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Author: Arnold Hinchliffe

Arnold Hinchliffe was born in 1922 in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. He was educated at Huddersfield College and Manchester University where he took his M.A. in English Language and Literature. He served four years in the RAF (in Egypt, India, Burma and Malaya), then travelled around in Europe before settling down to a teaching and writing career in London. He married a fellow ex-Manchester student, Margaret Whettam, in 1952 and they had two sons, Owen and Jonathan.

Arnold Hinchliffe was a prolific writer for radio, television and stage; he also collaborated on some BBC historical programmes and, on leaving teaching, worked for some years for the BBC as a script reader. He was a prizewinner in an Observer television play competition and a number of his plays, notably Strike! and The Life of Klaggs, were performed by Unity Theatre (the Left’s most sustained and successful contribution to British drama). A musical version of The Pickwick Papers ran successfully at the Tower Theatre, Islington.

Arnold was a first-rate linguist who spoke German, French and Russian fluently — he taught himself Russian — and he published numerous translations, notably Brecht’s The Visions of Simone Machard and two volumes of Chekhov’s short stories, many of them previously untranslated. He was awarded 1st prize by “Soviet Literature” for a translation of Pushkin.

Added to this Arnold Hinchliffe was a keen pianist (for his own enjoyment) and he wrote a number of independent songs as well as operatic numbers for some of his plays. I used to hear him thumping out Mackie Messer and numbers from Gershwin through the partition wall and once I was so struck by a haunting tune that I asked him who composed it and he said, “I did”.

His last work was a historical play The Traitor which, like The Brotherhood of Thieves, was first published by Koré Publishing (now absorbed by Brimstone Press).

Arnold Hinchliffe was a remarkably modest and unassuming man who was universally liked and respected — an extremely rare occurrence for a writer. He belonged to the Unitarian Church.

For more details of his activities and philosophic views see the website:

Publications by Arnold Hinchliffe



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