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Gerhardie, William (Alexander) (1895-1977)

Gerhardie, William (Alexander) (1895-1977)

Famous British novelist who was also intensely preoccupied with the paranormal. He was born William Gerhardi, on November 21, 1895, in St. Petersburg, Russia, of British subjects. He was educated in St. Petersburg (1900-13), Kensington College, London (1913-16), and Worcester College, Oxford (M.A., B. Litt.). He added an e to his name in 1971.

His novels include Futility (1922), The Polyglots (1925), Pending Heaven (1930), Resurrection (1934), Of Mortal Love (1937), My Wife's the Least of It (1938), and This Present Breath (4 vols., 1975). He also wrote several plays as well as volumes of short stories and miscellaneous literature. A gifted author, he was awarded an Order of the British Empire and an Order of St. Stanislas of Russia.

An acute observer of the tragedy and comedy of human intercourse, Gerhardie gave little hint in his books of his profound interest in psychic manifestations, extrasensory perception, bilocation, synchronicity, time anomalies, and other aspects of the paranormal. Only a few friends were aware of such preoccupations, and since Gerhardie lived a hermitlike existence, seldom leaving his London apartment, he held long telephone conversations with his friends on a wide range of anomalous topics.

His novel Resurrection relates his own out-of-the-body travel experience, which must have had a profound effect on his philosophy of life and death. He died July 15, 1977.

Sources:

Gerhardie, William A. Memoirs of a Polyglot. London: Macdonald, 1973.

. The Memoirs of Satan. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran, 1933.

. Resurrection. London: Macdonald, 1973.

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