Bio: Francis Beeding is the pseudonym for the British writers Hilary St. George Saunders (1898-51) and John Palmer (1885-44), best friends who collaboratively wrote dozens of novels throughout the 1920's and 30's, and into the 1940's. In fact, this duo wrote under two pseudonyms: 'Francis Beeding' penned crime novels, and 'David Pilgrim' historical novels. Saunders, in particular, wrote prolifically, also partnering with Geoffrey Dennis to write under the pseudonym 'Barum Browne', and teaming with member of parliament John de Vere Loder to write under the similarly-Dickensian moniker 'Cornelius Coffyn.'
Francis Beeding has over thirty novels to his credit, five of which have been adapted into feature films. Of these, his 1927 work The House of Dr. Edwardes remains the best known, as it formed the basis of Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece Spellbound. Beeding also penned Death Walks in Eastrepps, a classic mystery which is perhaps his most widely-acclaimed work. During the Second World War, Saunders and Palmer turned their attention from mystery novels to cloak-and-dagger stories involving British efforts to combat the Nazis. The Ten Holy Horrors (1939) and Eleven Were Brave (1941) are two noteworthy efforts in this genre. After Palmer died in 1944, Saunders continued to write, publishing several more books about the war before retiring in 1950.
The single most striking quality of Francis Beeding's The House of Doctor Edwardes is the sense of foreboding and uncertainty that pervades every scene, the hallmarks of many great mystery. From the very first page of the prologue, Beeding makes the very air the characters live and breathe in seem to crackle with an ominous electricity. It is surely what appealed to Alfred Hitchcock when he found in Beeding's work the inspiration for his classic, unforgettable film, Spellbound. Fans of Hitchcock... more info>>