H C McNeile's picture

H C McNeile


(Herman Cyril McNeile)
UK flag (1888 - 1937)

aka Sapper

Herman Cyril McNeile MC was a British author, who published under the pen name "Sapper".

He was one of the most successful British popular authors of the Interwar period; his principal character was Bulldog Drummond.

He is mainly remembered as the author of the ten Bulldog Drummond books, the first of which was published in 1920. These brought him public recognition and considerable financial success. The first book was adapted for the stage and produced, to great success, at Wyndham's Theatre during the 1921-1922 season with Gerald du Maurier playing the main character. The film-rights to the first talkie Bull-Dog Drummond film are reputed to have earned McNeile $750,000. However, the bulk of his work was in the form of short stories that were published in various popular monthly magazines. He specialised in the twist in the tail and many of his stories upended the reader's expectations in the final paragraph, sometimes in the final few sentences. Most of his books were short story collections.

An unremittingly hearty man, who even his friend and collaborator Gerard Fairlie described as "not everybody's cup of tea", McNeile died in 1937.