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Commando novelist

Books | September Issue

A Forgotten Man: The Life and Death of John Lodwick by Geoffrey Elliott

Dr Johnson declared that most authors ‘are undoubtedly forgotten, because they have never deserved to be remembered.’ Accordingly, while labelling the subject of a biography ‘a forgotten man’ may be generous, it may also be vain. Only for older readers will the name of John Lodwick mean anything. Lodwick was killed in a car crash in 1959. He was only 43, the author of almost twenty books, most of them novels. He had been praised by good writers, among them Somerset Maugham, and with reservations by others; for example, Rebecca West. I remember enjoying a couple of his books when I was young, but the books themselves have faded from my memory. Geoffrey Elliott has generously and ingeniously sought to rescue Lodwick from obscurity. Though he has little to say about the novels, mostly contenting himself by quoting snatches of reviews, the effort is worthwhile and his book engaging, because...

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