A striking number of readers of this blog were as intrigued as I confess I am. by the fact that Anthony Berkeley married his agent’s ex-wife. This may actually be a unique event in the history of British literature!
Berkeley does fascinate me, for many reasons. He was a very clever writer, and also an intriguing man. Malcolm Turnbull wrote a good biography, Elusion Aforethought, which is well worthe seeking out.
Some of the books are dated, but all of them have something a little unusual about them. You may also be entertained by this brief time-line:
1930 – Berkeley dedicates The Second Shot to his agent.
1931 – Berkeley dedicates Malice Aforethought to his first wife – and proceeds to divorce her.
1932 – Berkeley marries his agent’s former wife, and dedicates Before the Fact to her.
It’s not just the sequence of events, I think, it’s the pace of change that is remarkable...
His second marriage failed, too. But Berkeley, a complicated and rather mysterious fellow who claimed to dislike everyone, remained on surprisingly good terms with both his exes. He left money in his will to his first wife. And his second wife moved into a London flat on the floor just below his. As well as continuing to do his washing....