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18 December 2015

As usual at Christmas, we are displaying for the first time some Christmas fare. This year’s discoveries are a Christmas card from the Hungaria Restaurant, a Christmas card from DW’s first wife Nancy, and a Christmas card from the superlative actor who will always remain the Duke de Richleau to many of us, Sir Christopher Lee.

Christmas cards sent to Dennis Wheatley

All come from a recently discovered archive at Special Collections, Leeds University Library – an account of how the archive came to the attention of DW enthusiasts can be found in the attached write up by Darren Nugent. I am most grateful to him for allowing me to share in the moment of ‘discovery’, and I am most grateful to Special Collections, and indeed to the Wheatley family, for allowing me to display this material on the DW website. They have also very kindly agreed to my displaying certain other material in the site’s virtual Museum in due course – watch out for more in 2016 !

The October 2015 mini Field Trip

The update concludes with another foreign find by Steve Whatley – he gave me in the course of the year a black and which photo of an early Finnish edition of The Forbidden Territory. Thanks to Steve, I am now able to replace it with a colour version.

Wheatley around the World : Finland

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all suppliers of material, all my correspondents, and all supporters of the Wheatley cause !

23 November 2015

Thanks go this month to Kevin Pearce, for discovering a promotional postcard for Contraband (1936).

Hutchinson and other publicity material

Thanks also to Steve Whatley, who has once again ferreted out some previously unknown foreign editions; a further Dutch reprint of The Man Who Missed The War, and further Swedish versions of The Eunuch of Stamboul and of Contraband. He has in fact discovered two new Swedish editions of Contraband; the 1950 edition having a particularly evocative cover.

Wheatley around the World : Holland
Wheatley around the World : Sweden

I have also added details of the (five) copies I have seen of DW’s special limited edition of Old Rowley to the bibliographical details section of the website. If anyone has come across any of the other copies, I would be most grateful for the details !

Title Notes
22 October 2015

Sometimes something important and hitherto unknown comes to light. A recent case of this was the appearance in September on eBay of the menu for the Luncheon that DW threw on 3rd January 1933 to launch his very first book. Until this copy appeared on eBay we had no idea that such a menu existed. It was bid up to £343, and can be seen in the appropriate ‘Room’ in the Virtual Museum.

The Museum : Room 6 Instant Success as an Author

Elsewhere, in ‘Reprints’, Steve Whatley has found a copy of the 1938 reprint of ‘Red Eagle’ with an unrecorded dust wrapper.

First Editions 1935-1937

Elizabeth has found a first edition of ‘The Launching of Roger Brook’ with variant coloured boards.

Title Notes (1)

A couple of months ago, Paul Embleton contacted me with news of the discovery of only the third known complete set of the First Gift Box, (the first only came to light a few years ago) and with help from him, Steve Whatley and Kevin Pearce, I have added to the complex notes on that publication. You can identify copies of books that come from this set by the blue staining of the top of the text block. We have still to find even a single copy of the Second Gift Box – that remains one of the most elusive of DW’s publications !

Title Notes (2)

Steve Whatley has once again ferreted out a number of hitherto unknown foreign editions. He has found a complete copy of the Hungarian edition of ‘Murder off Miami’, a cover for the Spanish edition of ‘The Rising Storm’, and a hitherto unrecorded Spanish edition of ‘The Black Baroness’.

Wheatley around the World : Hungary
Wheatley around the World : Spain
15 September 2015

Steve Whatley has once again ferreted out a number of hitherto unknown foreign editions; two editions of ‘Bill for the use of a Body’ from Portugal; an Estonian edition of ‘Uncharted Seas’ (when we did not even know that DW had been published in Estonian !), and a pre-war Czech edition of ‘The Secret War’. Further foreign updates are to come !

Wheatley around the World : Portugal
Wheatley around the World : Estonia
Wheatley around the World : Czechoslovakia

Among more recent publications, Jim Devlin has pointed out that the late Roger Dobson (1954-2013), another good friend of this site, has had some of his studies published posthumously under the title ‘The Library of the Lost’, and they include an article ‘The Weird World of Dennis Wheatley’.

Other Publications : Books & Articles about DW etc

In addition to these, Franklin Johnson has continued his researches into Lansdown(e) Passage, and on his Field Trip page I am now able to include two pictures which show what the passage would have looked like at the time the Duke hid there in 1914.

Field Trips: Franklin Johnson’s event
07 August 2015

The last month has seen me receive a plethora of information from aficionados of and visitors to this site. So much that I am going to save some for next month !

Dr Laurent Mignon, Associate Professor of Turkish at the Oriental Institute at Oxford University has very kindly pointed out to me that DW’s ‘Curtain of Fear’ was translated into Turkish in Istambul in 1967. This is the first translation of DW into Turkish that we know of, and Dr Mignon has explained to me that this translation should be seen in the context of the times – when many young Turkish people were starting to question the pro-American stance of the state. I am most grateful to Dr Mignon for this unique piece of research.

Wheatley around the World : Turkey

We have known since Bob Rothwell’s days that DW’s compendium ‘A Century of Spy Stories’ (1938) had a gift binding variant. Now thanks to Kevin Pearce’s researches we know that his earlier ‘A Century of Horror’ (1935) also had a gift binding variant.

First editions 1935-1937
A Century of Horror

Darren Nugent has pointed out that the summer issue of The Oldie magazine has an article ‘The Spellbinder – Michael Barber in praise of Dennis Wheatley’. Darren is also on the trail of the missing episodes of the ‘Paula’ cartoon strip (see ‘The Library’), and of many other fascinating bits and pieces !

Other Publications : Books & Articles
about DW etc

Franklin Johnson has added a few additional pieces of research to Mary Gallacher and my write-ups of our recent dinner at the Connaught. More on this is to come next month.

Conventions and Field Trips :
Franklin Johnson’s event, June 2015

Those good friends of this site Steve Whatley and Jim Devlin have also sent me some new discoveries – but I’ll hold them back for the end of the month so as not to spoil you with too many finds all at one go.

One final mention – if you look in The Library, a third (?) copy of the First Gift Box has just been found. If you’re interested in acquiring it, please contact me for further details.

Also, if you haven’t put yourself down for it and would like to come, don’t forget the October Convention !

29 June 2015

This month’s main update is an account of a memorable evening Franklin Johnson and his wife Lydia gave members of our group. It involved a re-creation (in considerable style, I may add) of one of the meals featured in ‘The Devil Rides Out’, and a walk past the location of one of the Duke de Richleau’s confrontations in ‘The Second Seal’. If DW had been alive to join in, he would have been in his element!

Conventions and Field Trips : Franklin Johnson’s event, June 2015

It also features a more recent publication, from 2011; John Lewis-Stempel’s ‘Six Weeks’, which tells the story of a number of junior officers sent to the Front in World War One – where they faced a life expectancy of six weeks. It features a number of anecdotes about DW. This book was a gift from John Runter to the webmaster, who wishes to record his gratitude !

Other Publications Critiques/Books and Articles about ...
27 May 2015

Thanks go this month to Steve Whatley on two accounts.

First of all, Steve has written a comprehensive account of his Field Trip to Traben-Trarbach in 2013, on the one hundredth anniversary of DW’s stay there in 1913.

The Traben-Trarbach Field Trip 2013

Secondly, we had Portugal in the ever shrinking list of countries where DW’s work had been published, but where no-one had ever managed to find a copy of one of the local publications. We can now strike off Portugal – Steve has found a Portuguese paperback edition of Contraband from circa 1944. Thank you for sharing your latest find with us, Steve !

Wheatley around the World : Portugal

20 April 2015

This month sees some unusual and ultra rare updates / announcements.

Firstly, Hillebrand Komrij from the Netherlands has identified a dustjacket for the 1936 Dutch issue of They Found Atlantis (‘Atlantis Gevonden’). Without a dust jacket the book is fairly common; but this is the only known surviving dust jacket.

Wheatley around the World : Holland

Secondly, in clearing out their cellar, a member of the Wheatley family has found some rare survivals from DW’s own cellars. They include a bottle of Sazerac de Forge Cognac 1840, one of the oldest cognacs around, and a few bottles of DW’s home-made Nectarine Gin, replete with a printed Grove Place label. I don’t know if anyone has tasted the gin yet to see if it is still drinkable. Photographs of these ultra rare finds replace the generic photo that previously began Room 5 of the virtual Museum.

The Museum Room 5: The Wine Merchant

Thirdly, a number of you will remember Iwan Morelius / Hedman, DW’s great fan from Sweden to whom he dedicated The Ravishing of Lady Mary Ware’, and the man who wrote DW’s first bibliography. Iwan assiduously collected signed, jacketed first editions of DW’s works, and he disposed of them some time before his death. I am delighted to advise that they and various other items from the Hedman collection have been bought by Franklin Johnson, who many of you will have met at the 2013 Convention. They could not have found a better home. Because Franklin has bought them they will stay together rather than be split up, and even better, Franklin has volunteered to make them available for inspection by serious students of DW’s works. A huge thank you for that, Franklin.

16 March 2015

Steve Whatley continues to unearth rare and early foreign reprints.

Wheatley around the World: Czechoslovakia

This time he has unearthed a 1936 Czech edition of The Eunuch of Stamboul with a rather erotic cover, and two Czech editions of The Quest of Julian Day, both dating from 1948 – one hardback and the other a jacketed softcover.

Thank you as always, Steve!

15 January 2015

The January update consists of two items, but there is also a bonus !

The first update is the report on a ‘Mini Field Trip’ that four DW enthusiasts undertook in the summer to explore some of DW’s connections with south western Surrey.

The 2014 ‘Mini Field Trip’

The second, which comes courtesy of Ian Sayer, is a photo of DW, Joan, Denise Robins and Jack Strachey at the pyramids. I have incorporated this rather superb item into the travel section of Room Nine of the Museum.

The Museum Room Nine: DW’s travels

In addition to these, we have a wonderful addition to ‘The Library’ courtesy of Darren Nugent and Gavin Fuller. When Magnus Magnusson died in 2007, he left his Mastermind video collection to Gavin Fuller, the 1993 Mastermind Champion. Darren contacted Gavin, and it turns out he is a DW fan. He has searched out the 15th April 1984 Mastermind in which Katharine Heaney answered questions on the Duke de Richleau, scoring an impressive 17 out of 18, and transcribed the questions and answers for us. To go to them, click on the link to the right.

Mastermind: The Duke de Richleau

As we now have both the Mastermind Roger Brook and the Mastermind Duke de Richleau questions, and we need some clever person to track down the questions and answers from the New Zealand Mastermind (thanks, Cibator !) on Gregory Sallust, to complete the set !

Once again a very happy New Year to all the site’s visitors and to all friends of its cause!

Charles

 



    
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