The Musuem
Floor Plan

The Dennis Wheatley 'Museum' - World War II

Pre War Pacifism

The opening page of 'Pills of Honour'
Click on the image above to enlarge.

For a transcript of the whole piece, click here

DW may have been decidedly pro-war in the late 1930s, but this was definitely not the case in the early part of the decade.

'The Devil Rides Out' (published December 1934) has been seen by Phil Baker as an appeasement novel, and DW wrote a short piece in which his views were even more strongly expressed.

Seemingly unpublished, although DW managed to weave the theme into his book 'The Secret War' in 1937, 'Pills of Honour' is a 2,000 word piece written (no doubt with his earlier experiences of war in mind) some time in the fourth quarter of 1934. In it, DW argues that Great Britain should stand out in splendid isolation, absolutely refusing to be involved in any further continental squabbles.

As the title of the piece suggests, its grim premise is that those politicians who take the country to war should be required to commit an immediate and honourable suicide by swallowing a 'pill of honour' - thereby demonstrating that they are not asking others to lay down their lives while being afraid and unprepared to make the same sacrifice themselves.

References : Phil Baker pp 339-340,361-362

Provenance:ex Humphreys collection