John Beverley Nichols (September 9, 1898 – September 15, 1983), was an English writer, playwright, actor, novelist and composer.
He went to school at Marlborough College, and went to Balliol College, Oxford University, and was President of the Oxford Union and editor of Isis.
Read A Book of Old Ballads compiled by Beverly Nichols, free from Project Gutenberg.
Between his first novel Prelude published in 1920 and Twilight in 1982 he wrote over 60 books and plays on topics such as travel, politics, religion, cats, novels, mysteries and children's stories, authoring six novels, five detective mysteries, four children's stories, six autobiographies, and six plays. He is perhaps best remembered as a writer for Woman's Own (as was fellow columnist Monica Dickens) and for his gardening books, the first of which Down the Garden Path, was illustrated — as were many of his books — by Rex Whistler (1905-1944). This best seller — which has had 32 editions and has been in print almost continuously since 1932 — was the first of his trilogy about Allways, his Tudor thatch cottage in Glatton, Cambridgeshire.
Another trilogy written between 1951 and 1956 documents his travails renovating Merry Hall, Meadowstream, a Georgian manor house in Agates Lane, Ashtead, Surrey, where he lived from 1946 to 1956, and its gardens. These feature his gifted but laconic gardener "Oldfield" A.E. Newby.
The Sudbrook trilogy (1963–1969) concern Nichols's late-eighteenth-century attached cottage at Ham, (near Richmond), Surrey. He authored two books on cats ( Cats' A. B. C. and Cats' X. Y. Z). His political novel was Cry Havoc! (1933).
Nichols ghostwrote Dame Nellie Melba’s "autobiography" Memories and Melodies (1925).
He wrote A Case of Human Bondage published in 1966, about the marriage and divorce of William Somerset Maugham and Gwendoline Maud Syrie Barnardo, which was highly critical of Maugham.
The autobiographies feature Arthur R. Gaskin who was Nichols’ manservant from 1924 till his death from cirrhosis in 1966.
He appeared in the 1931 film Glamour directed by Seymour Hicks and Harry Hughes playing the part of the Hon. Richard Wells.
Nichols' long term homosexual partner was Cyril Butcher.
He died from complications due to a fall.