The Dennis Wheatley 'Museum' - DW's Library
Dennis Wheatley’s Library – the dedicated collector; collecting at times despite the costs
As his finances deteriorated in the early 1930s,
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Book-collecting was one of DW’s abiding passions, and in the early days he frequently overspent.
As he recalled of the 1920s, when he was a young wine merchant, in later life :
‘In spite of my relative affluence, I continued to be perpetually hard up. …The reason for my sad financial state was the small contributions which were all that Gordon Eric would accept for nights out together, and presents to girls; but mainly expenditure on books and a number of Globe Wernicke book-cases. I had not yet started collecting first editions but already had sets of Tolstoy, Flaubert, Gautier, Dumas, Oscar Wilde, Walter Pater, Victor Hugo, Gibbon’s Rome, Grote’s Greece, Religions of the East, Casanova, Stendhal, Burton’s Arabian Nights, Havelock Ellis’s Sexual Psychology, Motley, Proust and several hundred odd volumes.’
This habit of over-spending continued into the 1930s, as the above ‘chasers’ show, and it was not until he had had several thrillers published that his finances began to improve.
References : Quotation from Drink and Ink pp 38-39
Provenance : Reproduced with the permission of Special Collections, Leeds University Library (MS 1942)