Julian Symons

Julian Gustave Symons is primarily remembered as a master of the art of crime writing. However, in his eighty-two years he produced an enormously varied body of work. Social and military history, biography and criticism were all subjects he touched upon with remarkable success, and he held a distinguished reputation in each field.His novels were consistently highly individual and expertly crafted, raising him above other crime writers of his day. It is for this that he was awarded various prizes, and, in 1982, named as Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America - an honour accorded to only three other English writers before him: Graham Greene, Eric Ambler and Daphne Du Maurier. He succeeded Agatha Christie as the president of Britain's Detection Club, a position he held from 1976 to 1985, and in 1990 he was awarded the Cartier Diamond Dagger from the British Crime Writer.Symons held a number of positions prior to becoming a full-time writer including secretary to an engineering company and advertising copywriter and executive. It was after the end of World War II that he became a free-lance writer and book reviewer and from 1946 to 1956 he wrote a weekly column entitled "Life, People - and Books" for the Manchester Evening News. During the 1950s he was also a regular contributor to Tribune, a left-wing weekly, serving as its literary editor.He founded and edited 'Twentieth Century Verse', an important little magazine that flourished from 1937 to 1939 and he introduced many young English poets to the public. He has also published two volumes of his own poetry entitled 'Confusions about X', 1939, and 'The Second Man', 1944.He wrote hie first detective novel, 'The Immaterial Murder Case', long before it was first published in 1945 and this was followed in 1947 by a rare volume entitled 'A Man Called Jones' that features for the first time Inspector Bland, who also appeared in Bland Beginning. These novles were followed by a whole host of detective novels and he has also written many short stories that were regularly published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. In additin there are two British paperback collections of his short stories, Murder! Murder! and Francis Quarles Investigates, which were published in 1961 and 1965 resepctively.


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