|R. F. Delderfield|
|Born||Ronald Frederick Delderfield|
12 February 1912
Bermondsey, London, England, United Kingdom
|Died||24 June 1972 60) (aged|
Sidmouth, England, United Kingdom
Ronald Frederick Delderfield (12 February 1912 – 24 June 1972) was an English novelist and dramatist, some of whose works have been adapted for television and film.
He was born in Bermondsey, London, in 1912 to Alice and William James Delderfield (c. 1873–1956). His father worked for a meat wholesaler in Smithfield Market, and was the first Liberal to be elected to Bermondsey Council. William supported women's suffrage and the Boer cause in the Boer War. He was a firm supporter of the temperance movement and, until he allied himself with the Conservatives, David Lloyd George. From 1918 to 1923, the family lived at 22 Ashburton Avenue, Addiscombe, near Croydon, Surrey. The Avenue novels were based on Ronald's life in Addiscombe and Shirley Park, and many of his works were adapted for television.
Bermondsey is a neighbourhood in the London Borough of Southwark, England, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) southeast of Charing Cross. To the west of Bermondsey lies Southwark, to the east Rotherhithe and Deptford, to the south Walworth and Peckham, and to the north the City of London and Whitechapel.
Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections. Beginning in the late 1800s, women worked for broad-based economic and political equality and for social reforms, and sought to change voting laws in order to allow them to vote. National and international organizations formed to coordinate efforts to gain voting rights, especially the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, and also worked for equal civil rights for women.
The temperance movement is a social movement against the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Participants in the movement typically criticize alcohol intoxication or promote complete abstinence (teetotalism), with leaders emphasizing alcohol's negative effects on health, personality, and family life. Typically the movement promotes alcohol education as well as demands new laws against the selling of alcohols, or those regulating the availability of alcohol, or those completely prohibiting it. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the temperance movement became prominent in many countries, particularly English-speaking and Scandinavian ones, and it led to Prohibition in the United States from 1920 to 1933.
Delderfield attended an infant school in Bermondsey, then a "seedy and pretentious" small private school — "seventy boys and four underpaid ushers, presided over by a jovial gentleman who wore blue serge". 18 He then went to a council school, which he hated, but which provided him with the prototype for Mr. Short in The Avenue. This experience was followed by a grammar school whose dedicated teachers inspired several of his characters. Once the family moved to Devon, Delderfield first attended a co-educational grammar school and, finally, West Buckland School. In his autobiography For My Own Amusement, Delderfield joked that West Buckland could be likened to schools in The Spring Madness of Mr Sermon, The Avenue and A Horseman Riding By, and that it had earned its fees three times over. :22 Again, in For My Own Amusement, Delderfield divided the nation into city and suburb dwellers, rural dwellers, and those who lived in coastal towns.:
An Infant school is a term used primarily in England and Wales. This for the education of children between the ages of four and seven years. It is usually a small school serving a particular area.
A grammar school is one of several different types of school in the history of education in the United Kingdom and other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching Latin, but more recently an academically-oriented secondary school, differentiated in recent years from less academic secondary modern schools.
Devon, also known as Devonshire, which was formerly its common and official name, is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north east, and Dorset to the east. The city of Exeter is the county town. The county includes the districts of East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, and West Devon. Plymouth and Torbay are each geographically part of Devon, but are administered as unitary authorities. Combined as a ceremonial county, Devon's area is 6,707 km2 and its population is about 1.1 million.
On a family holiday in Swanage when he was young, Delderfield caught scarlet fever and had to spend three months in an isolation hospital.
Swanage is a coastal town and civil parish in the south east of Dorset, England. It is at the eastern end of the Isle of Purbeck and one of its two towns, approximately 6 1⁄4 miles (10 km) south of Poole and 25 miles (40 km) east of Dorchester. In the 2011 census the civil parish had a population of 9,601. Nearby are Ballard Down and Old Harry Rocks, with Studland Bay and Poole Harbour to the north. Within the parish are Durlston Bay and Durlston Country Park to the south of the town. The parish also includes the areas of Herston, just to the west of the town, and Durlston, just to the south.
Scarlet fever is a disease which can occur as a result of a group A streptococcus infection, also known as Streptococcus pyogenes. The signs and symptoms include a sore throat, fever, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, and a characteristic rash. The rash is red and feels like sandpaper and the tongue may be red and bumpy. It most commonly affects children between five and 15 years of age.
In 1923, Delderfield's father and a neighbour in Bermondsey bought the Exmouth Chronicle, a local newspaper in Exmouth, and William became the editor. In 1929, Delderfield joined the staff of the paper and later succeeded his father as editor. In For My Own Amusement, he describes his work—attending Magistrates' Courts and Council meetings, covering amateur dramatics and other events, visiting the bereaved to write local obituaries, even cycling after the fire engine to see if there was a story, as well as relying on a large number of local correspondents. His experiences during this period were clearly mirrored in the romantic novel Diana. In 1962 he had a house built on Peak Hill in Sidmouth. The house still exists and is called the 'Gazebo'.
Delderfield's first published play was produced at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 1936; the Birmingham Post wrote "more please, Mr Delderfield".[ This quote needs a citation ] One of his plays, Worm's Eye View, had a run at the Whitehall Theatre in London. Following service in the RAF during World War II, he resumed his literary career, while also running an antiques business near Budleigh Salterton, Devon. Having begun with drama, Delderfield decided to switch to writing novels in the 1950s. His first novel, Seven Men of Gascony, was published in 1949.
A play is form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of dialogue or singing between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. Plays are performed at a variety of levels, from Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theater, to Community theatre, as well as university or school productions. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference as to whether their plays were performed or read. The term "play" can refer to both the written texts of playwrights and to their complete theatrical performance.
Birmingham Repertory Theatre, commonly called Birmingham Rep or just The Rep, is a producing theatre based on Centenary Square in Birmingham, England. It is the longest-established of Britain's building-based theatre companies and one of its most consistently innovative.
The Birmingham Post is a weekly printed newspaper based in Birmingham, England, with a circulation of 3,362 and distribution throughout the West Midlands. First published under the name the Birmingham Daily Post in 1857, it has had a succession of distinguished editors and has played an influential role in the life and politics of the city. It is currently owned by Reach plc. In June 2013, it launched a daily tablet edition called Birmingham Post Business Daily.
In For My Own Amusement (1972), Delderfield discusses the inspiration for the storylines and tells in anecdotes the origin of several of his characters. He believed that authors draw inspiration from the scenes of their youth, pointing out that Charles Dickens' characters nearly always used the stagecoach, when he was writing in the age of the train. Delderfield calls his sources "character farms", the main ones being his time in Addiscombe, schooldays, and his time at the Exmouth Chronicle. Of The Avenue and A Horseman Riding By he said, "I set out to tell a straightforward story of a group of undistinguished British people—the only kind of people I really know." Delderfield pointed out in this autobiography that he had been criticized for his very conventional views of women's social roles.
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the 20th century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories are still widely read today.
A stagecoach is a four-wheeled public coach used to carry paying passengers and light packages on journeys long enough to need a change of horses. It is strongly sprung and generally drawn by four horses.
Delderfield died at his home in Sidmouth, then called "Dove Cottage", of lung cancer. A brother, Eric (1909–95) survived him and wrote several books on the history of England's West Country.
Several of Delderfield's historical novels and series involve young men who return from war and lead lives in England that allow the author to portray the sweep of English history and delve deeply into social history from the Edwardian era to the early 1960s.
Delderfield also published non-fiction books on Napoleonic history, historical novels involving the Napoleonic Wars, and some isolated novels set in more contemporary periods. His prose style tends to be straightforward and readable, lacking in any influence from post-modernist fiction, and his social attitudes are fairly traditional, though his politics, as expressed via his characters, are a mixture of progressive and free market. In general, Delderfield's novels celebrate English history, humanity, and liberalism while demonstrating little patience with entrenched class differences and snobbery yet also sometimes advocating individualism, self-reliance, and other traditional Victorian values.
Delderfield wrote The Adventures of Ben Gunn (1956) which follows Ben Gunn from sexton's son to pirate and is narrated by Jim Hawkins in Gunn's words. It describes the life of Ben Gunn from the events which led him to leave Devon, and eventually to his presence on Treasure Island and involvement in the story told by Stevenson, and follows up with a brief summary of Ben Gunn's life afterwards.
Delderfield's works include:
British TV has made five series based on Delderfield's books. Nigel Havers played Paul Craddock in BBC TV's A Horseman Riding By (1978), adapted from the eponymous novel.And John Duttine played David Powlett-Jones in BBC TV's To Serve Them All My Days (1980), adapted by Andrew Davies from the eponymous novel and as Archie Carver in London Weekend Television's People Like Us (1977), adapted from the Avenue novels. Diana was adapted in 1984 into a BBC miniseries starring Jenny Seagrove in the title role and Patsy Kensit as her younger self. Unusually, neither of the BBC adaptations of A Horseman Riding By or Diana were ever repeated on BBC television. Come Home Charlie, and Face Them was adapted as a mini-series by London Weekend Television in 1990.
The first Carry On film, Carry On Sergeant (1958), was based on Delderfield's play The Bull Boys. A 1961 film On the Fiddle starring Sean Connery was based on Delderfield's novel Stop at a Winner.
The Starlost is a Canadian-produced science fiction television series created by writer Harlan Ellison and broadcast in 1973 on CTV in Canada and syndicated to local stations in the United States. The show's setting is a huge generational colony spacecraft called Earthship Ark, which has gone off course. Many of the descendants of the original crew and colonists are unaware, however, that they are aboard a ship. The series experienced a number of production difficulties, and Ellison broke with the project before the airing of its first episode.
Addiscombe is an area of south London, England, within the London Borough of Croydon. It is located 9.1 miles (15 km) south of Charing Cross and lies within the Historic County of Surrey. Addiscombe is a ward, and had a population of 16,883 in 2011.
Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of "buccaneers and buried gold." Its influence is enormous on popular perceptions of pirates, including such elements as treasure maps marked with an “X,” schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen bearing parrots on their shoulders.
Andrew Wynford Davies is a Welsh writer of screenplays and novels, best known for House of Cards and A Very Peculiar Practice, and his adaptations of Vanity Fair, Pride and Prejudice, Middlemarch, and War & Peace. He was made a BAFTA Fellow in 2002.
Larry Jeff McMurtry is an American novelist, essayist, bookseller, and screenwriter whose work is predominantly set in either the Old West or in contemporary Texas. His novels include Horseman, Pass By (1962), The Last Picture Show (1966), and Terms of Endearment (1975), which were adapted into films earning 26 Academy Award nominations. His 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Lonesome Dove was adapted into a television miniseries that earned 18 Emmy Award nominations, with the other three novels in his Lonesome Dove series adapted into three more miniseries, earning eight more Emmy nominations. McMurtry and cowriter Diana Ossana adapted the screenplay for Brokeback Mountain (2005), which earned eight Academy Award nominations with three wins, including McMurtry and Ossana for Best Adapted Screenplay.
James Edwin Gunn is an American science fiction writer, editor, scholar, and anthologist. His work as an editor of anthologies includes the six-volume Road to Science Fiction series. He won the Hugo Award for "Best Related Work" in 1983 and he has won or been nominated for several other awards for his non-fiction works in the field of science fiction studies. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America made him its 24th Grand Master in 2007 and he was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2015. His novel The Immortals was adapted into a 1969-71 TV series starring Christopher George.
Exmouth is a port town, civil parish and seaside resort, sited on the east bank of the mouth of the River Exe and 11 miles (18 km) southeast of Exeter.
Victor Canning was a prolific British writer of novels and thrillers who flourished in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. He was personally reticent, writing no memoirs and giving relatively few newspaper interviews.
David Bret is a French-born British author of show business biographies. He chiefly writes on the private life of film stars and singers.
To Serve Them All My Days is a novel by British author R. F. Delderfield.
John Arthur Duttine is an English actor noted for his roles on stage, films and television. He is well known for his role as Sgt George Miller in Heartbeat and also the TV series The Day of the Triffids.
A Horseman Riding By is a 1966 novel sequence by R. F. Delderfield that starts in 1902 at the tail end of the Boer War and is continued in the sequel to end in the summer of 1965. It is set in Devon in the early 20th century. It was to some extent an elegy for the traditional society which was blown apart by the First World War. Delderfield wrote at least one sequel: some accounts describe it as part of a trilogy, but this may be due to confusion because it was published in two parts in the USA.
On the Fiddle is a 1961 British comedy film directed by Cyril Frankel and starring Sean Connery, Alfred Lynch, Cecil Parker, Stanley Holloway, Eric Barker, Mike Sarne, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Kathleen Harrison, Victor Maddern and John Le Mesurier. It was based on the 1961 novel Stop at a Winner by R.F. Delderfield who served in the RAF in World War II.
Benjamin "Ben" Gunn is a fictional character in the Treasure Island novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson.
To Serve Them All My Days is a British television drama series, adapted by Andrew Davies from R. F. Delderfield's 1972 novel To Serve Them All My Days. It was first broadcast by the BBC over 13 episodes in 1980 and 1981. It was broadcast in Australia in 1981 by the Australian Broadcasting Commission, and in 1982 by PBS in the United States as part of their Masterpiece Theatre anthology series.
The Headless Horseman is a mythical figure who has appeared in folklore around the world since at least the Middle Ages. The Headless Horseman is traditionally depicted as a man upon horseback who is missing his head. Depending on the legend, the Horseman is either carrying his head, or is missing his head altogether, and is searching for it. Examples include the dullahan from Ireland who is a demonic fairy usually depicted riding a horse and carrying his head under his arm; the titular knight from the English tale Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," a short story written in 1820 by American Washington Irving, which has been adapted into several other works of literature and film including the 1999 Tim Burton film Sleepy Hollow.
Ben Lane is a badminton player from England. He started playing badminton at aged nine, and in his junior career, he had won the U-17 European Championships in the boys' and mixed doubles event in 2014. Lane also won two silvers and a bronze medal at the 2015 European Junior Championships. Lane was part of the English team that won the mixed team bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
John Lucas is a poet, critic, biographer, anthologist and literary historian. He runs a poetry publishers called Shoestring Press, and he is the author of 92 Acharnon Street, which won the Dolman Best Travel Book Award in 2008.
Star Science Fiction Stories No.4 is the fourth book in the anthology series, Star Science Fiction Stories, edited by Frederik Pohl. It was first published in 1958 by Ballantine Books, and was reprinted in 1972. These books have been very critically acclaimed by critics around the world.