Jocelyn Brooke

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Jocelyn Brooke (30 November 1908 – 29 October 1966) was an English author born in Kent. He wrote several unique, semi-autobiographical novels, as well as some poetry. His most famous works include the Orchid Trilogy — The Military Orchid (1948), A Mine of Serpents (1949) and The Goose Cathedral (1950)— and the Kafkaesque Image of a Drawn Sword (1950).

Educated at Bedales (after escaping twice from a public school) and Worcester College, Oxford, Brooke's childhood revolved mostly around his principal interests of amateur botany and fireworks, in the shadow of the first World War. He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps during the next war, and elements of his experiences, and his love of the military life, appear in most of his later works.

Though the Orchid Trilogy strays into a typically English vein of humour, the idyllic land of his childhood and his obsession with le paradis perdu often bring in an element of intense melancholy, something developed in paranoia and isolation in The Image of a Drawn Sword.


  • The Military Orchid
  • A Mine of Serpents
  • The Goose Cathedral
  • Dog at Clambercrown
  • The Scapegoat
  • The Image of a Drawn Sword
  • Passing of a Hero
  • Private View
  • The Crisis in Bulgaria
  • Conventional Weapons
  • Wild Orchids of Great Britain
  • The Flower in Season
  • Ronald Firbank
  • Elizabeth Bowen
  • Aldous Huxley
  • Birth of a Legend
  • The Wonderful Summer
  • Six Poems [privately printed]
  • December Spring
  • The Elements of Death

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