In search of
Peter de Polnay
I’m fascinated how some people, who one may have thought might be worthy of some note, can, even in this age of total information, almost completely disappear from view.
The writer Peter de Polnay, whom I came upon via a post on the excellent Neglected Books blog, is an excellent example of such phenomena.
The post in question was a review of de Polnay’s novel Angry Man’s Tale (1939). I was first hooked by the book’s title and then by the striking portrait of the author posing with his dog, Dodo.
I searched online for de Polnay, expecting at least a Wikipedia entry, but there is no page for him there and next to no biographical information elsewhere.
And yet, he was a writer with almost 100 books to his name. He was good friends with well known literary figures such as the essayist Cyril Connolly and poet Dylan Thomas, The writer Auberon Waugh praised the “the beautiful lucidity of his prose” and he had a close relationship with writer Nancy Mitford. He even had an entry within Who’s Who.
So, I’ve decided to put matters straight. With the Peter de Polnay project I intend to:
- read his books and write-up my thoughts on this site
- find other material relating to his life
- create a page about him on Wikipedia
This is an ongoing project, it may take a year, it may take a decade, there is no hurry.
I’ll post here when I get around to it. You can sign up for emailed updates if you so wish.
- My review of The Run of Night
- My review of Death and To-Morrow
- Times obituary
- A list of de Polnay’s books
- Peter de Polnay’s short stories
- Reviews of Angry Man’s Tale and Blood and Water on the Neglected Books blog
- A review of Death and To-Morrow on the Salvete atque Valete! blog
3 thoughts on “The Peter de Polnay project”
I have just been searching through my shelves for books written in 1930 (for a group reading project) and came across ‘The Fat of the Land’ but couldn’t work out when it was written. I arrived at your blog via a Google search, and was absolutely fascinated to read about your Peter de Polnay project – thank you for posting the biographical information about him, and I will be interested to read more as you go along.
Hi Rosemary, glad you found the blog useful. Did you enjoy ‘Fat of the Land’?
I have read some Peter de Polnay books over the years and admire him immensely. Unfortunately many works were borrowed so I have only a handful. The variety of his work is amazing. As was his life. Am I imagining it or did he write about Matisse during the Second World War?
I look forward to reading any future information about him.