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Anthony Armstrong
Born 1897
Died 1976 (1977) (aged 79)
Occupation British-Canadian writer

George Anthony Armstrong Willis (1897–1976)[1] was an Anglo-Canadian writer, dramatist and essayist. He was the son of George Hughlings Armstrong Willis, R. N. and Adela Emma Temple Frere; although his parents were both English, he was born in Esquimalt, British Columbia as a consequence of his father's career as a Paymaster Captain in the Royal Navy. They returned to England before his brother's birth in 1900 in Dorset. He was educated at Uppingham School.[2] His brother John Christopher Temple Willis (1900–1969) was Director-General of the Ordnance Survey 1953–1957, and a watercolourist.[3]

During the First World War Willis was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1915.[4] He was awarded the Military Cross in 1916[5]

He married Frances Monica Sealy, and had three children: John Humfrey Armstrong Willis (1928–2012); Antonia Armstrong Willis (1932-2017); and Felicity Armstrong Willis (1936-2006).[6] Antonia married the art expert and gallery owner Jeremy Maas; one of their sons, Rupert, is also an art expert, notable for his appearances on the Antiques Roadshow.

Armstrong contributed to the screenplay of Alfred Hitchcock's Young and Innocent (1937);[7] and several of his own works were adapted into films including The Strange Case of Mr Pelham, which was made into a first-season episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (and directed by Hitchcock), and the film The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970).[8]

Major works

Novels

  • Lure of the Past (1920)
  • The Love of Prince Raameses (1921)
  • The Wine of Death: A Tale of the Lost Long-Ago (1925)
  • Patrick, Undergraduate (1926)
  • The Trail of Fear (1927)
  • The Secret Trail (1928)
  • The Trail of the Lotto (1929)
  • Apple and Percival (1931)
  • The Trail of the Black King (1931)
  • The Poison Trail (1932)
  • Britisher on Broadway (1932)
  • Easy Warriors (1932)
  • Ten Minute Alibi (1934) – adapted as the 1935 film Ten Minute Alibi
  • Without Witness (1934)
  • Cottage into House (1936)
  • The End of the Road (1943)
  • When the Bells Rang: A Tale of What Might Have Been (1943)
  • No Higher Mountain (1951)
  • He Was Found in the Road (1952) – adapted as the 1956 film The Man in the Road
  • Spies in Amber (1956)
  • The Strange Case of Mr. Pelham (1957) – adapted as the 1970 film The Man Who Haunted Himself
  • One Jump Ahead (1973)

Short stories

  • The Prince Who Hiccupped and Other Tales: Being Some Fairy Tales for Grownups (1932)
  • The Pack of Pieces (1942) – more fairy tales for adults

Plays

  • In the Dentist's Chair (1931)
  • The Eleventh Hour' (1933)
  • Mile-Away Murder (1937)

References

External links

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