John Fowles 1926–2005
This major literary figure was born in Essex
John Fowles was born in Leigh-on-Sea. His grandfather was a partner in the London tobacco importer Allen & Wright, and his father Robert joined the family trade. Londoner Gladys Richards moved to Essex in 1918, meeting Robert in Westcliff-on-Sea in 1924. They were married the following year, and John was born in 1926, attending the nearby Alleyn Court Preparatory School. From 1951 to 1953 he taught English on the Greek island of Spetses. Among his books are his first published novel The Collector (1963); The Magus (1965), based on his experiences in Greece; and
The French Lieutenant’s
Woman (1969), released as a film in 1981.