The Info List - Nigel Dennis

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NIGEL FORBES DENNIS (16 January 1912–19 July 1989) was an English writer, critic, playwright and magazine editor.


* 1 Life * 2 Career

* 3 Bibliography

* 3.1 Books by Richard Vaughan * 3.2 Novels by Nigel Dennis * 3.3 Plays by Nigel Dennis * 3.4 Miscellaneous

* 4 References * 5 External links


Born at his grandfather's house in Surrey
, England
, Dennis was the son of Lt.-Col. Michael Frederic Beauchamp Dennis, DSO, of the King's Own Scottish Borderers, who came of an old Devonshire family, and Louise, née Bosanquet, whose ancestors were bankers of Huguenot origin. (Louise's cousin, the bowler B.J.T. Bosanquet, invented the "googly", or "Bosie", as it is sometimes known. (Letters to The Times May 1963). The family moved to Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
(now Zimbabwe
) and after his father's death in action in 1918, his mother married Fitzroy Griffin. Dennis attended school in Rhodesia. At fifteen, he joined his uncle, Ernan Forbes Dennis, a British diplomat working in Vienna as Passport Control Officer (a cover for his real role as MI6 Head of Station with responsibility for Austria, Hungary and Yugoslavia), and his wife, Phyllis Bottome , the novelist. Dennis's further education was completed at the Odenwaldschule in Germany, a progressive co-educational establishment, after which he returned to England. He remained there for four years before settling in the U.S. in 1934 where he worked as a journalist.

Dennis was married twice, firstly to Marie-Madeleine Massias, from Charente-Maritime, France. They had two daughters, Frederica Freer and Michie Herbert, a sculptor. His second marriage was to the actress, Beatrice Ann Hewart Matthew. He spent his last years in Malta and died in Gloucestershire in July 1989.


Dennis held jobs at the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, a censorship body; The New Republic
The New Republic
, a progressive political journal; and Time (magazine)
Time (magazine)
. His job at Time returned him to Britain in 1950 (or 1949). Easing into novel writing, in 1949 he published his first acknowledged novel, Boys and Girls Come out to Play (A Sea Change in the USA), which won the Anglo-American novel award for that year (shared with Anthony West ). It starts semi-autobiographically, with a depiction of a young man having an epileptic fit, a condition Dennis suffered from all his life. Later in 1955, Dennis published his most notable work, Cards of Identity , a witty psychological satire that gained cult acclaim. The novel was converted into a play the following year. Dennis's career involved a mixture of non-fiction, novel, criticism, and play-writing. His book reviews appeared in the Sunday Telegraph for twenty years, starting (with the newspaper itself) in 1961. He became a contributor to Encounter in 1963 and was eventually appointed its co-editor before terminating his relationship with the magazine in 1970.

Dennis's books were few but distinguished. Hi