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William Plomer


Biography of William Plomer

William Charles Franklyn Plomer (he pronounced the surname as ploomer) (10 December 1903 – 21 September 1973) was a South African and British author, known as a novelist, poet and literary editor. He was educated mostly in the United Kingdom, but described himself as a Anglo-African-Asian.

He became famous in South Africa with his first novel, Turbott Wolfe, which had inter-racial love and marriage as a theme. He was co-founder of the short-lived literary magazine Voorslag ("Whiplash") with two other South African rebels, Roy Campbell and Laurens van der Post; it promoted a racially equal South Africa.

He spent the period from October 1926 to March 1929 in Japan, where he was friendly with Sherard Vines. There, according to biographers, he was in a same-sex relationship with a Japanese man. He was never openly gay during his lifetime; at most he alluded to the subject.

He then moved to England, and through his friendship with his publisher Virginia Woolf, entered the London literary circles. He became an important literary editor, for Faber and Faber, and was a reader and literary adviser to Jonathan Cape, where he edited a number of Ian Fleming's James Bond series. Fleming dedicated Goldfinger to Plomer. He was active as a librettist, with Gloriana, Curlew River, The Burning Fiery Furnace and The Prodigal Son for Benjamin Britten.

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