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Peter Haining

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Peter Haining, author and anthologist, was born on April 2, 1940. He died of a heart attack on November 19, 2007, aged 67

Prolific anthologist who covered the occult and wartime history

Peter Haining was the most prolific editor and anthologist of his generation, and also a hugely versatile author on numerous subjects ranging from history and the occult to television and film stars.

His anthologies were frequently thematic, featuring in turn ghosts, poltergeists, witches, vampires, werewolves, mummies, zombies, black magicians, and many more.

Among his more scholarly and antiquarian researches in this genre was the two-volume Gothic Tales of Terror (1972), published by Victor Gollancz.

Peter Alexander Haining was born in 1940 in Enfield, Middlesex, and was educated at Buckhurst Grammar School in Essex. He moved into local journalism at the age of 17, and became deputy editor of National Newsagent. During the 1960s he worked at various London paperback publishers, and then as editorial director at New English Library, 1970-73, when he talent-spotted Philip Pullman's first fantasy novel, The Haunted Storm (1972).

After 1973 Haining turned freelance, producing up to seven or eight books each year. Several of these were historical studies, mainly of the 18th and 19th century, notably Eurotunnel (1973), The Great English Earthquake of 1885 (1976), The Man Who Was Frankenstein (1980) on the eccentric scientist Andrew Crosse, Spring Heeled Jack (1977) and Sweeney Todd (1980), and a majestic quarto detailing the creation of Movable Books (1979).

He then turned to the world of film, writing biographies of Brigitte Bardot (1983), David Niven -The Last Gentleman (1984), Raquel Welch (1984), Goldie Hawn (1985), and Elvis in Private (1987), followed by Charlie Chaplin: A Centenary Celebration (1989), Bob Hope: Thanks for the Memory (1989) and The Legend of Garbo (1990).

As well as The Television Sherlock Holmes (1986) and James Bond: A Celebration (1987) there were no fewer than seven volumes covering every aspect of Doctor Who, two books on Agatha Christie and Poirot, several "files" and "scrapbooks" (Sherlock Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Dracula), the slightly premature Dracula Centenary Book (1987), and The Un-Dead (with Peter Tremayne) published on the exact centenary of Dracula in late May 1997.

Another Haining literary series was the compilation of the supernatural stories of classic authors such as Charles Dickens (1982), Arthur Conan Doyle (1987), Rudyard Kipling (1987), Thomas Hardy (1988), Wilkie Collins (1990) and John Buchan (1991), together with The Fantasy and Mystery Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald (1991).

He produced more than a hundred scary and spooky anthologies that have delighted hundreds of thousands of readers over the past 40 years.

His very occasional novels include The Hero (1974) and The Savage (1986). Recently he specialised on the Second World War: The Day War Broke Out (1989), The Mystery of Rommel's Gold (2004), and Where the Eagle Landed (2004). He was working (with Peter MacAlan) on The Creeper's Secret War, set in early 1945, when he died.

Haining married in 1965 Philippa Miller, with whom he had two sons and one daughter.

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  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Peter Haining | url= | work=The Times | pages=72 | date=2008-01-05 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=12 April 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Peter Haining | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=12 April 2024}}</ref>