Wisbech journalist, famous for writing teenage novels, dies at the age of 92
- Credit: Archant
A Wisbech journalist, who wrote a popular series of adolescent books set in The Fens, has died following a long battle with Alzheimers.
John Gordon died after celebrating his 92nd birthday on November 19 in Norwich.
As a reporter in Wisbech he cycled many miles covering events in the Fens, especially in the village of Upwell.
It was during his time working as sub-editor on The Eastern Evening News in Norwich that he wrote his first novel, The Giant Under The Snow (1968).
Although Norwich and its cathedral were the inspiration for parts of this book, it was the Fens that set the backdrop for most of his stories.
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Many of them feature Wisbech locations like Peckover House, Wisbech Museum, Wisbech Castle grounds, High Street, Market Place and pubs, The Crescent and the Park.
Born in 1925, Mr Gordon, also known as Jack, gained fame as an English writer of teenage supernatural fiction.
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He authored 15 fantasy novels, four short story collections, more than 50 short stories and a teenage memoir.
Most of his novels are supernatural fantasy or horror and feature teenagers in the central roles.
The adventures are often set in The Fens where he grew up as a teenager.
Mr Gordon moved to Wisbech from Jarrow in Tyne and Wear with his family at the age of 12.
The contrast of the flat, rural landscape had a profound effect on him and inspired him to write many of his most popular stories.
He served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War on minesweepers and destroyers and afterwards worked as a journalist in the West Country and East Anglia.
His work was published in the US and in translation in Japan and various European countries. Throughout his career his wife Sylvia was instrumental in the editing and collation of his work.
His work has been compared to that of the acclaimed ghost novelist M.R. James and his novel, The House on the Brink (1970) is regarded as one of the greatest novels in the Jamesian Tradition.
He leaves behind his wife Sylvia, daughter Sally and son Robert.