Nigel Heseltine

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Nigel Heseltine (3 July 1916[1] – 1995) was a Welsh writer, of travel books, short stories, plays, and poetry.


Heseltine was born in London, the son of Philip Heseltine, the composer better known as Peter Warlock (and was thus a half-brother of Brian Sewell). There is uncertainty over his birth and parentage, because there is no record of his birth in the hospital where it allegedly took place; his birth was not registered until 1930, and for the first year of his life he was raised by foster-parents. Heseltine himself denied that Warlock's wife Puma was his mother and photos of Heseltine and Warlock show no family resemblance. However, he was undoubtedly brought up by Warlock's mother and stepfather, who believed him to be Warlock's son.[2][3]

In 1937 he was in Albania, and in 1938 he married Natalia Borisovna Galitzine or Galitzina, an aristocrat in Budapest. He married at least four more times.[4] During World War II he was in Dublin, working as a playwright for the Olympia Theatre company of Shelagh Richards (1903–1985).[5]

Later he wrote several books about Africa, including a classic account of crossing the Sahara.


  • Scarred Background (a Journey Through Albania) (1938)
  • Violent Rain: a Poem The Latin Press (1938)
  • The Four-Walled Dream: Poems The Fortune Press (1941)
  • Dafydd ap Gwilym, Selected poems (1944, Cuala Press) translator
  • Tales of the Squirearchy, Druid Press, 1946
  • The Mysterious Pregnancy: a novel (published as Inconstant Lady in the U.S.A.) 1953
  • From Libyan Sands to Chad (1959)
  • Remaking Africa (1961)
  • Twenty-five Poems, Dafydd ap Gwilym (1968, Piers Press, reprint of 1944 book) translator
  • Madagascar (1971)
  • Capriol for Mother, a memoir of Peter Warlock and his family by his son (1992)


  • Rhian Davies, Scarred Background: Nigel Heseltine (1916–1995), A Biographical Introduction and a Bibliography, in Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays, Volume 11 (2006-7)
  1. ^ Descendants of Edward Heleltine,
  2. ^ Welsh Writing in English, School of English at Bangor University
  3. ^ Rhian Davies, "Peter Warlock in Montgomeryshire", Trafodion Anrhydeddus Gymeithas y Cymmrodorion 2007 14 pp.144-161
  4. ^ Amongst these, to Jean Stoney, divorced from Louis le Brocquy in 1948.
  5. ^ Nigel Heseltine