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A. P. Herbert (Alan Patrick Herbert) Biography

(1890–1971), (Alan Patrick Herbert), The Secret Battle, Misleading Cases in the Common Law, Punch, Holy Deadlock

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: William Hart-Smith Biography to Sir John [Frederick William] Herschel Biography

British writer, born in Surrey, educated at New College, Oxford. Herbert drew on his First World War experiences in The Secret Battle (1919), and satirized the legal system in Misleading Cases in the Common Law (1929), a collection of mock law reports. An urbane writer, a leading contributor to Punch, he also campaigned for several causes; one of these was reform of divorce law which resulted in a novel, Holy Deadlock (1934), and the Matrimonial Causes Bill, which became law in 1938. Independent Member (1950) reflects his experience as an Independent Member of Parliament for Oxford (193550). An affection for rivers and boats is evident in his libretto for Riverside Nights (1926) and in his best-known novel, The Water Gypsies (1930). Other works include A Book of Ballads; Being the Collected Light Verse of APH (1931; revised edition 1949) and APH: My Life and Times (1970), his memoirs. He was knighted in 1945.

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