Norfolk author passes away after long battle with Alzheimers

Author John Gordon. Photo: Bill Smith

Author John Gordon. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: EDP © 1998

The author of a popular series of adolescent books set in The Fens has died following a long battle with Alzheimers.

John Gordon passed away on Monday, a day after celebrating his 92nd birthday on November 19 in Norwich.

Born in 1925, Mr Gordon, who was also known as Jack Gordon, gained fame as an English writer of adolescent supernatural fiction.

He authored 15 fantasy novels, four short story collections, over fifty short stories and a teenage memoir.

Most of his novels are in the supernatural fantasy and horror genres and feature teenagers in the central roles.

The adventures are often set in The Fens, an environment he found mysterious and inspirational while growing up.

His books contain elements of East Anglian folklore such as the doom dog - Black Shuck.

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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.

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 may have been the inspiration for parts of this book, it was the Fens that set the backdrop for most of his stories.

As a reporter in Wisbech he cycled many miles covering events in the Fens, especially in the village of Upwell.

Many of his books feature Wisbech locations: Peckover House, Wisbech Museum, Wisbech Castle grounds, High Street, Market Place and pubs, The Crescent and the Park.

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.