Non-Fiction Books:

The Search for Ernest Bramah



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The Search for Ernest Bramah by Aubrey Wilson

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Ernest Bramah is an author who protected his privacy so successfully he has until now defeated all attempts at a biography. After ten years of meticulous investigation, Aubrey Wilson has finally been able to uncover the story of his life and his work. The research has revealed an enigma - a man of contradictions and contrasts; a paranoia to conceal all personal information and to maintain his seclusion battled with his skill in self-promotion and marketing; strong right-wing views held alongside his essential kindness and concern for the underdog; the macabre and sadistic elements in his writing that belie his courteous, urbane and cultured life; a strong personal moral code clashing with his obvious delight in outrageous advocacy of issues that offended contemporary mores; and a fascination with the supernatural and occult contending with a love for that which was sanctified by age and custom. Despite very little formal education Ernest Bramah was a polymath and a writer of great erudition and knowledge and whose skills spread over many styles; a brilliant short story writer, a humorist who invented a whole new style of 'Mandarin English' that has never been successfully copied; the creator of a blind detective with incredible powers and a host of well drawn, fascinating characters who people his books, and articles which continue to attract readers more than half a century after his death. Many personal details of the author and his wife, previously unknown, have been revealed. Bramah's political philosophy as well as the literary parturition and gestation of his major fictional characters, most particularly Kai Lung and Max Carrados are traced. Contemporary and later criticisms of his work are re-examined and there are extensive quotations to illustrate the unique and never to be copied style of writing. Aubrey Wilson gives an incisive and lively account of a this best-selling author whose life was totally hidden from his wide and enthusiastic public.
Release date NZ
March 1st, 2007
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Creighton & Read
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