Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Margery Allingham

Margery Allingham was born to a very literary family. Her father, mother, and aunt where editors of literary journals. Yet her parents also took to writing. Margery's father found fame as a pulp fiction writer and her mother contributed stories to women's magazines. When Margery was eight she earned her first fee as a writer for a story that ran in her aunt's magazine. As a teenager, she went to school to correct a stammer she had. While there she met her future husband, Philip Youngman Carter, whom she would collaborate with. He designed many of her book's dust jackets and even completed her final Campion novel for her after her untimely death from Breast Cancer.

She had her first book published when she was nineteen. Blackkerchief Dick, while well regarded, was not a financial success. It was when Margery decided to write mysteries that her career really took off. The creation of Albert Campion, to ape Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey, seemed to have the same natural light-heartedness as the author and soon became a hit with her readers. Allingham went on to write eighteen novels and twenty short stories about her gentleman sleuth possibly born of royalty operating under a pseudonym. Campion has since entered the pantheon of famous literary detectives and put Allingham on par with Christie and Sayers as a doyenne of Golden Age Detection.


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