William Charles Franklyn Plomer CBE (he pronounced the surname as ploomer) (10 December 1903 – 21 September 1973) was a South African and British author, known as a novelist, poet and literary editor. He was educated mostly in the United Kingdom, but described himself as a Anglo-African-Asian.
He became famous in the Union of South Africa with his first novel, Turbott Wolfe, which had inter-racial love and marriage as a theme. He was co-founder of the short-lived literary magazine Voorslag ("Whiplash") with two other South African rebels, Roy Campbell and Laurens van der Post; it promoted a racially equal South Africa.
He spent the period from October 1926 to March 1929 in Japan, where he was friendly with Sherard Vines. There, according to biographers, he was in a same-sex relationship with a Japanese man. He was never openly gay during his lifetime; at most he alluded to the subject.
He then moved to England, and through his friendship with his publisher Virginia Woolf, entered the London literary circles. He became an important literary editor, for Faber and Faber, and was a reader and literary adviser to Jonathan Cape, where he edited a number of Ian Fleming's James Bond series. Fleming dedicated Goldfinger to Plomer. He was active as a librettist, with Gloriana, Curlew River, The Burning Fiery Furnace and The Prodigal Son for Benjamin Britten.
- 1925. Turbott Wolfe (novel)
- 1927. Notes for Poems. Hogarth Press, London (poetry)
- 1927. I Speak of Africa (short stories)
- 1929. The Family Tree. Hogarth, London (poetry)
- 1929. Paper Houses. Hogarth, London (short stories)
- 1931. Sado. Hogarth, London (novel)
- 1932. The Case is Altered (novel)
- 1932. The Fivefold Screen (poetry)
- 1933. The Child of Queen Victoria (short stories)
- 1933. Cecil Rhodes (biography)
- 1934. The Invaders (novel)
- 1936. Visiting the Caves. Cape, London (poetry)
- 1936. Ali the Lion (biography, reissued in 1970 as The Diamond of Janina)
- 1937. William Plomer (editor): Haruko Ichikawa: A Japanese Lady in Europe. Cape, London
- 1938. Selections from the Diary of the Rev. Francis Kilvert (1870–1879)
- 1940. Selected Poems. Hogarth, London
- 1942. In a Bombed House, 1941: Elegy in Memory of Anthony Butts (poetry)
- 1943. Double Lives: An Autobiography. Cape, London.
- 1945. The Dorking Thigh and Other Satires (poetry)
- 1949. Four Countries. Cape, London (short stories)
- 1952. Museum Pieces (novel)
- 1955. A Shot in the Park (poetry, published in U.S. as Borderline Ballads)
- 1958. At Home: Memoirs. Cape, London.
- 1960. Collected Poems. Cape, London.
- 1960. A Choice of Ballads (poetry)
- 1966. Taste and Remember (poetry)
- 1975. The Autobiography of William Plomer. Cape, London (revision of Double Lives, he died before he could rework At Home)
- 1978. Electric Delights. Selected and introduced by Rupert Hart-Davis. Cape, London (previously uncollected pieces)
- Griswold, John (2006). Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations And Chronologies for Ian Fleming's Bond Stories. AuthorHouse. p. 243. ISBN 9781425931001.
- Peter F. Alexander. William Plomer: A Biography (Oxford Lives, 1991)
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- Plomer Collection at Durham University
- William Plomer portraits in the National Portrait Gallery
- "William Plomer and Japan" in Japonisme, Orientalism, Modernism: A Critical Bibliography of Japan in English-Language Verse (themargins.net)