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Nigel Balchin Biography

(1908–70), Punch, How To Run a Bassoon Factory, Lightbody on Liberty, The Small Back Room

novels war

British novelist and scientist, born in Wiltshire, educated at Cambridge University. Under the pseudonym Mark Spade he contributed humorous articles to Punch which were collected in How To Run a Bassoon Factory (1934). Balchin began to establish himself as a writer of sharp realistic novels with Lightbody on Liberty (1936). During the Second World War he served as Deputy Scientific Advisor to the Army Council; the war provided the setting of much of his finest work including the highly successful novel The Small Back Room (1943). Professional and moral questions faced by scientists are expressed in works such as Darkness Falls from the Air (1940) and Mine Own Executioner (1945). Lord, I Was Afraid (1947) was ambitious and experimental and perhaps the best of his later novels.

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