Fyra Decennier med Dennis Wheatley
(Four Decades with Dennis Wheatley)
When I first started collecting details of Wheatley’s books in the early 1990’s, I was amazed that, for such a prolific and popular author, I had to resort to scouring public libraries for any scraps of information I could find. Looking at some of my old records recently, I came across the following list, dated 1993, of information sources I had seen or had yet to see:
A useful list for the beginner?
The last item on the list held a fascination for me as it appeared to my untrained eye to be a publication promising a biography and bibliography, but I could find no further information at that time.
At some stage during my collecting I discovered that Dennis Wheatley’s old agents, A.P. Watts, still existed and was able to make a phone call to them. You may imagine my surprise when, after having a very informative conversation with a Mr Condie, he mentioned that he had a signed numbered copy of ‘Fyra Decennier. . . ’, and generously insisted that I should borrow it. What a mixture of delight and frustration awaited me when I opened the parcel. All the information I could possibly hope for – in Swedish!! All the more frustrating was the fact that there were parts written in English that promised more delights deeper in the book than I could possibly understand. How many years would I have to wait for a friendly Swede who could help me unlock the hidden mysteries of this little book? I, naturally, photocopied all the pages (sorry, Iwan and Jan) and returned the book. I managed, a year or two later, to get my own battered copy from a second-hand bookshop.
Over a period of time I was able to work out that, in 1973, two avid fans of Dennis Wheatley, Sergeant-Major Iwan Hedman – of the Swedish Army and publisher of the Swedish DAST (Detective, Agent, Science-fiction and Thriller) magazine – and architect Jan Alexandersson, had published 1200 copies of this book which contains 16 chapters in 192 pages. I also discovered that this was an update to an earlier publication ‘Tre Decennier med Dennis Wheatley’ (1963) which was published privately with a very limited edition of four copies!
This was the first and, to date (2005), only printed bibliography published about Dennis Wheatley. Wheatley's autobiographies are sadly lacking in this respect.
On 4 November, 2002, about 7 months after this web site had started, I received an e-mail from Spain from Iwan Morelius offering to send me photos of all the Swedish editions and a copy of a book that he had written. It turned out this was Iwan Hedman with a change of name and living in Spain! My wishes for a friendly Swede could not have been better answered.
Soon after forging our friendship and exchanging pages of information, I tentatively asked Iwan if he could assist me with translating the Swedish pages of his book into English for publication on the web site. To my great delight he agreed and after many months of typing and exchanges of e-mails (and a memorable trip to Sweden where my wife and I were guests of Iwan and his dear wife Margareta!), I have at last had my ambition realised and can finally understand and fully appreciate all the hard work and dedication that went into producing ‘Fyra Decennier med Dennis Wheatley’ all those years ago.
My small part in this project was to firstly tidy up the English without losing Iwan’s unique way of imparting his information; secondly, present the English information in such a way that the original layout would not be compromised; thirdly, add some colour to the presentation by showing all the jackets in their true colours instead of black and white, and fourthly, publish the translation in such a way that Iwan and Jan’s copyright of their original publication would not be infringed.
The result – an Adobe Acrobat ‘pdf’ file published with full security features that prevent unauthorised printing or copying into other formats, and that shows, for the most part, only those pages which were not in English in the original book.
The file will be best appreciated by the collector who already owns a copy of ‘Fyra Decennier. . . ’ and can place their copy side by side with their computer. For those collectors who have not been fortunate enough to get their own copy – now is the time to add it to your ‘I Want It Now!’ list.
After ensuring you have Acrobat Reader© or Acrobat eBook Reader© installed on your computer, you can download the file by right-clicking on the following title and choosing ‘Save Target As...’ (Internet Explorer and Opera), ‘Save Link Target As...’ (Netscape) or ‘Save Link As...’ (Mozilla). (Warning: the file is big (8.79Mb) and the approximate download time on a 56K modem is about 50mins)
This page last updated Copyright © 2002-2006 Bob Rothwell. 2007-2018 Charles Beck.