Richard Mason (novelist 1919–1997)

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Richard Mason (16 May 1919 – 13 October 1997) was a British novelist.

Personal life and career[edit]

Born near Manchester, he was educated in Dorset, then worked first on a film magazine and later for the British Council. The Second World War gave him a chance to learn Japanese and he became an interrogator of prisoners of war. In 1948 he married Felicity Anne Cumming (1917–1993), who had previously been married to Henry Landall Lyon Young.[1] Richard and Felicity Mason separated in 1958 and were later divorced.[2]

As an author Mason wrote The Wind Cannot Read (1946), finished during the Burma Campaign, and the screenplay for the 1958 film version starring Dirk Bogarde; The Shadow and the Peak (filmed as Passionate Summer); and The Fever Tree (1962), a story of espionage set in India and Nepal.

His experiences while living in Hong Kong inspired him to write The World of Suzie Wong. This was adapted into a Broadway play in 1958 and later into the film The World of Suzie Wong, in 1960, starring William Holden and Nancy Kwan.

Mason, a cigarette smoker, died of throat cancer in Rome, Italy, where he had lived for nearly 40 years.



  • The Wind Cannot Read, 1946; screenplay 1958
  • The Shadow and the Peak, 1950
  • The World of Suzie Wong, 1957
  • The Fever Tree, 1962


  1. ^ "A lecture to the Royston Pike group: Part 2", The Elmbridge Hundred.
  2. ^ Richard Davenport-Hines, "Cumming, (Felicity) Anne (1917–1993)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, October 2009, accessed 21 January 2015.

External links[edit]