Stanley Middleton

Stanley Middleton FRSL (1 August 1919 25 July 2009) was a British novelist.

Stanley Middleton
Born(1919-08-01)1 August 1919
Bulwell, Nottinghamshire
Died25 July 2009(2009-07-25) (aged 89)
EducationHigh Pavement School
Alma materUniversity of Nottingham
Notable awardsBooker Prize
SpouseMargaret Welch


He was born in Bulwell, Nottinghamshire in 1919 and educated at High Pavement School, Stanley Road, Nottingham and later at University College Nottingham.

Middleton started writing at university and in 1958 published A Short Answer. Alongside his work as an author he taught English at High Pavement Grammar School for many years. In 1974, his novel Holiday won the Booker prize.[1] In 2008 Her Three Wise Men was published, his 44th novel and the last to be published during his lifetime.

Middleton was an accomplished organist, playing regularly at St Mark's Methodist Church on Ravensworth Road in Bulwell and stepping in to cover others, often at Mansfield Road Baptist Church in Nottingham. He was also a fine water colourist and contributed his own artwork to the covers of the 1994 novel Catalysts and the festschrift, Stanley Middleton At Eighty.

In 2006, a reporter for The Sunday Times sent the first chapters of Holiday to a number of publishers and literary agents as a journalistic stunt. Almost all rejected it.

The actor Peter Bowles was taught by Stanley Middleton while a pupil at High Pavement. In 1980 when Bowles was the subject of the popular TV programme This Is Your Life, Stanley Middleton appeared as a guest on the programme.

Middleton was married to Margaret Welch from 1951 until his death; the couple had two daughters, Penny and Sarah. Towards the end of his life he suffered from cancer, and died in a nursing home on 25 July 2009, one week before his 90th birthday.

It has been revealed that Middleton refused an OBE in 1979. This came to light following a Freedom of information request by the BBC. He did not feel that he should be honoured simply for doing what he regarded as his job.[2]



  • A Short Answer (1958)
  • Harris's Requiem (1960)
  • A Serious Woman (1961)
  • The Just Exchange (1962)
  • Two's Company (1963)
  • Him They Compelled (1964)
  • Terms of Reference (1966)
  • The Golden Evening (1968)
  • Wages of Virtue (1969)
  • Apple of the Eye (1970)
  • Brazen Prison (1971)
  • Cold Gradations (1972)
  • A Man Made of Smoke (1973)
  • Holiday (1974)
  • Distractions (1975)
  • Still Waters (1976)
  • Ends and Means (1977)
  • Two Brothers (1978)
  • In a Strange Land (1979)
  • The Other Side (1980)
  • Blind Understanding (1982)
  • Entry into Jerusalem (1983)
  • The Daysman (1984)
  • Valley of Decision (1985)
  • An After-Dinner's Sleep (1986)
  • After a Fashion (1987)
  • Recovery (1988)
  • Vacant Places (1989)
  • Changes and Chances (1990)
  • Beginning to End (1991)
  • A Place to Stand (1992)
  • Married Past Redemption (1993)
  • Catalysts (1994)
  • Toward the Sea (1995)
  • Live and Learn (1996)
  • Brief Hours (1997)
  • Against the Dark (1998)
  • Necessary Ends (1999)
  • Small Change (2000)
  • Love in the Provinces (2002)
  • Brief Garlands (2004)
  • Sterner Stuff (2005)
  • Mother's Boy (2006)
  • Her Three Wise Men (2008)
  • A Cautious Approach (2010)


  • Stanley Middleton at Eighty (1999) Edited by David Belbin & John Lucas, this festschrift includes short stories, essays by and about Middleton and a long interview with the author.


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-01. Retrieved 2009-07-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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