Norman Hunter (author)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Norman George Lorimer Hunter (23 November 1899 – 23 February 1995[1]) was a British children's author, creator of Professor Branestawm.

Early life[edit]

Hunter was born in Sydenham, England, on 23 November 1899. He attended Beckenham County School for Boys (later known as Beckenham and Penge Grammar School and then Langley Park School for Boys). He left school to volunteer for service during World War I in the London Irish Rifles.[2]


Hunter wrote popular books on writing for advertising, brain-teasers and conjuring among many others. His career started as an advertising copywriter and in the 1930s he was performing as a stage magician in Bournemouth.

It was at this time he started to write the Professor Branestawm series, originally intended for radio. The first book, The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm, was published in hardback in 1933 with illustrations by W. Heath Robinson, the second, Professor Branestawm's Treasure Hunt in 1937 with drawings by James Arnold. George Adamson illustrated the reissue of Professor Branestawm's Treasure Hunt in 1966, and when Norman Hunter brought out his third book in the series in 1970 after a gap of more than thirty years, Adamson provided the illustrations. Two further Professor Branestawm titles were then published with Adamson's drawings. Other artists were to provide illustrations for later books in the series: Gerald Rose; David Hughes; Jill McDonald, and Derek Cousins. Many of the books were reissued in Puffin Books, the Penguin children's imprint, the first of these, The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm, under Eleanor Graham's editorship in 1946 and many others under Kaye Webb's in the 1960s and 1970s.

Hunter returned to London during the Second World War, living on a boat on the Thames. Post-war, in 1949 he went to work in South Africa and the fiction writing ceased. On his retirement in 1970, he once again returned to London, where Thames Television had just produced the Professor Branestawm eight-part TV series. He continued writing in his retirement, with his last book published in 1983.


Hunter died in Staines on 23 February 1995, aged 95. He was exactly 95 years and 2 months old.[3]



  • Simplified Conjuring for All: a collection of new tricks needing no special skill or apparatus for their performance with suitable patter, C. Arthur Pearson (1923)
  • Advertising Through the Press: a guide to press publicity, Sir I. Pitman & Sons (1925)
  • New and Easy Magic : a further series of novel magical experiments needing no special skill or apparatus for their performance with suitable patter, C. Arthur Pearson (1925)
  • The Bad Barons of Crashbania: Vol. 42, Continuous Stories, Jolly Books (Blackwell, 1932), illustrated by Eve Garnett
  • The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm, John Lane (1933)
  • New conjuring Without Skill, Bodley Head (1935)
  • Professor Branestawm's Treasure Hunt, John Lane (1937)
  • Larky Legends (1938), republished as The Dribblesome Teapots and Other Incredible Stories (1973)
  • Successful Conjuring for Amateurs, Pearson (c.1951)
  • The Puffin Book of Magic (1968), republished as Norman Hunter’s Book of Magic, Bodley Head (1974)
  • The Peculiar Triumph of Professor Branestawm, Bodley Head (1970)
  • The Dribblesome Teapots and Other Incredible Stories (1971)
  • Professor Branestawm Up the Pole, Bodley Head (1972)
  • Professor Branestawm's Dictionary, Bodley Head (1973)
  • The Frantic Phantom and Other Incredible Stories (1973)
  • Wizards Are A Nuisance, BBC (1973)
  • Professor Branestawm's Great Revolution, Bodley Head (1974)
  • The Home-made Dragon and Other Incredible Stories (1974)
  • Dust up at the Royal Disco: and Other Stories (1975)
  • Professor Branestawm’s Do-It-Yourself Handbook, Bodley Head (1974)
  • Long Live Their Majesties (1975)
  • Professor Branestawm Round the Bend, Bodley Head (1977)
  • Professor Branestawm’s Compendium of Donundrums, Riddles, Puzzles, Brain Twiddlers and Dotty Descriptions, Bodley Head (1975)
  • Vanishing Ladies, and Other Magic, Bodley Head (1978)
  • Professor Branestawm's Perilous Pudding, Bodley Head (1979)
  • The Best of Branestawm, Bodley Head (1980)
  • Sneeze and Be Slain and Other Incredible Stories (1980)
  • Professor Branestawm and the Wild Letters, Bodley Head (1981)
  • Professor Branestawm's Pocket Motor Car, Bodley Head (1981)
  • Professor Branestawm's Mouse War, Bodley Head (1982)
  • Professor Branestawm's Building Bust-Up, Bodley Head (1982)
  • Count Bakwerdz on the Carpet and Other Incredible Stories (1982)
  • Professor Branestawm's Crunchy Crockery, Bodley Head (1983)
  • Professor Branestawm's Hair-Raising Idea, Bodley Head (1983)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Norman Hunter at BBC. Retrieved 26 November 2014
  3. ^ Obituary at: The Independent, no.n2609, 1995 Feb 28, p12(1) (ISSN: 0951-9467)

External links[edit]