorities attribute this work to Arthur Marshall (broadcaster).

Additional sourcesEdit

  • The Reader's Companion to Twentieth-Century Writers, Frank Kermode, Peter Parker eds. (London: Fourth Estate, 1995), page 126
  • Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, volume 72, Gale.
  • St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost & Gothic Writers, David Pringle, (St. James Press, 1998)
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: Volume 2, R. Reginald, Douglas Menville, Mary A. Burgess (Wildside Press LLC, 2010), pp. 840–1

External linksEdit