About Bagley

Desmond Bagley © Graham jackson photography
Desmond Bagley - Writer - An Enquiry into a Novelist. The unpublished autobiography of Desmond Bagley - master of the adventure novel. Edited by Philip Eastwood with foreword by Mike Ripley.

Now Available to download as a free eBook: Writer – An Enquiry into a Novelist by Desmond Bagley.
Writer is a non-profit publication, giving readers the opportunity to help support the charities favoured by Desmond and Joan Bagley by making a voluntary contribution. Donation links will take you to the charities own websites, so 100% of your donation will go directly to the charity concerned.

To see available eBook formats click here.

Painstakingly and lovingly reconstructed – I was both fascinated by it and grateful for it.

MIKE RIPLEY author of Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.

This is a must-read for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bagley’s work – and a primer on life as a writer – Get it.

JEREMY DUNS author of the acclaimed Paul Dark spy novels.

Desmond Bagley was one of the authors whose work inspired me to become a thriller writer… brand new material. What a treat!

PETER JAMES author of the much-loved Detective Superintendent Roy Grace novels.

His personality shines through as if he’s with us, telling it, and of course that great sense of humour is there on almost every page.

PETER LOVESEY author of the much-loved Detective Sergeant Daniel Cribb novels.

Desmond Bagley 1923-1983

The internationally acclaimed bestselling English author Desmond Bagley, known to his friends as Simon, was born on 29th October 1923 at a cottage in Stramongate, Kendal, Westmorland (Cumbria). He died, aged 59, on 12th April 1983 in a Southampton hospital after suffering a stroke, leaving us a literary canon of seventeen published novels and a handful of short stories, articles and interviews.

Desmond Bagley © Graham Jackson

At the time of his death he was reputed to be one of the highest paid writers of fiction novels in the world. Remarkable considering he left school at the age of fourteen having failed to pass any exams, suffered a life-long speech impediment and was nearly forty years old when his first novel, The Golden Keel, was published.

In his obituary, which appeared in The Times on 14th April 1983, he was described as a ‘craftsmanlike thriller novelist’. Bagley was skilled in the art of thriller writing; he travelled extensively and displayed a detailed knowledge of the geographical locations used for the settings in his novels combined with a thorough knowledge of cultural traditions, natural phenomena and technological details.

Mike Ripley, the author of Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang – The boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royal to The Eagle Has Landed, commented of Bagley:

As was often said about Bagley, his books were not so much about spies or even crimes – though they certainly feature – but about a group of interesting people in an interesting, often dangerous, landscape.

He was certainly in their tradition of British adventure writers, having fairly wholesome heroes who avoided sex and who operated in well-researched foreign locations.

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The Life and Work of Desmond Bagley - © The Bagley Brief