Monday, March 26, 2007

John Dunn

A bit of a break from our usual coverage to bring you a bit of a mystery. John Dunn, according to a newspaper report I received a while back, wrote "adventure stories for boys' magazines," yet I can trace absolutely no work by him. Dunn was know to Bill Lofts and it was Bill who first told me that one of Bill Baker's authors had won the pools -- Bill Baker being the editor of Sexton Blake Library, although John Dunn was not a contributor to the Blake saga. Rather, Dunn had subsequently written a novel which Baker published in hardback (Erica, London, Howard Baker, 1969).

Apart from the fact that he was born in 1914, the only information about Dunn comes from the newspaper report below: he was educated at public school and at Cambridge; he tried and failed to become a professional artist; he struggled to make a living writing adventure yarns for boys. In 1959, he had a huge win on the football pools -- £260,104 -- and his financial struggles presumably ended. At the time he was living in a flat in Chelsea.

As his name hasn't cropped up amongst those Amalgamated Press papers I've seen and I have found no recorded pseudonyms, I wonder if Dunn was writing for the D. C. Thomson boys' papers in the 1950s. The newspaper report makes no mention of any other profession so I have to presume that he was a full-time writer up until 1959.

For a man who wanted to preserve his anonymity, he did a damn fine job!

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