Monsarrat, Nicholas

Tagged: Author

(1910-1979), UK soldier, in active service 1940-1946, and author; his surname was misspelled on his birth certificate as "Montserrat", causing some later confusion; in Canada as a British information officer from 1953 to 1956, and intermittently after that date. He was best known for his novel, The Cruel Sea (1951), which became immensely popular. The first of the four volumes of his Signs of the Times series, The Time Before This (1962), which is sf, tells of the discovery of ancient artefacts and frozen beings in Canada, evidence of a highly evolved earlier race on Earth, and of an atomic Holocaust that ended their civilization. The second, Smith and Jones (1963), is a seemingly conventional spy story but is transformed devastatingly into either an Alternate-History or a Near-Future novel by its last line. With The Master Mariner, Book 1: Running Proud (1978), Monsarrat began a projected two-part novel about a Flying Dutchman figure (see Wandering Jew), whose story was planned to extend over four centuries of UK life at sea; the second volume, which he died before completing, was published as The Master Mariner, Book 2: Darken Ship: The Unfinished Novel (1980). [JC]

Nicholas John Turney Monsarrat

born Liverpool, England: 22 March 1910

died London: 8 August 1979



Signs of the Times

Master Mariner


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