Leonard Wibberley


Leonard Wibberley

Leonard Patrick O'Connor Wibberley (April 9, 1915 – November 22, 1983) was a prolific and versatile Irish-American author, who also wrote under three pen-names. He is best known for his satiric novels about an imaginary country, Grand Fenwick, particularly "The Mouse That Roared".

Wibberley's adult and juvenile publications cut across the categories of fictional novels, history and biography; he also wrote short stories (several published in "The Saturday Evening Post"), plays and long verse poems. He published more than fifty juvenile books, for example (with Farrar, Straus and Giroux) the seven-volume "Treegate" series of historical fiction, which takes place during the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, and a four-volume life of Thomas Jefferson. As Patrick O'Connor, he wrote the Black Tiger series on auto racing for young adults. Throughout the decades, scenes and senses of the sea play important parts in both Wibberley's fiction and nonfiction. A keen yachtsman, he wrote several accounts of his ocean racing. He also wrote a mystery series, and is classified as a science fiction writer.

Three of Wibberley's novels have been made into movies: "The Mouse That Roared" (1959), "The Mouse on the Moon" (1963), "The Hands of Cormac Joyce" (1972).

Biography

Leonard Wibberley was born in Dublin, Ireland and educated in Ireland and England. He was a son of agronomy professor and author Thomas Wibberley [Professor of Agriculture, University College, Cork (one of the three constituents of the National University of Ireland--see Cork (city)) and Queen's University Belfast. The elder Wibberley was an experimental agronomist, who wrote several books arguing his methods and inventions, by which he believed the UK might feed itself, absent empire: notably "Farming on Factory Lines: continuous cropping for the large farmer" (London, 1919). His dates (1882-1932) show the age, sixteen, at which Leonard was obliged to leave school to go to work.] , upon whose death, at the depth of the Great Depression, Leonard left school to work at various jobs, including busking in the streets with his violin. He began a long career in newspapers as copy boy for the "Sunday Despatch", London, progressed to reporter for the "London Daily Mirror", and then editor (among other jobs) in Trinidad, before going to the United States in 1943, where, in his late twenties, he was both foreign correspondent for the "London Evening News" and cable despatch editor for the "Associated Press" in New York City, during World War II.

In 1947 Wibberley moved permanently to California as foreign correspondent, then reporter for the "Los Angeles Times", from which he was obliged to leave, though not before he was well into his first novel, on the job. He was briefly a reporter for the "Turlock Journal" until publication of his first novel, "The King's Beard" (1952), at age thirty-seven, when he settled permanently in Hermosa Beach, California as a full-time author. There he produced well over one-hundred books, at a rate of at least one a year, and averaging over three. As shown in the publications list below, many of these were with three presses--Farrar, Straus and Giroux; William Morrow; Dodd, Mead and Company--whose combined histories, especially during Wibberley's span of output (from the early 1950s to the early 1980s), form a central chapter in the history of publishing in America. [Wibberley's over twenty-five titles with the premier, independent Farrar Straus & Giroux alone make him part of a notable story. (An excellent, short (and generalizable) account of FS & G's history is available: [http://www.answers.com/topic/farrar-straus-and-giroux] .) With their loss of independence or disappearance (Dodd, Mead) in the 1980s, none of these houses kept his titles in print. However, due to the writer's and publishers' prominences, and these titles frequently appearing in the category "juvenile" (whether descriptive or not), most are available in public libraries, and used copies are for sale on the web. The best-known of Wibberley's books, "The Mouse that Roared", was kept in print for some time by Bantam, and then, from late 2002, by the independent press Four Walls Eight Windows. "Saturday Evening Post" issues are also available for purchase on websites.

For Wibberley's books, the online Alibris site is very useful--accurate, thorough and well-searchable, if not complete--for both purchase and bibliographical research.]

Wibberley also took part in plays, did local radio readings, and had a syndicated column, "The Wibberley Pages". His two marriages (in Trinidad to the later dance writer Olga Maynard, in California to Hazel Holton) produced seven children, including, from the first, philosophy author Patrick Maynard, from the second, film writer Cormac Wibberley. A posthumous book of his last short writings has appeared (see below). Leonard Wibberley donated manuscripts and proofs of many of his works (some in alternative form) to "The Leonard Wibberley Archive" of the library collections of the University of Southern California, where they are available. [For more detailed biographical information and access to the USC manuscripts, see: http://www.usc.edu/libraries/archives/arc/libraries/collections/records/173home.html]

Bibliographical note

All references are to first editions, usually hardcover. Paperback editions were often issued by different presses. For example, "Hound of the Sea" appeared in 1969 from Ives Washburn, while the first paperback edition was not until 1978, by David McKay, New York. Sometimes changes are made: "Beware of the Mouse" (Putnam, 1958) was printed in paperback by Borgo Press in 1978, with new illustrations and an Afterword. British editions of some of these books are also sometimes distinct, even differently titled. For example, "The Testament of Theophilus: A Novel of Christ and Caesar" (Morrow, 1973) appeared in London in 1974 as "The Merchant of Rome" (same subtitle), with Cassell; the British edition of "The Mouse that Roared" (London: Robert Hale, 1955) bore the author's original title idea, "The Wrath of Grapes". Macdonald (London) is the most usual British publisher of his books.

A number of Leonard Wibberley's books have been translated, some into several languages. For example, "Mrs. Searwood's Secret Weapon" (Little, Brown, 1954) was translated as "Feu l'indien de Madame" (Paris: Fasquelle Éditeurs, 1957), with illustrations by Jean Bellus; "A Pact with Satan" (Dodd, Mead, 1960) was translated as "Un Pacto con Satanás" (Barcelona: Editorial Molino, 1971).

Some of his works appeared in magazines before and after book publication. "The Mouse that Roared" was serialized in The "Saturday Evening Post" for six consecutive weeks, beginning Christmas Day, 1954; "The Time of the Lamb" was a Christmas story in that magazine for 1960. "Meeting with a Great Beast" (William Morrow, 1971) appeared in "Reader's Digest Condensed Books": v. 90 (Summer 1972).

Editions of many of Leonard Wibberley's writings are illustrated, in cover design, title page or content by artists including Enrico Arno, Jean Bellus, Gareth Floyd, Clyde N. Geary, Philip Gough, Fritz Kredel, Siné.

Published adult writing

hort stories, novellas

"The Saturday Evening Post"

*"The Day New York Was Invaded": (24, 31 December 1954; 7,15, 22, 29 January 1955)
*“The Time of the Lamb”: (combined issues: 24-31 December 1960)
*“The Ballad of the Pilgrim Cat”: v. 234, n 44 (18 November 1961)
*“The Captive Outfielder”: (25 March 1961)
*"The Man Who Lived on Water": 235, n13 (31 March 1962)
*“Prevarication Jones”: 235, n 24 (2 June 1962); repr. 266, n 5 (1 September 1994)
*“Two Angels on Duty”: 235, n 28 (28 July 1962); repr. 264, n 5 (September 1992)

"Mouse" series

Other novels

* "Mrs Searwood's Secret Weapon". Boston: Little, Brown, 1954
* "McGillicuddy McGotham". Boston: Little, Brown, 1956
* "Take Me to Your President". New York: Putnam, 1957
* "Stranger At Killknock". New York: Putnam, 1961
* "A Feast of Freedom". New York: William Morrow, 1964
* "The Island of the Angels". New York: William Morrow, 1964
* "The Centurion". New York: William Morrow, 1966
* "The Road from Toomi." New York: William Morrow, 1967
* "The Hands of Cormac Joyce". New York: William Morrow, 1967
* "Adventures of an Elephant Boy". New York: William Morrow, 1968
* "Meeting with a Great Beast". New York: William Morrow, 1971
* "Flint's Island: A sequel to 'Treasure Island' ". New York: Farrar Strauss Giroux, 1972
* "The Testament of Theophilus". New York: William Morrow, 1972
* "The Last Stand of Father Felix". New York: William Morrow, 1973
* "1776--and All That". New York. William Morrow, 1975
* "One in Four". New York: William Morrow, 1976
* "Homeward to Ithaka". New York: William Morrow, 1978
*"The Minister's Wooing". Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale, 2003

As Leonard Holton: "Father Joseph Bredder" mystery series, Dodd, Mead (New York)

* "The Saint Maker", 1959
* "A Pact with Satan", 1960
* "Secret of the Doubting Saint", 1961
* "Deliver Us from Wolves", 1963
* "Flowers by Request", 1964
* "Out of the Depths", 1966
* "A Touch of Jonah", 1968
* "A Problem in Angels", 1970
* "The Mirror of Hell", 1972
* "The Devil to Play", 1974
* "A Corner of Paradise", 1977

Non-fiction

*"The Coronation Book: The dramatic story in its history and legend". Ariel, 1953
*"The Trouble with the Irish (or the English, depending on your point of view')". New York: Henry Holt, 1956
*"The Coming of the Green". New York: Henry Holt, 1958
*"No Garlic in the Soup!--A Portuguese Adventure". New York: Ives Washburn, 1959
*"Yesterday's Land--A Baja California Adventure". New York: Ives Washburn, 1961
*"Zebulon Pike: Soldier and Explorer". New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1961
*"Ah, Julian! A Memoir of Julian Brodetsky". New York: William Morrow, 1963
*"Fiji: Islands of the Dawn." New York: Ives Washburn, 1964
*"Hound of the Sea: The Story of a Racing Yacht". New York: Ives Washburn, 1969
*"Voyage by Bus: Seeing America by Land Yacht". New York: William Morrow, 1971
*"The Shannon Sailors: A Voyage to the Heart of Ireland". New York: William Morrow, 1972
*"The Good-Natured Man: A Portrait of Oliver Goldsmith". New York: William Morrow, 1979

Published youth (juvenile) writing

As Christopher Webb, with Funk & Wagnalls, New York

*"Mark Toyman's Inheritance", 1960
*"The River of Pee Dee Jack" 1962
*"Quest of the Otter", 1963
*"Matt Tyler's Chronicle", 1966
* "The Ann and Hope Mutiny", 1966

As Patrick O'Connor

"Black Tiger" series, E. M. Hale (Eau Claire, Wisc.)

*"The Black Tiger", 1956
*"Mexican Road Race", 1957
*"Black Tiger at Le Mans", 1958
*"Black Tiger at Bonneville", 1960
*"Black Tiger at Indianapolis", 1962
*"A Car Called Camellia", 1970

Ives Washburn (New York)

* "Society of Foxes" (illus. Clyde N. Geary), 1954
* "Flight of the Peacock", 1954
* "The Watermelon Mystery", 1955
* "Gunpowder for Washington", 1956
* "The Lost Harpooner", 1957
* "The Five Dollar Watch Mystery", 1959
* "Treasure at Twenty Fathoms", 1961
* "Seawind from Hawaii", 1965
*"Beyond Hawaii", 1969

Farrar, Straus & Giroux Ariel youth books

* "The King's Beard", 1952 (before FS & G bought Ariel)
*"The Secret of the Hawk", 1953
*"The Wound of Peter Wayne", 1955
*"Kevin O'Connor and the Light Brigade", 1957

* "Encounter Near Venus", 1967
* "Attar of the Ice Valley", 1968
* "Journey to Untor", 1970
*"The Last Battle", 1976
*"Perilous Gold", 1978
* "The Crime of Martin Coverly", 1980

"John Treegate" series (originally four)

*"John Treegate's Musket", 1959
*"Peter Treegate's War", 1960
*"Sea Captain from Salem", 1961
*"Treegate's Raiders", 1962

*"Leopard's Prey", 1971
*"Red Pawns", 1973 (sequel)

Non-fictional F S & G books

* "The Epics of Everest", 1955
* "The Life of Winston Churchill", 1956
* "John Barry—Father of the Navy", 1957
* "Wes Powell—Conqueror of the Colorado", 1958
*"Guarneri: Story of a Genius", 1974

Life of Thomas Jefferson historical novels

*"Young Man from the Piedmont: The Youth of Thomas Jefferson" (1963)
*"A Dawn in the Trees: Thomas Jefferson, the Years 1776-1789" (1964)
*"The Gales of Spring: Thomas Jefferson, the Years 1789-1801" (1965)
*"Time of the Harvest: Thomas Jefferson, the Years 1801-1826" (1966)

Other juvenile fiction

*"The Quest of Excalibur". New York: Putnam, 1959
*"Little League Family". New York: Doubleday, 1978

Collected short works

*"Something to Read: A personal selection from his writing by this thoughtful, humorous man." New York: Ives Washburn, 1959

Plays and long verse pieces

*"Once, in a Garden: A dramatic full length play". Dramatic Publishing Co., 1975
*1776--and All That
*Black Jack Rides Again
*Gift of a Star
*The Heavenly Quarterback
*McGillicuddy McGotham
*Take Me to Your President
*The Vicar of Wakefield

*"The Shepherd's Reward: A Christmas Legend." New York: Ives Washburn, 1959
*"The Ballad of the Pilgrim Cat". New York: Ives Washburn, 1962

Posthumously published short works

*"Shamrocks and Silver Seas and Other Illuminations". Christopher and Hazel Wibberley eds. San Bernadino: Borgo Press, 1993

Notes


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  • Leonard Wibberley — Leonard Patrick O Connor Wibberley (* 9. April 1915 in Dublin; † 22. November 1983 in Santa Monica, Kalifornien) war ein irisch US amerikanischer Schriftsteller und Journalist, der unter verschiedenen Pseudonymen arbeitete. Bekannt wurde er mit… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leonard Wibberley — Leonard Francis Wibberley (1915 1983) est un auteur irlandais, né à Dublin, ayant vécu la plus grande partie de sa vie aux États Unis. Il est représentatif de la « littérature moyenne » dans la terminologie de Pierre Bourdieu. On peut… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wibberley — Leonard Patrick O Connor Wibberley (* 9. April 1915 in Dublin; † 22. November 1983 in Santa Monica, Kalifornien) war ein irisch US amerikanischer Schriftsteller und Journalist, der unter verschiedenen Pseudonymen arbeitete. Bekannt wurde er mit… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leonard Holton — Leonard Patrick O Connor Wibberley (* 9. April 1915 in Dublin; † 22. November 1983 in Santa Monica, Kalifornien) war ein irisch US amerikanischer Schriftsteller und Journalist, der unter verschiedenen Pseudonymen arbeitete. Bekannt wurde er mit… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Léonard — Leonard oder Léonard ist eine Form des Namens Leonhard. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Bekannte Namensträger 1.1 Vorname 1.2 Familienname 1.3 Künstlername // …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • LEONARD — Léonard Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Léonard est un prénom français d origine Germanique. Les premières mention date du VIe siècle. À l époque mérovingienne on disait Liudhard… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Leonard — Léonard Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Léonard est un prénom français d origine Germanique. Les premières mention date du VIe siècle. À l époque mérovingienne on disait Liudhard… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Leonard (Vorname) — Leonard oder Léonard ist ein männlicher Vorname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung 2 Bekannte Namensträger 2.1 Künstlername 2.2 Vorname …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leonard Holton — Leonard Patrick O’Connor Wibberley’s pseudonym …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Saint Léonard — Léonard Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Léonard est un prénom français d origine Germanique. Les premières mention date du VIe siècle. À l époque mérovingienne on disait Liudhard… …   Wikipédia en Français


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