DW's Travels

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macnab
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DW's Travels

Post by macnab » Wed 1 Nov, 2006 20:33:43

Hello. I'm a fairly new member to the site and I'd like to share my thoughts about why I found Dennis Wheatley so gripping as a teenager in County Durham in the 1970s. There was a pervasive sense of elegance and sophistication in his characters which seemed exotic ut what really made the adventures come alive was his use of location. Writers like Agatha Christie would simply make places up (Middleshire) and Ian Fleming was vague about details (James Bond lived in a "plane-treed square off the King's Road" - could be any number!) but you could always look at a map of London and find Curzon Street, home of Duke De Richlieu, or Dovehouse Street, residence of Colonel Verney. It gave the stories a sense of immediacy and reality. He came across as a writer who really savoured his surroudings so that even in a potboiler like Gateway To Hell you'd get descriptions of Buenos Aires or Punta Arenas - and even the 'Sala de Uyuni' where the secret satanic community were plotting racial conflict really does exist. It would be quite fascinating to visit these places - or, closer to home, make the journey across Salisbury Plain that Tanith undertook in The Devil Rides Out when she was escaping from Rex. Seems that most of the villages he mentions on her itinerary are actual hamlets. Just wondering - has anyone actually done this journey, either purposefully or inadvertantly? Just curious!

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Bob Rothwell
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Post by Bob Rothwell » Wed 1 Nov, 2006 20:50:32

Welcome macnab both to The Library and the DW community, and thanks for your contribution.

Yes, DW was a stickler for his locations and in fact, was the first writer to use real Hotels, restaurants etc.. He was also a tireless traveller, and you could always tell which part of the world he had recently travelled to by reading his latest novel.

He is renowned for keeping countless numbers of boxes, containing all his notes, tickets, receipts, postcards, menus, wine lists and all the paraphenalia that he could accumulate from his travels for later use when revisiting the territory in his tales.

As to the Devil Rides Out car chase - yes, there are at least three of us already planning to do the trip. It's just a case of getting calendars to coincide. My particular quest is to discover the location of the Pride of Peacocks!

I visited Lymington (home town of Roger Brook) early this year (see my posting on the subject) and, due to DW's attention to detail, found myself thinking I was really researching a true historical figure!

macnab
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Post by macnab » Wed 1 Nov, 2006 21:04:30

Hi Bob - would be fascinating to follow in the treads of the car chase! But it does seem to peter out when you get to the house at - is it Chillingham? The rendezvous for the Sabbath. I could never quite find that on the map, but he was usually quite precise in his coordinates! As you say, a stickler.

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