The Dennis Wheatley 'Museum' - The Post War Years

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Location: Yorkshire, UK

The Dennis Wheatley 'Museum' - The Post War Years

Post by Darren » Mon 7 Apr, 2014 21:01:10

Entering a new room in the Dennis Wheatley Museum for the first time is a luxury you don’t want to waste. Tonight I entered the new room - The Post War Years - and spent a thoroughly enjoyable evening at Grove Place.

I’ve learnt so much about how DW lived and worked. Please indulge me with a few comments:

DW would begin his day with breakfast in bed and read the papers and his fan-mail. When he got up he would do his correspondence – almost every fan would get a personal reply – and then resume work on the current book. He would work until lunch and then take a nap. He would then work from tea-time until dinner and then carry on writing. If the writing was going well, he would sometimes until well after midnight.

DW's discipline is impressive- he did this for from October to May each year. He clearly appreciated his fans - imagine what he would have done with facebook and his own website.

As well as bricklaying, DW continued his collecting (books, antiques, stamps) and indulged his passions for wine and travel. I'm currently studying THOTJ and in that the hero's nemesis chastises Toby for being interested in stamp collecting – DW must have decided that if his character holds stamp collecting in contempt then everyone will know that he must be evil.

I love the photo that shows DW as the The lord of all he Surveys when he moved to Lymington.

His move to Lymington makes me ask the question: How do you pronounce Lymington? I used to pronounce it as Limm-ington, but some decades ago I was corrected and have referred to it ever sinces as Lie-mington. However at last year’s convention I got into another discussion about it with another delegate. Neither of us was able to evidence our preferred pronunciation. Can anyone solve this one? Is it Lie-mington or Limm-ington?

Of Vice and Virtue - The only known copy of the Arabic edition turned up in the loft of one of Joan Wheatley’s descendants in 2012. Was there many copies printed? I find it surprising that there is only one known copy. Is it because they changed their minds and didn’t follow through with the idea of mass producing a book that promoted Islam as part of a plan to hold back the spread of communism? Or could there be lots of copies in second hand bookstores in the Middle East waiting to be found.

The photo of DW sat at his desk in Grove Place with the bookshelves behind reminded me of when my wife and I bought our house in 1997. We didn’t have children at the time so I converted the largest bedroom into an office – and I used that picture as my inspiration. I was very pleased with the result. Unfortunately I never took any photos and it was redecorated when the kids arrived.

The picture of “part of DW’s wine cellarâ€￾ is interesting – it’s not how I expected his wine cellar to look like, very practical.

It’s also interesting to see the list of attendees at the launching party of Stranger Than Fiction. Earl Mountbatten of Burma and Peter Fleming (Ian Fleming’s brother?) were amongst the guests.

And I love the picture “DW and (Sir) Christopher Leeâ€￾ – they both look so happy.

There is so much more in the new room – it will take many visits to absorb it all. I look forward to returning.

Thanks for a wonderful evening, Charles.


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