Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated March 2011

NSN International Conference in Seattle, Washington USA.
The 7th Biennial Conference will be held from Sunday 18th - 23rd September 2011.
It's coming fast! Registration for September's conference will begin on 17th March.
The official link will be put on the NSN Foundation web site,, our dedicated conference web site,, and our Facebook page, Nevil Shute's Seattle 2011 Official NSN Conference Site. Please "Friend" us !
The Red Lion on 5th Avenue has a dedicated reservation link on our official web site and are taking reservations now. Our speakers are knowledgeable, talented and interesting; the excursions are a lot of fun and "Shute-centric" and there is no better background.

Letters to the Editor

From Julian Stargardt

Happy Year of the Rabbit from Hong Kong, China to all Shutists. Sorry to read of the departure of Dan Telfair and Jim McDougald from the Board. Trust they continue their enthusiasm for the subject.

I've been considering using a radio controlled helium blimp as the basis to build a scale model of R-100 and have been browsing among internet sites to see if I could find any references to scale models of airships in particular R-100.... here are some links to some interesting flying scale model airships:

A scale r/c model of R-100 built by Alan Sherwood of Monash University, Melbourne, Australia:

Here is another link to a useful site on R-100 including some useful historical information, photos and plans that might be useful to would be model builders

The R-100 article is part of the Airship Heritage Trust's website on airships, a useful reference site for enthusiasts of lighter than air travel.

...large scale model of R-101

A beautifully made model of Hindenburg... look at the frame made from carbon fibre rods... The finish looks awful because it's transparent so it shows the gasbags compressed against the frame

and a link to a powered model of Shenandoah

Finally here's a link to an article I wrote for Wikipedia while concussed and recovering from a fall last year about one of my favourite historic aircraft, the revolutionary all metal 4 engined semi-monocoque stressed skin passenger mono-plane Zeppelin Staaken E 4/20, I wrote to the Zeppelin Foundation and Museum in Germany to suggest they do a 90th anniversary exhibition of this plane and should follow up with them when I get time....

From Dan Telfair

Almost ten years ago, a young girl named Maggie Gluntz submitted a book review on Pied Piper she had done for a school assignment. We thought it was so well-written, we put it in the Newsletter and added it to the book review section of the web site.

I have just received a letter from her mother, thanking me for our consideration of Maggie's review, and bringing me up to date on her academic progress. I responded, thanking her for her letter and asking permission to publish it in the Newsletter. She immediately sent her permission. The three letters are copied below.

Dear Mr. Telfair,

Back in 2002, you published in your Nevil Shute newsletter a review of Pied Piper by my 12 year old daughter, Maggie Gluntz.

That meant so much to her! At 12, not many of her friends were into Nevil Shute (or even reading) and seeing a group of like-minded adults inspired her. Having her review (which was a school assignment) posted on the website gave her recognition for her work which she craved. You even sent her a book, which still sits on the top shelf with her very favorites, the books she reads over & over.

Maggie is finishing a biology degree now at the University of Dayton here in Ohio and has been accepted to Ohio State College of Medicine for next year. She is a volunteer EMT and an orderly at our hospital. She is still a voracious reader, presently chewing through all of P.D. James.

I just wanted to thank you, because you really did make a contribution to her development.

Peg Gluntz

Loveland (Cincinnati) Ohio


Sent: Friday, February 11, 2011 9:40 AM

Subject: Re: A belated thanks

Dear Mrs. Gluntz,

As you may know, Maggie's review of Pied Piper is still available on our web site. I just reread it and have seen again why we decided to add it to our book review page. It is the equal of any of our reviews, and superior to many.

I still have Maggie's picture on the cork board over my desk. It is a reminder that we must continue to bring Nevil Shute's work to the attention of young readers. Part of our reasons for doing so is the desire to keep his writing and his characters alive. An even more important part is our belief that his characters serve well as models of responsibility, work ethic, fairness, and self-determination for this and future generations. It is apparent that Maggie has developed those traits as she has grown.

Thank you for your update on her progress. Please pass on my congratulations to her on her academic progress and her acceptance into medical school. She may be interested to know that Nevil's wife Frances was a medical doctor.

Our monthly newsletter consists mainly of letters written by members concerning various aspects of Nevil's writing, the effect he has had on their lives, etc. I would like to have your permission to publish your letter, and this response, in the next newsletter.


Dan Telfair

The Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Sure, go ahead! And I can't wait to tell Maggie about Frances.

She's told me that what she loves about Shute's characters is their strength: they feel passionate love and attraction, but can repress or control it for the greater good. They don't just wallow in feelings, but act with purpose. When they finally do reveal their feelings, it's breathtaking. And they expect so much from themselves! They are good role models, indeed.

Thanks again,

Peg Gluntz

From John Anderson


Last month John Cooper mentioned the film "The King's Speech" and I guess very many readers of the Newsletter will have seen this excellent film and perhaps thought of Nevil Shute who suffered with a stammer all his life.

However I have been struck by the following coincidences between King George VI and Nevil Shute:

- Both men were naturally left-handed, but in childhood were made to write with their right hands. This has sometimes been ascribed as a cause of stammering.

- King George VI was born in 1895, the same year as Nevil's older brother Fred.

- Both had gifted older brothers, Edward, Prince of Wales, and Fred Norway. Nevil was devastated when Fred died of his wounds in 1915. George was bereft when Edward abdicated in 1936.

- Both men served in the Navy in wartime. George in World War I, Nevil in World War II. George saw active service at the Battle of Jutland (where, as we are told in Ruined City, there were seven Barlow destroyers).

- Both had two daughters, the elder ones achieving high office. Elizabeth became Queen and Heather became President Ƹof the Nevil Shute Norway Foundation!).

- King George VI frequently used the Airspeed Envoy from 1937. It was apparently regularly flown to and from Bircham Newton airfield close to Sandringham, the King's favourite home in Norfolk.

- Just before World War II both men made plans to evacuate their wives and daughters to Canada. The Queen and Princesses remained in England. Frances Norway and her daughters did go to Canada but returned to England in 1941 when the threat of invasion was over.

And it was the death of King George VI in 1952 and the accession of the Queen, that set Shute on the path to writing "In The Wet" one of his best loved books, but which when it was published received very mixed reviews.

From Charles D.

I just saw the movie, "The King's Speech". It may or may not be a pretty good movie. I suppose it glosses over any "real history".

Anyway, I wonder if there's any evidence that Nevil Shute used the same speech therapist to treat his own stammering ? Or did he not take to any treatment from anyone ?

The fact that the King had a personal speech therapist may have been withheld from the general public, but perhaps someone with a similar affliction would have been more alert to the state of affairs.

He was a native of Australia named Lionel Logue, who moved to England and practiced his art at 146 Harley Street in London. He was eventually knighted for his services to the King.

Do you suppose Shute may have developed some of his interest in Australia because of him ?


From the Netherlands, where it is still cold, but where there are snowdrops everywhere and spring is coming.

See you all next month