Rathbone, Julian 1935-2008 (Julian Christopher Rathbone)

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Rathbone, Julian 1935-2008 (Julian Christopher Rathbone)


See index for CA sketch: Born February 10, 1935, in London, England; died February 28, 2008. Educator, novelist, scriptwriter, poet, and author. Rathbone was a prolific writer in so many genres that his work is hard to classify, but three areas stand out: suspense, historical fiction, and occasional erotica so graphic that it bordered on horror. After an early career as a schoolteacher in Turkey and later in London, he published his first book, Diamonds Bid, in 1966. It was a thriller set in Turkey, as were other early novels featuring Turkish sleuth Nur Bey. Several political thrillers followed, sometimes offering recurring appearances by Commissioner Jan Argand of Brabt, introduced in The Euro-Killers (1979). Some of Rathbone's other novels are set in Spain, where he lived for several years. Recurring themes are harder to identify because of the great breadth of his body of work, but Rathbone seems to have been concerned about issues of poverty and social inequality, politics and abuses of authority, and evil and corruption on an international scale. Some of Rathbone's most laudatory reviews were for his historical novels, notably Joseph: The Life of Joseph Bosham, Self-Styled 3rd Viscount of Bosham, Covering the Years from 1790 to 1813 (1979). This so-called memoir was so carefully executed that critics compared it to the work of earlier masters who actually wrote during that time period. Rathbone wrote more than forty books, many of which were distributed in the United States. He dabbled in short fiction, brief memoirs, essays and other nonfiction, radio and film scripts, and even poetry, selections from which were collected in The Indispensable Julian Rathbone (2003). He continued writing into his seventies; his last novel was Birth of a Nation (2004), which was set in the United States. Rathbone's novels were nominated twice for the Booker Prize for Fiction, but the award he won was the Silver Dagger in the short-story category from the Crime Writers Association.



Times (London, England), March 7, 2008, p. 77.

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Rathbone, Julian 1935-2008 (Julian Christopher Rathbone)

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