A. E. W. Mason
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|A. E. W. Mason|
A. E. W. Mason
Captain in The Manchester Regiment
|Born||Alfred Edward Woodley Mason
7 May 1865
Dulwich, London, England
|Died||22 November 1948
He studied at Dulwich College and graduated from Trinity College, Oxford in 1888. He was a contemporary of fellow Liberal Anthony Hope, who went on to write the adventure novel The Prisoner of Zenda.
His first novel, A Romance of Wastdale, was published in 1895. He was the author of more than 20 books, including At The Villa Rose (1910), a mystery novel in which he introduced his French detective, Inspector Hanaud. His best-known book is The Four Feathers, which has been made into several films. Many consider it his masterpiece. Other books are The House of the Arrow (1924), No Other Tiger (1927), The Prisoner in the Opal (1929) and Fire Over England (1937). He contributed a short story, "The Conjurer", to The Queen's Book of the Red Cross.
Mason was elected as a Liberal Member of Parliament for Coventry in the 1906 general election. He served only a single term in Parliament, retiring at the next general election in January 1910.
His first play was the 4-act comedy Marjory Strode. Mason wrote three plays that were produced and presented by Sir George Alexander in St James's Theatre. He wrote, "I had three plays produced by George Alexander; one a failure, Colonel Smith, one which made a moderate profit, Open Windows, and one which was a considerable success, The Witness for the Defence. The light farce Colonel Smith opened on 23 April 1909. The Witness for the Defence opened on 1 February 1911, starring Sir George Alexander as Henry Thresk. In 1913 Mason's problem play Open Windows opened on the evening of 11 March, starring Sydney Valentine as Phillip Hammond, Irene Vanbrugh as Cynthia Herrick, Sir George Alexander as John Herrick, with Rosalie Toller as Elsie Herrick.
Mason served with the Manchester Regiment in the First World War, being promoted Captain in December 1914. He transferred to the General List (reservists) in 1915 and the Royal Marine Light Infantry in 1917 with the rank of Major. His military career included work in naval intelligence, serving in Spain and Mexico, where he set up counter-espionage networks on behalf of the British government.
He died in 1948 while working on a non-fiction book about Admiral Robert Blake. Mason had been offered a knighthood but declined it declaring that such honors meant little to a childless man.
Novels featuring Inspector Hanaud
- At the Villa Rose (1910)
- The House of the Arrow (1924)
- The Prisoner in the Opal (1928)
- They Wouldn't Be Chessmen (1934)
- The House in Lordship Lane (1946)
- The Courtship of Morrice Buckler (1896)
- Lawrence Clavering (1897)
- The Philanderers (1897)
- Parson Kelly (1899) (with Andrew Lang)
- Clementina (1901)
- The Four Feathers (1902)
- The Truants (1904)
- Running Water (1906)
- The Broken Road (1907)
- A Romance of Wastdale (1910)
- Miranda of the Balcony (1911)
- The Turnstile (1912)
- The Witness for the Defence (1913)
- The Summons (1920)
- The Watchers (1924)
- The Winding Stair (1924)
- No Other Tiger (1927)
- The Dean's Elbow (1930)
- The Three Gentlemen (1932)
- The Sapphire (1933)
- Fire Over England (1936)
- The Drum (1937)
- Konigsmark (1938)
- Musk and Amber (1942)
- The Crystal Trench (2001)
Short story collections
- Ensign Knightley: And Other Stories (1901)
- The Four Corners of the World (1917)
- Inspector Hanaud Investigates (1931)
- Dilemmas (1934)
- The Royal Exchange (1920)
- Sir George Alexander & the St. James' Theatre (1935)
- The Life of Francis Drake (1941)
- "Review: Marjory Strode by A. E. W. Mason". The Athenaeum (4196): 395–396. March 28, 1908.
- Mason, A. E. W. (1935). Sir George Alexander and the St. James' Theatre. Ayer Publishing. p. 22.
- "Open Windows". The Railway Official Gazette: p. 46. March 1913.
- "NEW PLAY BY A.E.W. MASON; "Open Windows" Is Produced in London and Is Well Received". NY Times. 12 March 1913.
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Alfred Edward Woodley Mason
- M. Stenton and S. Lees, Who's Who of British MPs, Vol. II (Harvester Press, 1978).
- A. E. W. Mason at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Works by A. E. W. Mason at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about A. E. W. Mason at Internet Archive
- Works by A. E. W. Mason at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- A E W Mason at Project Gutenberg Australia
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by A. E. W. Mason
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Coventry