Shute – The engineer who became a prince of storytellers

When Nevil Shute died in 1960 he was one of the best selling novelists of his day. Books such as A Town Like Alice and On the Beach have become classics and continue to attract new generations of fans. There was however more to Nevil Shute than his books, a great deal more. For instance

 

  • as a teenager he was an eye witness to the short lived and violent Easter Rising in Dublin
  • as a young aeronautical engineer he worked with the legendary Barnes Wallis on Britain’s last, and ultimately disastrous, airship programme
  • he co-founded an aircraft manufacturing company at the height of an economic depression
  • he flew a single-engined aeroplane to Australia and back in search for new material for his novels
  • he emigrated to Australia, and spent the last years of his life running a farm in a small town on the outskirts of Melbourne
  • all the time he wrote best selling novels, many of which were made into films

He was an engineer who really did become a prince of storytellers. Shute tells the story of the life and times of this remarkable man.

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