Jack Higgins

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

Jack Higgins
BornHenry Patterson
(1929-07-27) 27 July 1929 (age 89)
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
OccupationNovelist
LanguageEnglish
NationalityBritish
Alma materLondon School of Economics
GenreThriller, espionage, mystery
Notable works
Years active1959–present
Spouse
  • Amy Hewett Patterson
  • Denise Higgins
Children4

Henry Patterson (born 27 July 1929), known by his pen name Jack Higgins, is a British writer. He is one of the best-selling authors of popular thrillers and espionage novels. His breakthrough novel The Eagle Has Landed (1975) sold over 50 million copies[1] and was adapted into a successful film by the same title.[2]

Some of his other notable books are A Prayer for the Dying (1987), The Eagle Has Flown (1991), Thunder Point (1993), Angel of Death (1995), Flight of Eagles (1998), and Day of Reckoning (2000).[1] His 85 novels in total have sold over 150 million copies and have been translated into 55 languages.[3]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Jack Higgins was born Henry Patterson[4] on 27 July 1929 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.[1] When his father abandoned them soon after, his Irish mother returned with him to her home town of Belfast, Northern Ireland, to live with her mother and her grandfather on Shankill Road.[1][5] Raised amid the religious and political violence of Belfast, Patterson learned to read at the age of three, when he was tasked with reading The Christian Herald to his bed-ridden grandfather.[1] At night, he would crouch beneath a window and read by the light of the street lamps.

I read Oliver Twist when I was six. Not because it was a classic, but because it was a book that was available. I probably didn't understand everything in it — for years I used to pronounce the word rogue as rogger—but I didn't care. I just loved reading.[1]

When his mother remarried, the family moved to Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, where Patterson attended the Roundhay Grammar School for Boys. He proved to be an indifferent student and left school with few formal qualifications. In 1947 he began two years of National Service, at first with the East Yorkshire Regiment,[6] and later as a non-commissioned officer in the Royal Horse Guards Regiment of the Household Cavalry[7] doing security work on the East German border.[8][1]

After leaving the army, he returned to London to study Sociology at London School of Economics while supporting himself as a driver and labourer at night. He chose the school for its "history of nonconformism".[1] He received his third-class degree after three years of study.[1] After getting a teaching qualification, he took a job lecturing in Social Psychology and Criminology at Allerton Grange Secondary School Leeds.[1] He taught Liberal Studies at Leeds Polytechnic and Education at James Graham College, which became part of Leeds Polytechnic in 1976.

Writing career[edit]

In 1959, Higgins began writing novels.[1] One of his aliases was James Graham. The growing success of his early work allowed him to take time off from his teaching, and he eventually left the classroom to become a full-time novelist.

Patterson's early novels, written under his own name (as "Harry Patterson") as well as under the pseudonyms James Graham, Martin Fallon, and Hugh Marlowe, are thrillers that typically feature hardened, cynical heroes, ruthless villains, and dangerous locales. Patterson published thirty-five such novels (sometimes three or four a year) between 1959 and 1974, learning his craft. East of Desolation (1968), A Game for Heroes (1970) and The Savage Day (1972) stand out among his early work for their vividly drawn settings (Greenland, the Channel Islands, and Belfast, respectively) and offbeat plots.

Patterson began using the pseudonym Jack Higgins in the late 1960s; his first minor bestsellers appeared in the early 1970s, two contemporary thrillers The Savage Day and A Prayer for the Dying[9] but it was the publication of his thirty-sixth book, The Eagle Has Landed, in 1975, that made Higgins' reputation. The Eagle Has Landed represented a step forward in the length and depth of Patterson's work. Its plot concerns with a German commando unit sent into England to kidnap Winston Churchill, and is reminiscent of Alberto Cavalcanti's wartime film Went the Day Well?, which itself was directly based on the 1942 Graham Greene short story "The Lieutenant Died Last". The main character is Irish gunman, poet, and philosopher Liam Devlin. Higgins followed The Eagle Has Landed with a series of thrillers, including several (Touch the Devil, Confessional, The Eagle Has Flown) featuring return appearances by Devlin.

The third phase of Patterson's career began with the publication of Eye of the Storm in 1992, a fictionalised retelling of an unsuccessful mortar attack on Prime Minister John Major by a ruthless young Irish gunman-philosopher named Sean Dillon, hired by an Iraqi millionaire. Cast as the central character over the next series of novels (22 to date, out of 43 published between 1992 and 2017), it is apparent that Dillon is in many ways an amalgamation of Patterson's previous heroes — Chavasse with his flair for languages, Nick Miller's familiarity with martial arts and jazz keyboard skills, Simon Vaughan's Irish roots, facility with firearms and the cynicism that comes with assuming the responsibility of administering a justice unavailable through a civilized legal system.

Personal life[edit]

Higgins met Amy Hewett while both were studying at the London School of Economics.[4] They were married in 1958, shortly after receiving a £75[1] ($210) advance for his first novel—"the biggest wedding present we could have had."[4] They have four children: Sarah (born 1960), Ruth (born 1962), Sean (born 1965), and Hannah (born 1974).[4][10] Their daughter Sarah Patterson penned the novel The Distant Summer (1976).[11] Higgins lives on Jersey, in the Channel Islands, with his second wife, Denise.[1][12]

Bibliography[edit]

Year Title[13] Writing as Featuring Publisher Notes
1 1959 Sad Wind from the Sea Harry Patterson Mark Hagen John Long
2 1960 Cry of the Hunter Harry Patterson Martin Fallon John Long Martin Fallon Book 1
3 1961 The Thousand Faces of Night Harry Patterson Hugh Marlow John Long
4 1962 Comes the Dark Stranger Harry Patterson Martin Shane John Long
5 1962 Hell Is Too Crowded Harry Patterson Matthew Brady John Long
6 1962 The Testament of Caspar Schultz Martin Fallon Paul Chavasse Abelard-Schuman Paul Chavasse Book 1
Revised and re-released in 2006 as The Bormann Testament
7 1963 The Dark Side of the Island Harry Patterson Hugh Lomax Fawcett
8 1963 Pay the Devil Harry Patterson Clay Fitzgerald Barrie & Rockliffe Revised and re-released in 2000 under the same name
9 1963 Seven Pillars to Hell Hugh Marlowe Gavin Kane Abelard-Schuman Revised and re-released in 1994 as Sheba
10 1963 Year of the Tiger Martin Fallon Paul Chavasse Abelard-Schuman Paul Chavasse Book 2
Revised and re-released in 1996 under the same name
11 1964 Passage by Night Hugh Marlowe Harry Manning Abelard-Schuman
12 1964 A Phoenix in the Blood Harry Patterson Jay Williams
13 1964 Thunder at Noon Harry Patterson John Dillinger Revised and re-released in 1983 as Dillinger
14 1964 Wrath of the Lion Harry Patterson Neil Mallory
15 1965 The Graveyard Shift Harry Patterson Nick Miller Nick Miller Book 1
16 1965 The Keys of Hell Martin Fallon Paul Chavasse Paul Chavasse Book 3
Revised and re-released in 2002 under the same name
17 1966 A Candle for the Dead Hugh Marlowe Sean Rogan Revised and re-released the same year as The Violent Enemy
18 1966 The Iron Tiger Jack Higgins Jack Drummond
19 1966 Midnight Never Comes Martin Fallon Paul Chavasse Paul Chavasse Book 4
20 1967 Brought in Dead Harry Patterson Nick Miller Nick Miller Book 2
21 1967 Dark Side of the Street Martin Fallon Paul Chavasse Paul Chavasse Book 5
22 1968 East of Desolation Jack Higgins Joe Martin Berkley
23 1968 Hell Is Always Today Harry Patterson Nick Miller Nick Miller Book 3
24 1969 A Fine Night for Dying Martin Fallon Paul Chavasse Paul Chavasse Book 6
25 1969 In the Hour Before Midnight Jack Higgins Stacy Wyatt Revised and re-released the same year as The Sicilian Heritage
26 1970 A Game for Heroes James Graham Owen Morgan
27 1970 Night Judgement at Sinos Jack Higgins Jack Savage
28 1971 The Last Place God Made Jack Higgins Sam Hannah
29 1971 Toll for the Brave Jack Higgins Ellis Jackson
30 1971 The Wrath of God James Graham Emmet Kogh
31 1972 The Khufra Run James Graham Jack Nelson
32 1972 The Savage Day Jack Higgins Simon Vaughan Holt
33 1973 A Prayer for the Dying Jack Higgins Martin Fallon Holt Martin Fallon Book 2
34 1974 The Run to Morning Martin Fallon Oliver Grant Revised and re-released the same year as Bloody Passage
35 1975 The Eagle Has Landed Jack Higgins Liam Devlin Holt Liam Devlin Book 1
36 1976 Storm Warning Jack Higgins Paul Gericke Holt
37 1977 The Valhalla Exchange Jack Higgins Hamilton Canning
38 1978 Day of Judgement Martin Fallon Paul Chavasse Holt Paul Chavasse Book 7
39 1979 To Catch a King Harry Patterson Walter Schellenberg
40 1980 Solo Jack Higgins Asa Morgan Stein and Day Asa Morgan Book 1
Revised and re-released the same year as The Cretan Lover
41 1981 Luciano's Luck Jack Higgins Harry Carter Stein and Day
42 1982 Touch the Devil Jack Higgins Liam Devlin Stein and Day Liam Devlin Book 2
43 1983 Exocet Jack Higgins Tony Villiers Stein and Day Tony Villiers Book 1
44 1985 Confessional Jack Higgins Liam Devlin Stein and Day Liam Devlin Book 3
45 1986 Night of the Fox Jack Higgins Harry Martineau Simon & Schuster
46 1989 Memoirs of a Dance Hall Romeo Jack Higgins Oliver Shaw Simon & Schuster
47 1989 A Season in Hell Jack Higgins Tony Villiers Simon & Schuster Tony Villiers Book 2
48 1990 Cold Harbour Jack Higgins Craig Osbourn Simon & Schuster
49 1990 The Eagle Has Flown Jack Higgins Liam Devlin Simon & Schuster Liam Devlin Book 4
50 1992 Eye of the Storm Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 1
Revised and re-released in 1996 as Midnight Man
51 1993 Thunder Point Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 2
52 1994 On Dangerous Ground Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 3
53 1995 Angel of Death Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 4
54 1995 The Morgan Score Jack Higgins Asa Morgan Published as a short story in "Great Irish Tales Of Horror" Asa Morgan Book 2
55 1996 Drink with the Devil Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 5
56 1997 The President's Daughter Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 6
57 1998 Flight of Eagles Jack Higgins Harry Kelso Putnam
58 1999 The White House Connection Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 7
59 2000 Day of Reckoning Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 8
60 2001 Edge of Danger Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 9
61 2002 Midnight Runner Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 10
62 2003 Bad Company Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 11
63 2004 Dark Justice Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 12
64 2005 Without Mercy Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 13
65 2006 Sure Fire Jack Higgins The Chance Twins Putnam The Chance Twins Book 1
Co-written with Justin Richards
66 2007 The Killing Ground Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 14
67 2007 Rough Justice Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 15
68 2008 Death Run Jack Higgins The Chance Twins Putnam The Chance Twins Book 2
Co-written with Justin Richards
69 2009 A Darker Place Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 16
70 2009 First Strike Jack Higgins The Chance Twins Putnam The Chance Twins Book 3
Co-written with Justin Richards
71 2009 Sharp Shot Jack Higgins The Chance Twins Putnam The Chance Twins Book 4
Co-written with Justin Richards
72 2009 The Wolf at the Door Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 17
73 2010 The Judas Gate Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 18
74 2012 A Devil is Waiting Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 19
75 2013 The Death Trade Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 20
76 2014 Rain on the Dead Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 21
77 2016 The Midnight Bell Jack Higgins Sean Dillon Putnam Sean Dillon Book 22

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Writing as Director Starring Notes
1967 The Violent Enemy Hugh Marlowe Don Sharp Tom Bell From the novel A Candle for the Dead
1972 The Wrath of God James Graham Ralph Nelson Robert Mitchum
1976 The Eagle Has Landed Jack Higgins John Sturges Donald Sutherland
1984 To Catch a King Harry Patterson Clive Donner Robert Wagner Television film
1987 A Prayer for the Dying Jack Higgins Mike Hodges Mickey Rourke
1989 Confessional Jack Higgins Gordon Flemyng Keith Carradine Television series, 4 episodes
1990 Night of the Fox Jack Higgins Charles Jarrott George Peppard Television film
1996 On Dangerous Ground Jack Higgins Lawrence Gordon Clark Rob Lowe Television film
1996 The Windsor Protocol Jack Higgins George Mihalka Kyle MacLachlan Television film
1997 Midnight Man Jack Higgins Lawrence Gordon Clark Rob Lowe Television film, from the novel Eye of the Storm
1998 Thunder Point Jack Higgins George Mihalka Kyle MacLachlan Television film

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Crace, John (30 July 2010). "A Life in Writing: Jack Higgins". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  2. ^ Canby, Vincent (26 March 1977). "The Eagle Has Landed (1976)". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Author Interview: Jack Higgins". HarperCollins. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d Hauptfuhrer, Fred (17 January 1977). "The Eagle Has Landed Jack Higgins in a High Tax Bracket ..." People. New York: Time, Inc. 7 (2). Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Growing up in divided Belfast my inspiration, reveals author Jack Higgins". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Eagle Has Landed author Jack Higgins offers charity nights in West Sussex".
  9. ^ Archipelago, World. "HarperCollins Canada". www.harpercollins.ca.
  10. ^ Higgins, Jack (2010). Confessional. Open Road Media. ISBN 978-1480479449.
  11. ^ Patterson, Sarah (1976). The Distant Summer. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0671222574.
  12. ^ Swaim, Don (16 January 1987). "Audio Interview with Jack Higgins". Wired for Books. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Jack Higgins Homepage: Books". Scintilla. Retrieved 25 September 2014.

External links[edit]