Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter June 2017

Letters to the Editor

FROM Georgia Corrick

I forwarded the last newsletter to my father, Martin Corrick, who is also a Shute fan, and thought you might be interested in his comments – he is happy for you to use them in the next newsletter if you wish to. He is also a novelist (Navigation Log, After Berlin and By Chance) and his novels deal much with aviation and engineering, so Shute readers might be interested in his work – in fact, Shute appears as a minor character in Navigation Log.

It is quaint, and rather touching, to find us old folks still reading and discussing Shute after all this time. Perhaps it is that he writes precisely in the voice of a particular and rather earnest sector of the English middle class, and his characters perfectly express in words and actions the values and behaviour of same. He confirms to his readers the correctness of their own tidy set of values. They all think it is one's job to stay at the controls while all the passengers parachute to safety, and then crash the aeroplane into a mountain in order to avoid a primary school. He could have written the true tale of 'Sully', the American airline pilot who saved his passengers by landing in the Hudson. A nice chap, does the right thing, jolly good fellow, no crockery was broken in the writing of this novel.


FROM Art Cornell

I loved the butterfly story told by Dan Telfair in last month’s newsletter. But, Dan, the butterfly effect happens to everyone. Many years ago, my wife, Joan, after substituting as a teacher in an elementary school for many years, applied for a permanent teaching job. As it turned out, a young whipper-snapper, just out of college, who could be paid less, got the job.

Soon after that happened, I was asked by my employer to move to New Jersey from Michigan. If Joan had gotten that job, we would not have moved. But we did. And we moved to a house right next door to a woman who lent me a book, Trustee from the Toolroom. That move and that book have enhanced my life.

I have been instrumental in starting three Nevil Shute book groups – one in New Jersey, another in Colorado and a third here on Cape Cod where we now live. Life is good.

When the truth won't cooperate, try some new tacks

We live in an age of alternative facts!    

Dan Letwin


FROM Beall Fowler

Dan Telfair’s marvelous piece in the last Newsletter about the butterfly effect that led to the series of international conferences prompts me to raise my hand as one of perhaps several butterflys. This is based on several emails and letters I wrote in 1998 to alert Nevil Shute fans, who by that time were interacting through a web page hosted by John Henry.

One of these follows: "I realise that January 1999 will be the 100th anniversary of his birth. That being the case, I think the Nevil Shute fans of the world should figure out a way to mark that date. Any ideas? An international conference is probably too ambitious. Given the power of the Web, perhaps an electronic conference or commemoration would be possible." {In writing this I clearly underestimated the power of Dan Telfair!!}

What this points out is the debt we owe Dan for going ahead to assemble us all at Albuquerque. There are many butterflys out there flapping their wings, but few lead to hurricanes!


FROM John Anderson

UK Book Group meeting - 20th May.

Six of us met at the Greyhound pub on Kew Green, West London, for a discussion of Most Secret. The group included Julia, a new member who lives in North London and also Dr Mike Morrogh, formerly Head of History at Shrewsbury School, now retired. Most Secret is perhaps one of Shute's less popular novels reflecting a mood of bitterness and hate at that stage of the war (1942) and publication was originally refused by Admiralty censors and saw the light of day in 1945 after the war. Shute's own view was that, from a purely technical point of view, it was the best formed of his novels with its intersecting plot lines.


FROM John Anderson

Valancourt Books, who publish in the Supernatural/Horror genre, plan to include Nevil Shute's short story "Tudor Windows" in a book to be published in the autumn. They have requested permission to publish from Shute's literary agent. Shute wrote Tudor Windows in the early 1930s and it is certainly in this genre. It is one of a number of unpublished short stories in the period when he was fully occupied with starting and building up Airspeed.






A very short newsletter this month. In this newsletter we have heard from Art Cornell how he “discovered” Nevil Shute. I and the readers of the newsletter, would love to hear your discovery stories. So don’t hesitate and let us know. 

From the Netherlands, where it is summer and hot, see you all next month.