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Rodney Garland
(December 14, 1906 - 1958) Hungary - U.K.

Rodney Garland

Writer

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Born in Budapest, his real name is Adam Martin de Hegedus. His family were middle class. He intended to have a career in the Hungarian diplomatic service and spent five months in London in 1927. He then abondoned his diplomatic career and decided to go into journalism and he returned to Hungary. He contributed to the Observer and other weeklies.

He stayed for a while in Paris and made friends with Andre Gidé. He settled permanently in London in 1939. During the first part of the Second World War he served as a gunner but had a nervous breakdown and spent a brief time in hospital.

He was discharged from the army, and while working as a van driver he resumed his writing. The only real success he had was with The Heart in Exile which he wrote under the pseudonym Rodney Garland. It was the most famous gay novel prior to the 1967 Sexual Offences Act. The book was first published by W. H. Allen in London in September 1953, and by the following March it was into its fourth printing. The book was also successful in the USA where it was first published in 1954 by Coward-McCann. The paperback edition was published in Britain by Four Square in 1961.

He also translated from Hungarian into English, including Wander Maid, by D. Kosztolanyi, (1947). It is unclear what happened to Adam de Hegedus but it is thought that he committed suicide in the Bayswater or Marble Arch area of London. Perhaps we don't need to be reminded of the nation's sexually hypocritical class system, or gruesomely depressing times when socially stigmatised "inverts" were forced to lead double lives or risk blackmail.

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Source: The Knitting Circle, U.K. - http://www.sbu.ac.uk/stafflag/people.html

Work:

  • The Golden Cock (1934)
  • Hungarian Background (1937)
  • Don't Keep The Vanman Waiting: A Chapter of Autobiography (1944)
  • Patriotism or Peace? (1947)
  • Rehearsal Under the Moon
  • The State of the World
  • Home And Away, Notes on England after the Second World War (1951)
  • The Heart in Exile (1953)
  • The Troubled Midnight (1954)
  • The Struggle With the Angels (1956)
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