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Peter Nichols (1)

Author of A Voyage for Madmen

For other authors named Peter Nichols, see the disambiguation page.

9+ Works 1,586 Members 53 Reviews

About the Author

A Bristol-born former actor and schoolteacher, Peter Nichols was born on July 31, 1927. He got his start writing some 14 plays for television and has continued to write for that medium even since attaining success in the West End. A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, his first stage play, was produced in show more England in 1967 and on Broadway a year later. Joe Egg (as a squeamish American management insisted it be retitled) concerns a couple whose marriage is slowly being destroyed by their attempt to raise a hopelessly spastic daughter (Josephine, alias Joe Egg, their "living parsnip"). They survive in their situation as long as they do only by ceaselessly joking about it. This comic distancing, as much as its autobiographical revelation, was to be the common characteristic of Nichols's later plays. Forget-Me-Not-Lane (1971), distinctly personal in its middle-aged re-examination of a World War II childhood, has characters stepping back and forth through time and in and out of the dramatic situation. In Passion Play (1981), Nichols's characters even break away from themselves, each partner in a bickering couple splitting into mutually critical components. The National Health (1969), produced to general acclaim at the National Theatre, achieves its distancing through the alternation of realistic scenes of suffering and dying in a hospital ward with episodes of an outrageous medical soap opera, Nurse Norton's Affair, shown on a simulated television screen. And in the ironic musical episodes of Privates on Parade (1977), the story of an army entertainment troupe in the 1950s, Nichols entered the area of alienating theatricalism explored by John Osborne's The Entertainer (1957) and Joan Littlewood's Oh, What a Lovely War. Privates, a Royal Shakespeare Company hit of 1977, has been made into a film, as have Joe Egg and The National Health. (Nichols also wrote the screenplay for the 1966 film satire Georgy Girl.) (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Peter Nichols

Associated Works


19th century (10) 2015 (8) adventure (55) Arctic (7) biography (74) biology (9) boating (6) boats (7) Charles Darwin (11) circumnavigation (18) Darwin (22) ebook (6) England (6) evolution (33) exploration (17) fiction (49) hardcover (5) history (77) history of science (14) HMS Beagle (7) Mallorca (17) maritime (14) maritime history (12) natural history (5) nautical (22) non-fiction (93) novel (8) ocean (6) race (6) racing (5) read (6) sailing (87) science (13) sea (17) seafaring (9) Spain (7) sports (6) to-read (91) travel (36) whaling (14)

Common Knowledge

Places of residence
New York, USA
Washington, D.C., USA



A history of the annialation of whales, greed of man and disregard of the natural world.
David-Block | Sep 28, 2023 |
The first Golden Globe "race". Now the Vendee Globe. Dangerous sailing, largely under supervised and bare of requirements or rules. Much about the contestants including Donald Crowhurst.
David-Block | 20 other reviews | Apr 7, 2023 |
Maybe the moment is overtaking me but this is one of the best books I have ever read. I did not plan to try to finish the entire book today but the power of it kept me turning the pages all morning and all afternoon. Peter Nichols tells a story of truly heroic and tragic proportions. Nine men attempting to race each other solo around the world without stopping something that had never been done before. Great care went into developing each of the nine sailors lived and ambitions. So extraordinary you will be with them on the voyage and read from the comfort of your chair the incredible hardships and isolation that few humans will ever endured sailing thousands of miles from land in the harshest conditions on the face of the earth. Without giving away any endings it is an experience that is truly life-changing for all nine.… (more)
kropferama | 20 other reviews | Jan 1, 2023 |
Fascinating story of round-the-world sailors back in about 1969 and how one guy faked it.
kslade | 20 other reviews | Dec 8, 2022 |



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