This site was started in March 2002 by the late Bob Rothwell (for an appreciation of Bob, please click here) with help from one of the great collectors of DW material in modern times, Richard Humphreys. Both contributed countless hours to recording, editing, and displaying the vast amount of material that form the bedrock of the site today.
For a while, parts of Richard’s collection only appeared on his separate website, but recently the entire contents of the collection Richard formed have been incorporated into this site for the benefit of all.
Apart from Richard, Bob also received welcome encouragement from Iwan (pronounced Evan) Morelius, better known to Wheatley fans by his pen name of Iwan Hedman. It was Iwan who, in 1973, wrote and published a biography and bibliography of Dennis Wheatley, Fyra Decennier med Dennis Wheatley (Four Decades with . . .). With Iwan's help, this was translated into English exclusively for this site and can be seen by following this link: Four Decades of Dennis Wheatley.
In February 2005 Bob received permission from the Wheatley copyright holders, Wheatley Productions Ltd, to visit the archives of The Random House Group (Hutchinson's parent company) and record any information he could find. While no long-lost manuscripts or revealing correspondence were found, Bob was able to update a number of new editions for the site, and later that month the site got its blessing from Wheatley Productions Ltd, and The Random House Group gave Bob official permission to "reproduce electronic copies of wrappers, boards, endpapers and/or any bibliographical information of Dennis Wheatley's publications".
The site has been – and is - augmented on a regular basis by a whole host of dedicated aficionados and collectors who have generously shared their own knowledge and material in their own collections to make what I believe to be the most comprehensive online source on what many of us consider to have been one of the most fascinating figures of twentieth century England– a storyteller without equal, a soldier and schemer for King and Country, and a man who wrote one of the most interesting, honest and revealing autobiographies I have ever read.
Please enjoy the site, add to it if you can, and at a suitable moment, raise a glass in the following toast :-
"To Dennis, wherever he may now be; with the hope that in his next life he will enjoy similar health happiness and good fortune as he was blessed with in his last, and that in our future lives we shall meet..."
(Extracted from Dennis Wheatley’s unpublished Will of 30th June 1971).
And when you have drunk that toast, follow it with one for Bob...
As you will gather, Sue Rothwell asked me to take over running the site after Bob’s untimely and much lamented death. On the original website, Bob gave details of himself, which can be found below.
Under the circumstances, I guess it is inevitable people may want to know a little about the new webmaster, so putting aside my customary reticence, here goes …
I’m in my early sixties, went to one of those stuffy English boarding schools, and spent several happy years at Cambridge studying Egyptology (!). Being advised that I ought to go out and earn a living, I went into the City, and have worked there ever since, first at a banking institution, and for the last quarter century or so, in various aspects of stockbroking. Don’t ask me for any financial advice. Markets are capricious. If you want thrills, stick to Dennis Wheatley instead!
My first interest in DW came as a teenager, when I picked up one of the Arrow paperbacks (a 1964 The Prisoner in the Mask) and I’ve been hooked ever since – particularly on the de Richleau and Black Magic stories. As a teenager I once wrote to DW, and am delighted to say I received a charming letter back. Needless to say, I still have it.
My collecting began in the late seventies, but only really took hold in the last decade, when my other areas of collecting started to fizzle out. One of them was the works of the late Joan Grant.
I have a wife and young son and my other pursuits include Kendo (Japanese fencing) while I am up to it, and various related Chinese Arts – fine ways to let off steam.
Happy reading, happy collecting, and I hope you enjoy the site. If you have any comments, please let me know. The good bits are all Bob’s, the bad bits are all mine.
This is what Bob put on the website while he was alive :-
My name is Bob Rothwell and I live in Cambridgeshire in England with my wife Sue.
I took early-retirement having spent most of my working life in Human Resources (Personnel) but finished up in adult-education teaching Computer skills.
I keep occupied looking after my wife, who is unfortunately confined to a wheelchair, and pursuing my four hobbies – computing, cooking, the author Dennis Wheatley and the instrumental group The Shadows (they used to support Cliff Richard!).
My interest in Dennis Wheatley started when I was a teenager in the 1950s and I used to terrify myself with his tales of white magic v. black magic. I probably developed the basis of my beliefs about the ‘meaning of life’ through his writings.
I have been collecting DW's books and ephemera for many years now and although my collection of first editions is sadly lacking (due to lack of funds for the now very sought-after and expensive early novels), my collection of paperbacks is large. There are now only a few titles that I do not possess and these will become evident when you look at my paperback pages. Those of you who follow such things in the UK may remember me when I took part in the Wheatley episode of the BBC2 TV documentary ‘Clive Barker's A to Z of Horror’ in Nov 1997.
My biggest regret when I started collecting was finding out that all my mother's signed 1st editions had been given away to a local charity some years previously. However this did prevent me from having my second biggest regret when she told me that she hadn't kept any of the dust-jackets because the books looked better on the shelves without them !!! I do like the story she tells of receiving a signed photograph from DW in 1949 only to have it torn up by my father who did not appreciate his wife having pin-ups! The letter which accompanied it, however, survived and you can see it by following this link.
If you enjoy the site, please let me know ¤ If you have suggestions for improvement, please let me know ¤ If you want more information, please contact me ¤ If you want to share information, please contact me. . . . Or just let me know you're there and interested in what I'm doing!!
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Copyright © 2002-2006 Bob Rothwell. 2007-2017 Charles Beck.
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