Sunday, February 14, 2010

George Stanley

George Stanley is another author from my file of "mysteries that have me mystified".

In 1948 Stanley was listed in the Author's and Writer's Who's Who as an author who contributed to Pearson's Magazine, Central Press, Northern Newspaper Syndicate, a writer of dog stories, thrillers, detective stories and serials. Five novels were listed and... a home address!

Usually this would be enough to give at least a clue, but, in this case, we're not sure if it has helped at all. A look at the voter's register for the address—17 Middle Park Avenue, Eltham SW9—in the late 1940s shows that Amy Butler and Aida Bocock were listed at that address, joined briefly by one George Newsome. Newsome may be Stanley, but it's by no means certain.

That he was a lodger in a family home is fairly clear as, looking back, the household in 1939 included Selina Butler and her daughters Amy Butler and Ada Bocock, formerly Butler, who  had married Ernest Bocock in 1926, only to be widowed 13 years later.

Newsome was to be found at 17 Middle Park Avenue in 1945-46, before possibly moving to 46 Crescent Road, Woolwich in 1947. He may be the George Newsome who was living at Flat 10, 99 Shooter's Hill Road in 1954-63.

Stanley was active as a writer for at least 28 years, his books appearing irregularly in the 1930s, then more frequently in the years immediately after the war from the cheap end of the paperback market. Only a handful of books appeared after 1947, with a ten-year gap between his last two books, the last a war novel unlike anything he had published before.

I've yet to discover any of Stanley's serials or "dog stories" or any other journalistic endeavors. One things that does have me intrigued is his fascination with the number seven. Perhaps after including it in his first published novel, he felt it was a lucky charm. Eventually five of his novels included seven in the title.

Secret of the Seven Spiders. London, Fenland Press, 1932.
The Seven Shadows. London, Blackie & Sons, 1935.
The Blue Light. London, Blackie & Sons, 1935.
The Missing Million. London, John Gifford, 1938.
The League of Twelve. Dublin, Mellifont, Oct 1940.
Gangsters All (collection). London, Mitre Press, Feb 1945.
Gangsters’ Parade (collection). London, Mitre Press, Aug 1945.
The Adventures of the Black Pilgrim. London, Metropolitan Press, 1945.
Further Adventures of the Black Pilgrim. London, Modern Fiction, Sep 1945.
Case of the Seven Keys. London, Modern Fiction, Oct 1945.
Rubberface. London, Modern Fiction, Oct 1945.
Silver Slave. London, Regency Press, Nov 1945.
Sinister Valley. London, Bear Hudson, Feb 1946.
The Brotherhood of Death. London, Mitre Press, Mar 1946.
The Men of the Mist. London, Martin & Reid, Feb 1947.
The Seven Saints. London, Gerald Swan, May 1948.
The Sign of Seven. London, J. Coker, May 1950.
The Might of the Emperor. London, Digit D340, Apr 1960.

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