William Haggard

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William Haggard (August 11, 1907 – 1993) was the pseudonym of Richard Henry Michael Clayton, an English writer of fictional spy thrillers set in the 1960s through the 1980s, or, as the writer H. R. F. Keating called them, "action novels of international power."[1] Like C. P. Snow, he was a quintessentially British Establishment figure who had been a civil servant in India, and his books vigorously put forth his perhaps idiosyncratic points of view. The principle character in most of his novels is Colonel Charles Russell of the fictional Security Executive. During the years of the fictional spy mania initially begun by the James Bond stories Haggard was considered by most critics to be at the very top of the field. Keating says that "...the books were fore-runners in a trend that was noticeable in both British and American crime writing from the late 1960's onwards, a turning of the tide to flow to the right. After the revolution carried out in the late 1930s by Eric Ambler in the espionage field... a revolution which swung crime writing generally to the left... there had been little change. With the Haggard books the first signs of a silent swing began to show."[2]

After receiving his B.A. from Christ Church, Oxford, Haggard served on the General Staff in the Indian Army from 1939 to 1946, rising to Lieutenant Colonel. He obtained a M.A. from Oxford University in 1947 and served on the Board of Trade from 1947 to 1969, from 1965 to 1969 being the Controller of Enemy Property. He married Barbara Myfanwy Sant in 1936; they had one son and one daughter. Haggard's writing career began in 1958 with the publication of his first novel, Slow Burner.


  1. ^ Reilly, page 713
  2. ^ Reilly, page 714


  • Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers, edited by John M. Reilly, St. Martins Press, New York, 1980, ISBN 0-312-82417-3


Colonel Charles Russell series[edit]

  1. Slow Burner (1958)
  2. Venetian Blind (1959)
  3. The Arena (1961)
  4. The Unquiet Sleep (1962)
  5. The High Wire (1963)
  6. The Antagonists (1964)
  7. The Hard Sell (1965)
  8. The Powder Barrel (1965)
  9. The Power House (1966)
  10. The Conspirators (1967)
  11. A Cool Day for Killing (1968)
  12. The Hardliners (1970)
  13. The Bitter Harvest (1971) aka Too Many Enemies
  14. The Old Masters (1973) aka The Notch on the Knife
  15. The Scorpion's Tail (1975)
  16. Yesterday's Enemy (1976)
  17. The Poison People (1977)
  18. Visa to Limbo (1978)
  19. The Median Line (1979)
  20. The Money Men (1981)
  21. The Mischief Makers (1982)
  22. The Heirloom (1983)
  23. The Need To Know (1984)
  24. The Meritocrats (1985)
  25. The Vendettists (1990)

Paul Martiny[edit]

  1. The Protectors (1972)
  2. The Kinsmen (1974)

William Wilberforce Smith[edit]

  1. The Martello Tower (1986)
  2. The Diplomatist (1987)

Other novels[edit]

  • The Telemann Touch (1958)
  • Closed Circuit (1960)
  • The Doubtful Disciple (1969)
  • The Expatriates (1989)