Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Dornford Yates and C. W. Stamper
Dornford Yates (real name Cecil William Mercer) was at this time still a practising barrister but he was short of work and had been writing stories for the Windsor Magazine, a popular monthly, since 1911. His first book in his own name however, a collection of these short stories, would not appear until 1914. After WW1 he went on to give up the bar, became a full-time writer and wrote a further thirty-three books.
Although no acknowledgement of ‘What I Know’ ever appeared in Dornford Yates’ other works it was presumed that he was the ghost-writer but there was never any certainty. In 1982 A. J. Smithers biography of Dornford Yates failed to mention the title at all although there was a note in the preface to the 2nd edition in 1985 that the existence of the book had since come to his notice. Yates himself never mentioned it in his quasi-autobiographies.
The full story of how the connection has been established, in Yates' own hand, can be seen at A Book for all Reasons