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P. H. Newby

From inside cover of One of the Founders (1965).
Born 25 July 1918(1918-07-25)
Crowborough, England
Died 6 September 1997 (aged 79)
Garsington, England
Occupation Author, Managing Director of BBC Radio

Percy Howard Newby CBE (25 June 1918 – 6 September 1997) was an English novelist and broadcasting administrator. He was the first winner of the Booker Prize, his novel Something to Answer For having received the inaugural award in 1969.


Early life

P.H. Newby, known as Howard Newby, was born in Crowborough, Sussex on 25 June 1918 and was educated at Hanley Castle Grammar School in Worcestershire, and St Paul's College of Education in Cheltenham. In October 1939 he was sent to France to serve in World War II as a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps. His unit was one of the last to be evacuated. Afterward he was sent to the Middle East and served in the Egyptian desert.


Newby was released from military service in December 1942, and then taught English Literature at King Fouad University in Cairo until 1946.

From 1949 to 1978 he was employed by the BBC, beginning as a radio producer and going on to become successively Controller of the Third Programme and Radio Three, Director of Programmes (Radio), and finally Managing Director, BBC Radio.

His first novel, A Journey into the Interior, was published in 1946. He then returned to England to write. In the same year he was given an Atlantic Award in literature, and two years thence he received the Somerset Maugham Prize.

He was awarded a CBE for his work as Managing Director of BBC Radio.

Author, friend and colleague Anthony Thwaite in his obituary[1]states: "P. H. Newby was one of the best English novelists of the second half of the century."


  • A Journey to the Interior (1945)
  • Agents and Witnesses (1947)
  • Mariner Dances (1948)
  • The Loot Runners (1949)
  • The Snow Pasture (1949)
  • The Young May Moon (1950)
  • A Season in England (1951)
  • A Step to Silence (1952)
  • The Retreat (1953)
  • Picnic at Sakkara (1955)
  • Revolution and Roses (1957)
  • Ten Miles From Anywhere (1958)
  • A Guest and His Going (1960)
  • The Barbary Light (1962)
  • One of the Founders (1965)
  • Spirit of Jem (1967)
  • Something to Answer For (1968)
  • A Lot to Ask (1973)
  • Kith (1977)
  • Feelings Have Changed (1981)
  • Leaning in the Wind (1986)
  • Coming in with the Tide (1991)
  • Something About Women (1995)

Non fiction

  • Maria Edgeworth (1950)
  • The Novel, 1945-1950 (1951)
  • The Uses of Broadcasting (1978)
  • The Egypt Story (1979)
  • Warrior Pharaohs (1980)
  • Saladin in His Time (1983)


External links



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