One of the forgotten giants of the golden age of British detective fiction, H. C. McNeile is a largely forgotten figure today. Best known for his Bulldog Drummond stories, McNeile created the forerunner to later thriller heroes—Drummond was both a proto-Bond and Biggles—but he also wrote extensively about the First World War, while serving on the front line. Some top-drawer assistance during the peer review has helped immensely in developing this article. – SchroCat (talk) 03:49, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Support – I took part in the peer review, where my few quibbles were satisfactorily attended to. The article is comprehensive but not excessive in length, well proportioned, unbiased, well referenced, and in highly readable prose. It meets the FA criteria, in my opinion. Tim riley (talk) 10:11, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Tim, That's very kind of you: thank you so much for your very kind time and attention during the PR and here. - SchroCat (talk) 14:14, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Support – I have had the joy of following this article from the start and have enjoyed its progression to FAC. Like Tim I played a hand at the peer review where all my comments were addressed. A thoroughly worthy candidate and one that certainly has my support to FA status. -- CassiantoTalk 10:35, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Many thanks Cass: your copy edits part way through the re-write were very welcome, as were your subsequent comments at PR and here. Thanks again. - SchroCat (talk) 14:14, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
- all OK (3 of 3 done). some of the images need clarification regarding their copyright status:
File:Sapper_APWatt.jpg has 2 problems: "for representation in Wikipedia articles" would be an invalid license limitation for Wiki-images (it must be completely free except attribution). The other issue is the missing OTRS-ticket tag, making it hard to verify the situation. Is there a similar image of him available with a clearer copyright situation? Either replace or we could try a request to check it on OTRS-noticeboard.
I have not found any other images on my searches, but it is possible there are others in books that could be scanned. I thought that the email agreement from the copyright owners for us to use it on Wiki would be sufficient, but I'll ask at Commons for some more clarity on the use. - SchroCat (talk) 15:31, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
File:No_Man's_Land_-_1ed_ed_cover.jpg - OK, only when the cover was first used for the US edition. Could you clarify, if this was the first published edition and/or other editions used different covers?
It was first used in 1917 on the US first edition. The only edition of the book published before that was the UK edition, which had a different cover. (see the covers here. - SchroCat (talk) 15:31, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
File:Bulldog_Drummond_Poster.jpg - The source website claims: "The artwork was done by E. William Haemmel.", author info needs to be checked and added. Also the country of origin is unclear, could you verify, that the poster was first published in the US and not in the UK? (if UK, you need a second UK-specific copyright tag).
As far as can be ascertained, it was the US only, (although as this is a lost film, there is very little info, including artwork). E. William Haemmel was an American illustrator and the searches I did for him previously show little info, except a few covers of US magazines. - SchroCat (talk) 15:31, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Hm, F. or E. William Haemmel? This link [] of an old newspaper , and a few others, has F. as illustrator of covers. Either way i'll add a small note with disclaimer to the summary.
Other images are OK (PD-1923, geograph project). Sources and authors provided.
Generally, when the work's country of origin is not US, you'll need a second copyright tag for this country (atleast for Commons images, images downloaded on Wiki-servers would be OK with US-copyright only). GermanJoe (talk) 15:10, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Status update, 2 of 3 doneGermanJoe (talk) 16:05, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Source 15, 94, 60, 63, 89, and 95 should probably have publishers. Source 5 and 20 also.
They're not needed, as per WP:CITEHOW. I suspect that the logic is that it would be misleading, as the ownership now has nothing to do with the material printed in the 1920s—30s. - SchroCat (talk) 09:39, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Some of the citations to Treadwell 2001, p. 111. are unnecessary, making the extent to "m" bothersome. In the bits of text where it is used successively alone after itself, such as in these two sentences ("Few details are known about McNeile's wartime service, as his records were destroyed by incendiary bombs during the Second World War. He spent time with a number of Royal Engineer units on the Western Front, including 1st Field Squadron, 15th Field Company and 33rd Division, where he was the commander.") I don't think it needs to be cited more than once. I think this is most prevalent in "First World War service".
There's only two (one of which is your quoted one) which I'm comfortable taking out. The others are not clear cut enough to remove without appearing to be supported by other references. - SchroCat (talk) 19:57, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Consistency is needed for the footnotes listing for example "The ten Drummond novels are"... I changed them to a prose format, but it is entirely up to you whether or not they should be a list or prose. They just all need to be the same, please!
Are sources 94 and 95 ("New Mystery Stories") actually separate articles, or is the difference just a matter of date of publication?
Different articles. - SchroCat (talk) 09:35, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Will come back to look over prose once these comments are addressed. ceranthor 22:38, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Many thanks for your comments: I look forward to any further comments you have - Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 19:57, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
A Few Prose Comments from Ceranthor
he travelled via England - I assume this means through? Can't we just say through? Via is usually not used in this context in my experience.
He was in Malta and travelled to the front line in France by way of England, so via is correct here. - SchroCat (talk) 06:22, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
a member of "the Breed" - could you clarify briefly what the Breed is here? Oops, missed it earlier!
He had a loud voice and a louder laugh, who "liked to enliven clubs and restaurants with the sight and sound of military good fellowship"; - The way this sentence is composed makes it sound like you intend to say his laugh "liked to...".
Tweaked "who" to "and", which changes the emphasis slightly. - SchroCat (talk) 06:22, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
On his death his estate was valued at over £26,000. - Is on his death proper British English? I've heard the "on something" phrase once, but it was in some sort of poem - I think Walt Whitman, so it could've been an experimental phrase. Just a clarification would be nice if it is grammatically sound.
I think its fine in British English, but I've tweaked to "At his death" for clarity. - SchroCat (talk) 06:22, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
similarly, his thrillers also went well, with Bulldog Drummond selling 396,302 copies between 1920 and 1939, - I don't think books "go well". Sales do!
Good point: now tweaked. - SchroCat (talk) 06:22, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
the Daily Mirror estimated he had earned £85,000 from his writing. - Over his entire career I would think. Not quite clear for some reason.
Yes, I think it was the five years reference before the semi colon. Now clarified. - SchroCat (talk) 06:22, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
In general, it seems like you're overusing commas a bit throughout the article, but I think it's sound in terms of prose with just a few niggling issues. I'm going to continue running through the article over the next few days, but I'm more than comfortable with its condition. Support. ceranthor 22:06, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Many thanks indeed for your time and efforts on this: it's much appreciated and I think the article reads much better for your for your thoughts. Thanks again. - SchroCat (talk) 06:22, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Commentsleaning to support: I carried out a limited peer review (images and lead prose). Having just read the whole article, I think it is in pretty good shape, though I think one more prose pass would be beneficial. I have done a few fixes myself; in addition, here is a list of some relatively minor points I picked up in the first half of the article. I'd like to be reassured that the second half has been checked over, before fully committing to support:
"although he adopted the life-long nickname Mac to his friends" - does not real well. Is "Mac" really a "nickname"? For someone called McNeile I'd say it was a diminutive. And does one "adopt" one's own nickname? I think the phrase should be simplified: "...although he was always known by his friends as Mac"
Now as suggested - SchroCat (talk) 21:24, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
"He spent time with a number of Royal Engineer units on the Western Front, including 1st Field Squadron, 15th Field Company and 33rd Division, where he was the commander". What exactly was he commander of? It reads as though you mean the 33rd Division, but divisional commanders were Major-generals, so I assume you don't mean that. As a captain he may have commanded a company. Needs clarification.
It's been written in a slightly confusing way ("Commander, Royal Engineers, 33rd Division"), so I've removed the final sub-section regarding commander. - SchroCat (talk) 21:24, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
"McNeile later admitted...": this phrasing always sounds like a confession to a crime. Perhaps "confided"?
I think the capitalisation in "and was Mentioned in Despatches" is dubious. Outside Wikipedia it is not normally written like this. Note: this usage occurs twice in the paragraph.
I think I ws getting confused by the noun use, and by our own article, which capitalises like there was a glut of caps on the market that needed to be used up. - SchroCat (talk) 21:24, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
In what sense was Treadwall an "independent" scholar?
Many thanks Brian: as always your time, effort and thoughts are hugely appreciated and I hope the subsequent edits have done justice to your comments. I'll go over the remainder of the article again tomorrow morning for a further ce. Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 21:24, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Butting in: thanks Brian. Regarding "Mentioned in Despatches", you're quite right ... I haven't seen "proper verbs" outside of military usage (and the occasional trademark; "Xeroxed" was capitalized many years ago), so however common the phrase is with the military, we lowercase it in Milhist articles, or switch to the noun form, "received a Mention in Despatches". - Dank (push to talk) 20:37, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Dank: your input is much appreciated and I've dropped it into lower case. Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 21:24, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Support with a few more quibbles (I've also done some more prose tweaking - see article's edit history):
A phrase as subjective (and unidiomatic) as "unremittingly hearty" really should be in quotes and attributed to a source.
Yes—I missed this one entirely! Now complete with quote marks and sourced. - SchroCat (talk) 18:42, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
The two present-day values that you show (£225,337 for £5000 and £1,243,485 for "over £26,000") are both instances of spurious accuracy. These present-day-value formulae, especially the somewhat eccentric ones on which Measuringworth's calculations are based, are never that pin-point accurate, and "over 26,000" is anyway an approximation. Personally I avoid any controversy over present-day values by not giving them; if you want to keep them in I suggest you say "over £200,000" and "about £1.2 million" respectively. That's as much accuracy as is possible or necessary, and should avoid further quibbling.
I've got rid of them. I can't so anything about sourcing the approximate amounts, so I'll take your "avoidance of controversy" line and strike them entirely. - SchroCat (talk) 18:42, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Bibliography" means all sources, not just books, so I would bring the three journal articles into the main alphabetical listing. (That would have saved me time looking for the Bourn source).
Sorry! I've always lumped everything in together until a previous article where I was told quite strongly to separate them out—something I've always objected to! (In fact I may go back and try and remember which article it was and merge them all together again...) - SchroCat (talk) 18:42, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Article in good shape now, and eminently promotable. Brianboulton (talk) 16:56, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
As always Brian, many, many thanks for all your efforts at sorting out my scribbling. I am deeply in your debt and I'll try not to bother you for anything more (for a little while at least!) Thanks again. - SchroCat (talk) 18:42, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
"His thrillers are a continuation of his war stories with the threat to England from foreigners having to be fought by upper class Englishmen" I think I understand that sentence. You're saying that there is an analogy between the struggle between Englishmen and foreign armies in his WWI stories and that between Englishmen and foreigners in his later stories. That could probably be expressed more clearly.
I agree: now tweaked. - SchroCat (talk) 17:08, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
I wondered why in the "Style and technique" section the discussion of his work during WWI precedes that of his post-war work.
Moved the WWI sentence to the beginning. - SchroCat (talk) 17:08, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Reading the article, I wondered when and how the collaboration between McNeile and Fairlie started.
Having read the sources, so do I! Unfortunately there is no clear information that helps us here. - SchroCat (talk) 17:08, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Having a "biography" section on the one hand but then discussing the man's death in another doesn't really make sense to me. I would suggest merging the "biography" and "personal life" sections. I would move the first paragraph of the later section to the beginning of the "Post-war" sub-section and attaching "Death and legacy" as a its own sub-section.--Carabinieri (talk) 14:37, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Agreed: now shifted around as suggested. Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 17:08, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Nice. I forgot to mention this in my comments: I enjoyed reading the article. Good job. I'd support, but I don't know anything about the topic, so I don't think I can make that kind of assessment.--Carabinieri (talk) 17:29, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks very much indeed. No problems with not supporting - your comments and help have improved the article, which is always the main point. Thanks again! - SchroCat (talk) 17:30, 13 February 2013 (UTC)