Today I came across an obituary of the writer Robert Nye, who died last month. I wasn’t aware that he had died and if I am honest I hadn’t realised he was still alive because, although he is described as a ‘poet and author’, I only knew of him through his novels, and the last novel he had published was back in 1998.
During the 1980’s I would probably have said he was one of my favourite authors, along with David Lodge, Tom Sharpe, Howard Jacobson and James Herbert. He sort of specialised in historical novels even if the main character was sometimes a fictional character like Falstaff or Merlin.
Despite having read all his novels that I was aware of I did not realise until reading the obituaries, that Robert Nye went to school in Southend and that one of his first jobs involved writing for a local newspaper based in Laindon, where my family lived. There is a good chance that he may have written about events that my parents or grandparents were involved in.