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Usborne, Richard 1910-2006

Usborne, Richard 1910-2006
(Richard Alexander Usborne)


See index for CA sketch: Born May 16, 1910, in western India (now Pakistan); died March 21, 2006. Editor, critic, and author. Usborne was best known for his writings about his favorite author, P.G. Wodehouse. Graduating from Balliol College, Oxford, with a B.A., he worked in advertising during the mid 1930s and was briefly founding editor of London Week. In the years before the war, Usborne was on the London Press Exchange staff and also worked for the British Broadcasting Corp. for two years, for which he would later be a book critic for many years. During the war, he served in the British Army's Special Operations Executive in the Middle East. He was decommissioned as a major and joined the Strand magazine staff as assistant editor from 1947 to 1950. From 1962 to 1970 he worked as the London director of Graham & Gillies Advertising Agency. Though his career was diverse, Usborne's writing interests were definitely focused on the subject of Wodehouse. He was the editor for several editions of the famous author's novels and stories, and also adapted some of Wodehouse's fiction for radio broadcast. Also writing on Wodehouse's life and work, Usborne was an apologist for the author, who was deemed a traitor by many for his infamous decision to cooperate on radio broadcasts for Nazi radio. Usborne felt that this unwise decision was the result of a rather flawed naïveté on Wodehouse's part, stemming from a personality that refused to see evil in people. The fact that Wodehouse was eventually knighted in 1975 proved very gratifying for Usborne, as his hero appeared to be forgiven, at least in part. Among his books about Wodehouse are Wodehouse at Work (1961), which was revised as Wodehouse at Work to the End in 1977, A Wodehouse Companion (1981), and After Hours with P.G. Wodehouse (1991).



Times (London, England), March 22, 2006), p. 22.

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