James Hilton was born in 1900. He wrote his first novel, Catherine Herself, at the age of twenty while still an undergraduate. For several years he worked as a freelance journalist and book reviewer. And Now Goodbye, published 1931, heralded the success that was to come to him; it was followed in 1933 by Knight Without Armour and Lost Horizon (awarded the Hawthornden Prize in 1934). Goodbye, Mr. Chips appeared in 1934; in 1938 came the stage version, and in 1939 the film. He was invited to go to Hollywood, where he became one of the most popular scenario writers. Random Harvest was published in 1941, and he continued writing until the year before his death, in December 1954, his last book being Time and Time Again. Another major feature film was made in 1969 starring Peter O'Toole.
Here is the triumphant proof that a little book can be a great book. Mr. Chips deserves a place in the gallery of English characters. Never have I known more beautifully rendered a man at peace with life, a finer setting forth of what happy dreams may come when you are old and grey and full of sleep. - The Evening StandardOne lays down the book with the satisfaction that comes from contemplation of a piece of work supremely well done. This is too good a book to be borrowed . . . it should be bought - PunchA minor miracle. - New York TimesOne of the most endearing creations of modern fiction - TelegraphThe story of a gentle man among gentlemen - GuardianA masterpiece - New York Herald TribuneA tiny, catch-in-the-throat story... perfectly done. - The New Yorker