Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Photo TimeLine

1951 - 1960 page 4

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Mrs Gilstrap (?), Dr Gilstrap and Shute
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Mrs Gilstrap (?), Dr Gilstrap and Shute. ( FGC )

Dr Gilstrap. Note the finger, possibly Shute's, over the lens. ( FGC ) Dr Gilstrap
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December 20 1954 : "Beyond The Black Stump", originally titled "The Kindest Goanna", in progress.
1954 : Shute's income exceeds 31,000 Australian Pounds.

Shute's secretary, Mrs Sally Bessant
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Back at Langwarrin we see Shute's secretary, Mrs Sally Bessant, holding the Shute family's Silky Terrier dog Skol. Mrs Bessant came out from England with the Shutes family. ( FGC )

An illustration of Shute by George Sharp for a 1968 Pan paperback cover of 1954's Slide Rule. This was probably painted posthumously in 1967 or 1968. ( RM ) Illustration of Shute by George Sharp
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Early 1955 : Shute is writing "Beyond The Black Stump".
1955 : "Requiem for a Wren" / "The Breaking Wave" is published.
August 16 1955 : Shute is accused in a letter of anti-semitism. He replies refuting the charge. This seems to be over a misunderstanding of the word Semantics.

Nevil and Heather
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Nevil and Heather. Possibly they are leaving on their 1955 trip to visit Shute's publishers in London and New York. ( INSS )

November 1955 : Shute has a minor heart attack in London and is hospitalized.
December 01 1955 : Shute returns to Australia from London and New York. Heather has been travelling with him.

On December 01 1955 Heather and Nevil return from a trip to London and New York. ( SMH ) December 01 1955 Heather and Nevil

1955 : Shute's income exceeds 35,000 Australian Pounds.

1956 : "Beyond The Black Stump" is published.
Early 1956 : Shute writes to a friend: "I suddenly went crazy the other day and ordered an open two-seater Jaguar XK140 so you will probably see my obituary before long".
March 13 1956 : "On The Beach" is in progress.
May 11 1956 : Shute receives his new 3.442 liter Jaguar XK140 Special Equipment roadster. Claimed to have a top speed of around 145 miles per hour (230 km/h), more experienced reports place it at 130 mph (210 km/h) in "favourable conditions". The registration number was GMP-834. Shute justifies the purchase as research for "On The Beach". Frances mostly drives French cars. In the 1950s she has a Citroen.
July 25 1956 : The film of "A Town Like Alice" is reported as premiering in Alice Springs a couple of days before. The film is released under the same title in the UK and as "The Rape of Malaya" in the US.(!) Produced by Josef Janni at Rank it was directed by Jack Lee and starred Virginia McKenna and Peter Finch. The film concentrates on the 1st half of the novel. At the Alice Springs premiere Shute is reported as seeming "a little dismayed" at the truncated story.

Shute at premiere of A Town Like Alice
Shute "a little dismayed" at the Alice Springs premiere of the film of "A Town Like Alice". While the film is released under the same title in the UK, its questionable US title is "The Rape of Malaya". ( SMH )

After a few years and a lot of work the grounds of the Langwarrin house become more established. In Marazan Shute quoted Kipling. "Our England is a garden, and gardens are not made, by saying "Oh how wonderful !", and sitting in the shade. ( FGC ) Langwarrin garden
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