Friday, 20 November 2009

David Nokes RIP

I am sad to announce the passing of a friend and a great author. David Nokes, the author of many celebrated works of non-fiction, died yesterday at the age of sixty-one. I had the pleasure to work with him, publish one of his novels and spend some memorable time with him. He was an excellent man.

David's biography of Samuel Johnson has just been published by Faber and Faber to great critical acclaim, and we were planning to have a reading at the Calder Bookshop in December.

He will be sorely missed by everybody who knew him. Our thoughts go to his family and friends on this very sad day.



  1. Alessandro, speaking as David's widow, ex-colleague, bossy punctuation policewoman - oh yes, and friend too - might I use this space, on behalf of my daughter and myself, to thank book-lovers for countless kind letters and electronic tributes?

    He valued your friendship and your work for literature as you valued his.

    Marie Nokes

    (It probably says 'Anonymous' above because I am a techno-numpty with your bloggerel system)

  2. I introduced David to television, when, out of the blue, he sent me an enticing proposal for a drama about Jonathan Swift. We made it with the great Trevor Howard and planned further collaborations. A few years later I came across a story to do with an abandoned deaf boy, set just before the French Revolution, and sent it off to David. He wrote a sensitive and very visual script that became ' The Count of Solar',shown on BBC-2.

    Marvellous writer, scriptwriter, scholar, delightful friend. Mourned and greatly missed.

    Tristram Powell

  3. I have just read in the TLS of David's death - I was away in November and missed this sad news. I knew him at Cambridge and we had met up again earlier this year. I should like to write to Marie to send her my condolences. Would it be possible to send me her address? My e-mail is


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