Sadly Leslie Thomas has passed away aged 83. He died at his home near Salisbury in Wiltshire on Tuesday 6th May 2014 after a lengthy illness. He leaves his wife, four children and four grandchildren. Speaking after the announcement of his death, his wife, Diana, said: "He had a wonderful life and he travelled the world. All he ever wanted to do was write and that is what he did. He died at home with his family around him. Read More
For almost 40 years Leslie Thomas has been one of Britain’s most popular novelists, a best-seller with thirty titles to his name and international sales figures exceeding fourteen million.
His latest novel Soldiers and Lovers was published in 2007.
He was born of a seafaring family in Newport, Gwent, South Wales, on March 22nd, 1931. His grandfather was one of the old Cape-Horners, who voyaged on sailing ships around the dreaded Horn. He is said to have left the sea because he objected to his shipmates' bad language. Thomas's father was drowned when his ship was torpedoed in 1943, and his mother died six months later. He and his younger brother, Roy found themselves in a Dr. Barnardo's Home, an experience evoked years later in his first book ‘This Time Next Week’ (Constable 1964). This book remains in print and is used as a set book for schools. He is now a Vice-President of Barnardo’s.
Experience as a National Serviceman resulted in his first novel, the best-selling ‘The Virgin Soldiers’ which has been published all over the world and was made into a successful film produced by Carl Foreman. (Thomas' entry in ‘Who's Who’ encapsulates his army career: “1949-51. Rose to Lance-Corporal.”)
Thomas was a widely-travelled newspaperman, covering Royal tours, the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill and many other notable events. After the publication of ‘The Virgin Soldiers’ he became a full-time writer and has now produced thirty-one novels and three travel books – ‘Some Lovely Islands’, My World of Islands’ and ‘The Hidden Places of Britain’. He has also written a second volume of autobiography, ‘In My Wildest Dreams’.
His novels include "The Dangerous Davies Detective Series" which have been adapted on a television series. His latest novel:"Soldiers and Lovers" is published by Heinemann and by Arrow in paperback.