country of citizenship:
language of expression: English
educated at: Charterhouse School, King's College
occupation: novelist, screenwriter
award received: Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
Simon Arthur Noël Raven (28 December 1927 – 12 May 2001) was an English author, playwright, essayist, television writer, and screenwriter. He is known for his louche lifestyle as much as for his literary output.
Expelled from Charterhouse School, he was commissioned in the infantry in National service, before studying at King's College, Cambridge. Unable to earn a living as a writer, he rejoined the Army, but soon resigned, rather than be court-martialled for ‘conduct unbecoming’ on account of his gambling debts.
Declaring that he wrote only for people who shared his own standards, he never attracted the mass market, and had to be rescued by publisher Anthony Blond, who paid him a regular wage on condition that he stayed out of London and concentrated on his writings, many of which Blond published. The arrangement lasted for over 30 years.
Raven is remembered for his ten-novel sequence Alms for Oblivion and its baroque, supernatural sequels The Roses of Picardie and September Castle; as well as the exploratory early army novel dealing with homosexuality between officers and "other ranks", The Feathers of Death. Several popular TV series, for which he wrote the scripts (including The Pallisers (1974) and Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1978)) are also occasionally recalled.
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Volume I of the novel sequence First Born of Egypt by Simon Ravenwd:Q6912879