He leaves 11 works of adult fiction – notably, Conquering Heroes (1969), Red Ice (1986, with Nicholas Barker), The Men (1997), The Good and Faithful Servant (1999) and Lifers (2001) – and was in the process of completing another, Dark Bridges, which he thought would be his best. Many of these works carry deep insights into social problems that he gained, over four decades, by helping the socially excluded, be it by running soup kitchens for drug addicts or by campaigning for the civic rights of gypsies and other ethnic minorities.
His non-fiction output was typically eclectic. It ranged from the biographies of such diverse personalities as Hannah Senesh (The Summer that Bled, 1972), Mikhail Bakunin (Bakunin: the father of anarchism, 1974), Nancy Astor (Nancy Astor: a life, 1981) and the British secret service chief immortalised by Ian Fleming in his James Bond books (The Man Who Was M: the life of Maxwell Knight, 1984), to a history of the notorious asylum Bedlam (Bedlam, 1977).
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