Robert Speaight

Won 8A (£2.2s.0d).

Robert Speaight was at the time (1930) on the verge of a long and distinguished career as an actor, author and editor. His first novel came out in 1932. He was born in 1904, and had already appeared in radio plays. His major success was to appear as Becket in T.S.Eliot’s Murder In The Cathedral, and a recording of him reading Eliot’s ‘The Hollow Men’ can be heard here. He went on to be a successful actor and director in theatre and film. He was also the biographer, in 1957, of Hilaire Bellloc, and the biography is available as a pdf file here. This biography mentions many of the writers involved in The Week-end Review, and indeed, competitors such as James Hall. A later biography, of Eric Gill, the sculptor and typeface designer (think of Gill Sans) became known for having suppressed a whole series of disturbing sexual revelations about Gill. Nevertheless, Speaight’s raw talent as a writer is evident in 8A. He died in 1976.


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