(1885-1957) UK author whose second novel, John Lillibud (1934), plays sophisticatedly with echoes and doublings of plot and theme and Identity (see also Doubles in The Encyclopedia of Fantasy), in a manner that shifts Equipoisally between fantasy and sf. A young writer becomes a purveyor of Inventions, one of which is a cosmetic plastic which transforms one's face (and perhaps one's identity); by creating a transformative nose for himself, the writer "becomes" in secret a much more successful author named Richard (or Dick) Whittington, and in this guise becomes involved with a cadre of deaf-mute revolutionaries called The Voice which broadcasts propaganda messages via Telepathy. Transfigured echoes of Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) are evident; and also of "The Nose" (1836 Sovremennik as "Nos") by Nicolai Gogol [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. London itself – Dick Whittington being a famous London folk-figure and mayor – is fantasticated alluringly, though almost always understandable in sf terms. Betrayals, and mirrorings, and tit-for-tat ironies proliferate, mockingly, throughout.
The appearance in Promises on a Ring of Stone (2006) by J Campbell of a New York theatrical entrepreneur named Francis Gordon Hurrell, who confesses to murder on his deathbed, seems inadvertent. [JC]
Francis Gordon Hurrell
born Kenninghall, Norfolk: 1885
died Reading, Berkshire: 24 November 1957
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