The first of a series of wartime adventure novels was published last Sunday nearly 63 years after its author died.
But it is not the first time the books Frederick Rudd, from Ixworth, wrote under the pen name Sidney Esmond have hit the bookshops – they were well enough known in the 1940s and ‘50s for his obituary to make the Bury Free Press front page on April 8, 1955.
His grandson Max Rudd has formed a company to republish his six novels after finding an unpublished manuscript among his late father’s belongings.
Max began looking at getting it, and some unpublished novels by his father, published, but he recalled: “I thought, if I was going to do one, I may as well do them all.
“It’s partly recognition for my family but it’s also because I think they’re interesting and very good books. They’re by an English author but they are mostly set in Germany and, considering he was writing during the war, there isn’t a propaganda side to them.”
He believes his grandfather travelled extensively in Germany and Austria before the war so he realised not all Germans were Nazis.
The first newly published book, Verboten (Forbidden), was first published in 1940 and is about an English teacher on an exchange programme in Germany.
Just before the invasion of Poland, British nationals were asked to leave. Unfortunately, the teacher has made an enemy of the local Gestapo chief who tries to detain him and the story is about his escape.
Max describes the books as ‘adventure stories’ rather than thrillers.
The Bury Free Press obituary calls Frederick a ‘successful novelist’ and says he began writing short stories as a boy in Bury, Lancashire.
When he died, at West Suffolk Hospital, he had been manager of ‘Messrs Hardwicke’s drug store’ in Bury St Edmunds for 12 years. He also wrote an opera called ‘Isthar’ in 1933.
Max was unable to buy any copies of his grandfather’s books so he had to photocopy the British Library’s edition of Verboten.
The book is available in hardback and Kindle versions. Visit Max’s website http://xadrum.com/verboten to buy a copy.
Max would also like to hear from anyone who knew his grandfather. He can be contacted through the website.