Jeffery Farnol

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John Jeffery Farnol
Picture of Jeffery Farnol.jpg
Born(1878-02-10)10 February 1878
Aston, Birmingham, England
Died9 August 1952(1952-08-09) (aged 74)
Eastbourne, England
Pen nameJeffery Farnol
SpouseBlanche Wilhelmina Victoria Hawley (1900–1938),
Phyllis Mary Clarke (1938–1952)

Jeffery Farnol (10 February 1878 – 9 August 1952) was a British writer from 1907 until his death, known for writing more than 40 romance novels, some formulaic and set in the Georgian Era or English Regency period, and swashbucklers. He, with Georgette Heyer, largely initiated the Regency romantic genre.


Personal life[edit]

John Jeffery Farnol was born in the UK in England in Aston, Birmingham, the son of Henry John Farnol, a factory-employed brass-founder, and Kate Jeffery. He had two brothers and a sister.[1] His childhood was spent in London and Kent. He attended the Westminster School of Art after losing his job with a Birmingham metal-working company.

In 1900, he married Blanche Wilhelmina Victoria Hawley (1883–1955), the 16-year-old daughter of noted New York scenic artist H. Hughson Hawley. They relocated to the United States, where he found work as a scene painter. They had a daughter, Gillian Hawley. He returned to England about 1910, and settled in Eastbourne, Sussex. During 1938, he divorced, and married Phyllis Mary Clarke on 20 May, and adopted her daughter, Charmian Jane.[2] His nephew was Ewart Oakeshott, the British illustrator, collector and amateur historian, who wrote on medieval arms and armour.

On 9 August 1952 Jeffery Farnol died aged 73 in Eastbourne, UK, after a long struggle with cancer.

Writing career[edit]

Farnol published his first romance novel My Lady Caprice in 1907. The success of his early novels led Farnol to become a professional writer. He produced about 40 novels and volumes of stories, and some non-fiction and children's books. His last book was completed by his second wife Phyllis.

Two of his early books, The Amateur Gentleman and The Broad Highway, have been issued in a version edited by romance novelist Barbara Cartland. The Amateur Gentleman was adapted for British cinema in 1920 and 1936, American cinema in 1926.


Single novels[edit]

  • My Lady Caprice (1907) [Later issued as "Chronicles of the Imp"]
  • The Broad Highway (1910)
  • The Money Moon (1911)
  • Fortune's Fool (1912)
  • The Honourable Mr. Tawnish (1913)
  • Beltane the Smith (1915)
  • The Definite Object (1917)
  • Our Admirable Betty (1918)
  • The Geste of Duke Jocelyn (1919)
  • Sir John Dering (1923)
  • Gyfford of Weare (1928)
  • The Shadow (1929)
  • Another Day (1929)
  • Over the Hills (1930)
  • The Jade of Destiny (1931)
  • Charmian Lady Vibart (1932)
  • Voices from the Dust (1932)
  • The Way Beyond (1933)
  • Winds of Fortune (1934)
  • John o'the Green (1935)
  • Portrait of a Gentleman in Colours (1935)
  • A Pageant of Victory (1936)
  • A Book for Jane (1937)
  • The Lonely Road (1938)
  • The Happy Harvest (1939)
  • A New Book for Jane (1939)
  • Adam Penfeather, Buccaneer (1940)
  • A Matter of Business and other stories (1940)
  • The King Liveth (1943)
  • The Piping Times (1945)
  • Most Sacred of All (1948)
  • The Fool Beloved (1949)
  • The Glad Summer (1951)
  • Justice by Midnight (1955)

Treasure and Vengeance Series[edit]

  1. Black Bartlemy's Treasure (1920)
  2. Martin Conisby's Vengeance (1921)

Jasper Shrig Series[edit]

  1. The Amateur Gentleman (1913)
  2. Peregrine's Progress (1922)
  3. The Loring Mystery (1925)
  4. High Adventure (1926)
  5. The Quest of Youth (1927)
  6. The Way Beyond (1933)
  7. The Crooked Furrow (1937) (Trilogy with 'The Happy Harvest' & 'Waif of the River'(1952))
  8. Murder by Nail (1942) [US Title: Valley of the Night]
  9. Heritage Perilous (1946)
  10. My Lord of Wrybourne (1948) [US Title: Most Sacred of All] Sequel to Heritage Perilous
  11. The Ninth Earl (1950)
  12. Waif of the River (1952)

Omnibus collections[edit]

  • The Shadow, and Other Stories (1929)
  • Voices from the Dust (1932)
  • A Matter of Business (1940)

Non fiction[edit]

  • Some War Impressions (1918)
  • Great Britain at War (1918)

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ Pat Bryan (2002), Farnol: The Man Who Wrote Best-Sellers, Writers Club Press.
  2. ^ James Vinson; D. L. Kirkpatrick, Farnol: Twentieth-Century Romance and Gothic Writers, Cengage Gale

External links[edit]