John Beverley Nichols (9 September 1898 – 15 September 1983) was an author, playwright, journalist, composer, and public speaker.
Between his first book, the novel Prelude, published in 1920, and his last, a book of poetry, Twilight, published in 1982, Nichols wrote more than 60 books and plays. Besides novels, mysteries, short stories, essays and children's books, he wrote a number of non-fiction books on travel, politics, religion, cats, parapsychology, and autobiography. He wrote for a number of magazines and newspapers throughout his life, the longest being weekly columns for the London Sunday Chronicle newspaper (1932–1943) and Woman's Own magazine (1946–1967).
Nichols is now best remembered for his gardening books, the first of which, Down the Garden Path, was illustrated – as were its two sequels – by Rex Whistler. This best-seller – which has had 32 editions and has been in print almost continuously since first published in 1932 – was the first of his trilogy about Allways, his Tudor thatched cottage in Glatton, Cambridgeshire. The books are written in a poetic manner, with a rich, creative language, evoking emotional and sensual responses, but also with a lot of humour and even a hint of irony. They were parodied by W. C. Sellar and R. J. Yeatman in Garden Rubbish (1936), where the Nichols figure was called "Knatchbull Twee"...
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