Introduction Biography Addresses Portraits
Books Short stories Stage plays Film and TV Radio and audio
Quotations Fishing Poetry Food Settings Dedications Canning in the OED Reading lists Articles on Canning
Centenary News Links Availability

The sleeping man

Novella (24,450 words)

This appeared in the Illustrated London News Christmas issue, on 13 November 1952, with illustrations by Victor Bertoglio, two of which are reproduced below. It formed almost the entire prose content of the magazine, alternating with pages of art reproductions.

John Fletcher, young architect and photographer, jumps over the wall of a villa in Italy in order to photgraph its fountains and takes a snap of an old man asleep that he assumes to be the caretaker. The picture is later published and the subject recognised by some villains as a British scientist visiting Italy, one they want to kidnap for the Russians. They fool Fletcher into telling them where the picture was taken, and are able to carry out the abduction. Fletcher now must join forces with the old man's escort, the glamorous daughter of an Italian scientist, in order to retrieve the situation. The climax involves escaping from flooded land near Ferrara on an improvised raft.


On the raft The statue of St Francis

Illustrated London News, 13 November 1952.
Included in Italy and the Balkans, 2010.