Wharton, Michael

Tagged: Author

(1913-2006) UK journalist and author born Michael Bernhard Nathan, but taking his mother's surname in adulthood; he is best known for his anti-modern, deeply conservative, often hilarious Way of the Word newspaper columns (intermittently 1957-2006) written as by Peter Simple. These highly fantasticated columns show the influence of similar work by Beachcomber (see J B Morton) and Myles na Gopaleen (see Flann O'Brien), though not the latter's politics. Sheldrake (1958), his only novel, which is of some sf interest, adumbrates the melancholic pixillation of the column. The surreality of its seemingly Near Future setting may be explained in part by the fact that an early version of the tale was completed in the late 1930s. Sheldrake arrives in a small English City to lecture on Tibetan mysticism, discovers that Borewich has declared independence, assists in its defeat of an invading English army, becomes head of state and of its College of Prophets; and finds that the last-ever train to London has departed. [JC]

Michael Bernard Wharton

born Shipley, Yorkshire: 19 April 1913

died High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire: 23 January 2006

works (highly selected)

  • Sheldrake (London: Anthony Blond/Allan Wingate, 1958) [hb/Derrick Sayer]


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