Library's tribute to prolific author

Curator Peter Riley with some of John Creasey's books in the stores at Salisbury Library. DB4762P2

Curator Peter Riley with some of John Creasey's books in the stores at Salisbury Library. DB4762P2

First published in Entertainments

AN author who has provided an enduring legacy to Salisbury's cultural heritage is currently being honoured in Salisbury Library's main gallery.

John Creasey, who died in 1973, lived his final years at New Hall in the village of Bodenham. With more than 2,500 books, from crime fiction to romance, to his name (courtesy of several pseudonyms), John Creasey would have celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday.

The exhibition, John Creasey (1908 to 1973), celebrates the development of the museum, which the author founded, illustrating his life through books, photographs, illustrations and various objects he collected. The exhibition also features some of the original book cover designs as well as works from the John Creasey Collection of Contemporary Art.

The John Creasey Museum is based at Salisbury Library. It was founded in 1975 as the John Creasey Literary Museum, but in 1979 the Creasey collection of Contemporary Art was added and in 1983 a student collection was started. In 1991 the museum became registered with the Museums and Galleries Commission, and Wiltshire County Council became trustees in March 1998.

Peter Riley, the curator of the museum, said: "We have a lot to thank John Creasey for. Without him, we wouldn't have this fantastic art collection."

Creasey led a varied life, taking time aside from his writing to run for political office, standing as a Liberal Party MP for Bournemouth West in the 1950 general election. He came third.

It was his literary creations, however, from The Toff series to the adventures of Chief Inspector Roger West, that came to signify the Creasey brand.

Included in the John Creasey collection of contemporary art are works by Cecil Beaton, Howard Hodgkin, John Piper and sculptor Peter Randall-Page, and the collection is continually being added to.

"John Creasey has provided a unique art collection for the city of Salisbury," added Peter.

Don't miss this excellent opportunity to find out more about John Creasey in this fascinating exhibition which runs until September 27.

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