Parker, (William George) Derek 1932-
PARKER, (William George) Derek 1932-
PERSONAL: Born May 27, 1932, in Looe, Cornwall, England; son of George Nevin (an agriculturist) and Ivy Vashti (Blatchford) Parker; married Julia Louise Lethbridge (a consultant astrologer and author), July 27, 1957. Education: Attended schools in England until age seventeen. Politics: Social Democrat. Religion: Agnostic.
ADDRESSES: Home—41 Elsham Rd., London W14 8HB, England; and Severalls, Foxton, Cambridgeshire SG8 6RP, England. Office—c/o Dorling Kindersley Plc., 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10016. Agent—David Higham Associates Ltd., 5 Lower John St., Golden Sq., London W1R 3PE, England. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Cornishman, Penzance, Cornwall, England, reporter, 1949-54; Western Morning News, Plymouth, Devonshire, England, drama critic, 1955-57; TWWTV, Cardiff, Wales, interviewer and newscaster, 1957-58; The Paperback Programme, BBC World Service, former host; Poetry Review, London, England, editor, 1966-71; The Author, editor, 1986—; freelance writer and broadcaster, 1958—. Has appeared on British radio and television; lecturer.
MEMBER: Radiowriters' Association (chairman, 1973-76), Society of Authors (chairman of management committee), Royal Academy of Dancing (member of grand council), Royal Literary Fund (registrar).
The Fall of Phaethon (poems), Zebra Press (New York, NY), 1954.
(With Paul Casimir) Company of Two (poems), Zebra Press (New York, NY), 1955.
Byron and His World, Vanguard (New York, NY), 1968.
(Editor, with John Lehmann) Selected Letters of Edith Sitwell, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1970.
Astrology in the Modern World, Taplinger (New York, NY), 1970.
The Question of Astrology: A Personal Inquiry, Eyre & Spottiswoode (Andover, MA), 1970.
The West Country, Hastings (New York, NY), 1973.
(Editor) Sacheverell Sitwell: A Symposium, Bertram Rota (London, England), 1975.
John Donne and His World, Thames & Hudson (London, England), 1975.
Familiar to All: William Lilly and Astrology in the Seventeenth Century, J. Cape (London, England), 1975.
Radio: The Great Years, David & Charles (Abbot, Devonshire, England), 1977.
The Complete Zodiac Name Book, Transatlantic (London, England), 1977.
The West Country and the Sea, Longman (Harlow, Essex, England), 1980.
(Editor) An Anthology of Erotic Verse, Constable (London, England), 1981.
(Editor, with William Blatchford) Grande Horizontal, Stein & Day (New York, NY), 1983, published as The Memoirs of Cora Pearl, Granada (London, England), 1983.
(Editor) Love Confessed, Constable (London, England), 1983.
God of the Dance: Vaslav Nijinsky, Thorsons (Wellingborough, England), 1988.
(With John Chandler) Wiltshire Churches: An Illustrated History, A. Sutton Publishing (New York, NY), 1993.
Parkers' Prediction Pack: A Compelling Guide to Divination: Look into the Future and Plan Your Life Using Three Systems of Prediction-I Ching, Tarot, Runes, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 1999.
Nell Gwyn, A. Sutton (London, England), 2000.
Roman Murder Mystery: The True Story of Pompilia, A. Sutton (New York, NY), 2001.
How to Write Erotic Literature, A. & C. Black, in press.
Eros in the Country, Headline (London, England), 1988.
Eros in Town, Headline (London, England), 1989.
Eros on the Grand Tour, Headline (London, England), 1989.
Eros in the New World, Headline (London, England), 1989.
Eros in the Far East, Headline (London, England), 1990.
Eros in High Places, Headline (London, England), 1991.
Eros in Society, Headline (London, England), 1991.
Tales of Eros, Headline (London, England), 1992.
Eros off the Rails, Headline (London, England), 1992.
Eros at Play, Headline (London, England), 1993.
Eros Strikes Gold, Headline (London, England), 1993.
Eros in Springtime, Headline (London, England), 1993.
Eros in Summer, Headline (London, England), 1994.
WITH WIFE, JULIA PARKER
The Compleat Astrologer, McGraw (New York, NY), 1971, reprinted as The New Compleat Astrologer, Crown (New York, NY), 1984.
The Compleat Lover, McGraw (New York, NY), 1972.
The Natural History of the Chorus Girl, Bobbs-Merrill (Indianapolis, IN)), 1975.
The Immortals, McGraw (New York, NY), 1976.
The Story and the Song, Elm Tree (London, England), 1979.
How Do You Know Who You Are?, Thames & Hudson (London, England), 1980.
Do It Yourself Health, Thames & Hudson (London, England), 1982.
A History of Astrology, Deutsch (London, England), 1983.
Dreaming, Remembering, Interpreting, Benefitting, Crown (New York, NY), 1985.
The Traveller's Guide to the Nile Valley, J. Cape (London, England), 1986.
The Traveller's Guide to Cyprus, J. Cape (London, England), 1988.
Parkers' Astrology, Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 1991.
The Sun and Moon Signs Library (one title for each of the twelve signs of the zodiac), Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 1992.
The Power of Magic, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.
Parkers' Complete Book of Dreams, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 1995.
Parkers' Love Signs, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 1996.
Parkers' Astrology Pack: A Practical and Entertaining Way to Calculate Your Birth Chart and Interpret Its Meaning, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 1997.
The Complete Book of Dreams, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 1998.
KISS Guide to Astrology, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 2000.
Sun & Moon Signs, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 2000.
Contributor to several books and to Times, Listener, and other periodicals.
SIDELIGHTS: During a career that began in the mid-1950s, British author Derek Parker published more than fifty books, including nearly two dozen coauthored with his wife, Julia Parker. Parker's books include volumes of poetry, such as The Fall of Phaethon and Company of Two; nonfiction works, including Roman Murder Mystery: The True Story of Pompilia; and a number of novels. In addition, Parker has written several books, including many with his wife, dealing with the subject of astrology.
Born May 27, 1932, in Cornwall, England, Parker began his career in 1949 by writing for a weekly newspaper called The Cornishman. Next he became a drama critic for The Western Morning News in 1955. Throughout the 1960s, Parker wrote for radio. In the late 1960s, he was the editor of Poetry Review, and he also published his first book of prose, a biography of the poet Byron.
After completing a study of astrology in 1970, Parker collaborated with his wife on the popular textbook, The Compleat Astrologer, which was translated into several languages and sold several million copies worldwide. In 1984, the book was revised and published as The New Compleat Astrologer. Some other popular titles that Parker co-authored with his wife are Parkers' Astrology, The Sun and Moon Signs Library, and Love Signs. Due to the success of their books, Parker and his wife became recognizable commentators on the topic of astrology, appearing numerous times on both television and radio in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. They have also completed a series of twelve videos dealing with astrology.
Many of Parker's other works have also earned him praise, including two of his later works, Roman Murder Mystery and Nell Gwyn. The former is an account of a 1698 murder case and was inspired by Robert Browning's The Ring and the Book, which was published in monthly installments beginning in 1868. The book details the case of Count Guido Franceschini, who was convicted of killing his young wife, Pompilia Comparini, and her parents in Rome. The sensational trial of Franceschini and his four accomplices was the talk of Rome. Parker points out that the public execution of the killers was attended by thousands of spectators. In the book, Parker explores how the topics of social class and the power of the Catholic Church affected the case. "Parker is an exceptional and probing storyteller," wrote literary critic Lauro Martines, who reviewed Roman Murder Mystery for the Times Literary Supplement. Nell Gwyn, which a reviewer for Publishers Weekly called a "well-documented popular biography," details the life of a mistress of England's King Charles II. Gwyn (1650-1687) was a popular actress in the mid-1660s, when women were first allowed to act on the stage in England. Although Charles had a wife and several other mistresses, Parker points out that Gwyn was perhaps his favorite lover, and in fact she gave birth to two of the king's sons. While the author spends much of the book detailing the relationship between Gwyn and Charles, Parker, an accomplished theater critic, also describes to the reader the state of British theater at the time of Gwyn's career and how it was affected by the infusion of female actors.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, June 15, 1995, p. 85, December, 2000, p. 162.
Publishers Weekly, June 11, 2001, p. 74.
School Library Journal, August, 1995, p. 174.
Times Literary Supplement, January 23, 1969; December 12, 1975; October 24, 1980; August 3, 2001, p. 28.
Parkeriters: Derek & Julia Parker's Booksite,http://www.parkeriters.com/ (May 13, 2002).*