Nigel Balchin was born in 1908 and graduated in Natural Science from Cambridge University. During the Second World War he worked as a psychologist in the personnel section of the British War Office, before becoming Deputy Scientific Advisor to the Army Council. He wrote numerous books, including How to Run a Bassoon Factory (under the pseudonym Mark Spade), and Darkness Falls from the Air. He died in 1970.
Perhaps the most successful British author to emerge during the war * SATURDAY EVENING POST * One of the best writers, and certainly one of the best stylists, to come out of the war years -- Michael Powell He can always be relied on to give us the set-up magnificently * BBC * Mr. Balchin is a writer of such considerable and varied gifts . . . He is certainly one of the most intelligent novelists * TIME AND TIDE * Balchin can tell an exciting story as well as any novelist alive * SUNDAY CHRONICLE * The novelist of men at work * GUARDIAN * A superb storyteller * SUNDAY TIMES * Balchin has done so much to raise the standard of the popular novel * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT * Probably no other novelist of Mr. Balchin's value is so eminently and enjoyably readable . . . [He] never lets the reader down -- Elizabeth Bowen * TATLER * Balchin has the rare magnetic power that draws the human eye from one sentence to the next * EVENING STANDARD * He tells a story gloriously * DAILY TELEGRAPH * A brilliant novelist . . . A writer of real skill * NEW STATESMAN * A remarkable storyteller * DAILY MAIL * I'd place him up there with Graham Greene -- Philippa Gregory Balchin has been absurdly overlooked for too long -- Julian Fellowes Balchin writes about timeless things, the places in the heart -- Ruth Rendell * SUNDAY TELEGRAPH * [An] inexplicably neglected author * THE TIMES * The missing writer of the Forties . . . Balchin's professional skill gives a meaning to brilliance which the word doesn't usually possess -- Clive James * NEW REVIEW * One of the hopes of British novel-writing . . . A writer of genius -- John Betjeman