Special Collection: The Works of Nevil Shute (1899-1960)

Nevil Shute Norway (17 January 1899 – 12 January 1960) was a popular British novelist and a successful aeronautical engineer.

Excerpt from Wikipedia:

Shute's novels are written in a simple, highly readable style, with clearly delineated plot lines. Where there is a romantic element, sex is referred to only obliquely. Many of the stories are introduced by a narrator who is not a character in the story. The most common theme in Shute's novels is the dignity of work, spanning all classes, whether an Eastern European bar "hostess" (Ruined City) or brilliant boffin (No Highway).

Another recurrent theme is the bridging of social barriers such as class (Lonely Road and Landfall), race (The Chequer Board) or religion (Round the Bend). The Australian novels are individual hymns to that country, with subtle disparagement of the mores of the USA (Beyond the Black Stump) and overt antipathy towards the post-World War II socialist government of Shute's native Britain (The Far Country and In the Wet).

Shute lived a comfortable middle-class English life. His heroes tended to be middle class: solicitors, doctors, accountants, bank managers, engineers. Usually, like himself, they had enjoyed the privilege of university, not then within the purview of the lower classes. However (as in Trustee from the Toolroom), Shute valued the honest artisan and his social integrity and contributions to society more than the contributions of the upper classes.

Aviation and engineering provide the backdrop for many of Shute's novels. He identified how engineering, science and design could improve human life and more than once used the apparently anonymous epigram "It has been said an engineer is a man who can do for five shillings what any fool can do for a pound...."

Several of Shute's novels explore the boundary between accepted science and rational belief on the one hand, and mystical or paranormal possibilities, including reincarnation, on the other hand. Shute does this by including elements that can be considered fantasy or science fiction in novels are classified as mainstream. These are based in elements that would be considered religious, mystical, or psychic phenomena in the British vernacular when they were written. These include: Buddhist astrology and folk prophecy in "The Chequer Board"; the effective use of a ouija board in "No Highway"; a messiah figure in "Round the Bend"; and past and future lives with a psychic connection, near-future science fiction, and Aboriginal psychic powers in "In the Wet."

Unmarked works which are hyperlinked are available on Faded Page. Some works have one or both of the U.K. and U.S. versions; however there may or may not be any differences in the text between the versions.

Works marked with a † are currently under development at Distributed Proofreaders Canada and will be made available over the next few months.

  1. Stephen Morris (1923/1961): Published posthumously
  2. Pilotage (1924/1961): Published as second part of Stephen Morris
  3. Marazan (1926)
  4. So Disdained (U.S. Title: The Mysterious Aviator) (1928)
  5. Lonely Road (1932)
  6. Ruined City (U.S. title: Kindling) (1938)
  7. An Old Captivity (1940)
War (WWII)
  1. What Happened to the Corbetts (U.S. Title: Ordeal) (1938)
  2. Landfall: A Channel Story (1940)
  3. Pied Piper (1942)
  4. Pastoral (1944)
  5. Most Secret (1945)
  6. The Chequer Board (1947)
  7. No Highway (1948)
  8. A Town Like Alice (U.S. Edition: The Legacy) 1952
  9. Round the Bend (1951)
  10. The Far Country (1952)
  11. In the Wet (1953)
  12. Requiem for a Wren (U.S. Title: The Breaking Wave) (1955)
  13. On the Beach (1957)
  14. The Rainbow and the Rose (1958)
  15. Trustee from the Toolroom (1960)
NonFiction & Related
  1. Slide Rule: Autobiography of an Engineer (1954)
  2. Flight of Fancy (1951): Written by James Riddell (1909-2000) (his journal); Forward by Nevil Shute
  3. Flight Log (Unpublished): Unpublished Manuscript (Nevil Shute's journal entries for same travels as James Riddell in Flight of Fancy)
  4. The Secret War 1938-45 (1957): Written by Gerald Pawle (1913-1991); Forward by Nevil Shute. Scans on archive.org
  5. Journey into Normandy: Written for the British Ministry of Information. NevilShute.org Copyright by the Trustees of the Estate of the late Nevil Shute Norway
Film Script
    Vinland the Good (1946)