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Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Pirate Island by D E Heming, 1938.

A chance find in the local Oxfam Bookshop. I shall review it gradually, so this is a brief stub to get started. My copy has blue boards, no dust-jacket - if anyone can supply photo, please do via comments.Size 81/4 by 6 inches, 13/4 thick, 248 pages. There is an embossed four-armed propeller. The title page attributes authorship to D.E. Heming.  In saying "author of The Phantom Wing" by way of advertisement, D E Heming is identified with "Guy Dempster", the author's name given in that book in this series, a popular Heming 'brand' when writing gory war stories for boys. The name "Dempster Heming" was used for the popular Peter Clayton books. The name D E Heming was also used for The Girls Book of Heroines and The Boys Book of Heroes, two books best forgotten.

A further advertisement lists "other books in the Air Adventure Series - three by husband Jack (Heming) and three others by Eileen  as Dorothy Carter (Flying Dawn), James Cahill (Flying with the Mounties) and Guy Dempster (The Phantom Wing). The other books are by other writers John Grant (a story of India), M.E. Miles and Michael Cronin. The latter's son-in-law Peter Nethercot writes (for which I am very grateful):  Michael Brendon Leo Cronin 1907-1987 was my father in law. He also wrote under the names of David Miles and M.E. Miles (his wife's maiden name). He was educated at Queens College, Dublin and after graduating joined the Royal Air Force as a school teacher. On the outbreak of the second world war he transferred into the provost branch, and from there to special branch. Most of his writing took place after the war which is well documented.


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