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Gallico, Paul

love rhayader war goose

(British, 1897–1976)

Born in New York, Paul Gallico was a journalist before settling in England. His tiny romance, The Snow Goose (1941), is a good starting-point, depicting the unspoken love between a young girl and lonely hunchback, Philip Rhayader. United through the care of an injured goose, they are parted by war; Rhayader dies heroically rescuing soldiers from Dunkirk. This and The Small Miracle (1951) have a fable-like simplicity that only just saves them from the treacly sentimentality marring much of Gallico's prolific output, such as Love of Seven Dolls (1954), in which a brutal puppeteer is saved by the love of a waif girl in Paris. Gallico also wrote war adventures such as The Poseidon Adventure (1969), the Mrs Harris series about a comical Cockney landlady, and such fanciful tales as the hugely popular Jennie (1950), in which a small boy is turned into a stray cat.

Richard Adams, Elizabeth Goudge, Ray Bradbury  CB

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