Williams, Barnaby (?)–2001(?)
WILLIAMS, Barnaby (?)–2001(?)
PERSONAL: Died c. 2001.
CAREER: Novelist and author of short fiction.
The Comeback, P. Davies (London, England), 1974.
The Racers (short stories), New English Library (London, England), 1981.
Stealth Bomber, Sphere (London, England), 1990.
Knight of the Divine Wind, Macdonald (London, England), 1991.
Revolution: A Novel of Russia, Simon & Schuster (London, England), 1994.
Anno Domini: The Crucifixion of the True Faith, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1995.
Killing Place, Mainstream (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1995.
Crusaders, Simon & Schuster (London, England), 1996.
Death before Dishonour, Simon & Schuster (London, England), 1997.
Soldiers of God, Severn House (Sutton, Surrey, England), 2000.
SIDELIGHTS: Since the 1970s, author Barnaby Williams has written thrillers and short stories based on historical or quasi-historical events. Some of his works foreshadow events that have occurred since the novels were published. The Comeback, his first novel, was published in 1974, and tells the story of a former Royal Air Force pilot who is caught up in the revolutionary politics of a tumultuous African state. In order to combat the revolutionary underground, the protagonist needs the assistance of strike aircraft of the sort he used to fly. In Stealth Bomber, Williams tracks the efforts of a renegade Islamic-oriented group that tries to bring two superpowers closer and closer to a nuclear holocaust.
Death before Dishonour is a multi-generational novel that tells the story of the fictional de Clare family and the machinations of members of different branches of this widespread and ancient lineage. The de Clares begin as important members of the British aristocracy during the Norman Conquest and remain so into the twentieth century. The First World War, however, has brought the family down, killing off most of the male members of its branches. Protagonist Fish de Clare ends up the only male survivor of his family after the accidental death of his uncle and the suicide of his elder brother. Fish survives World War I only to die in the evacuation of Dunkirk that begins World War II. Thus, the family title goes to his son, Gawaine; Fish's widow, Vi, is left with the unenviable job of protecting their son from the meddling of cousin Godfrey—who by spying for the Soviets, "plays Lucifer to Fish's Gabriel in the black-and-white moral universe Williams paints," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Barbara Love, writing for Library Journal, declared Death before Dishonour "an old-fashioned, cracking good yarn."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Books, June, 1990, review of Stealth Bomber, p. 22.
Books & Bookmen, April, 1974, Trevor Allen, review of The Comeback, p. 110.
Library Journal, October 1, 1999, Barbara Love, review of Death before Dishonour, p. 136.
Publishers Weekly, September 27, 1999, review of Death before Dishonour, p. 70.