by Michael Murray
In 1971 Nigel Lush has almost finished writing the official biography of Sir Maurice Brearley when shocking revelations from First World War veteran Leonard Stidges compel Nigel to completely revise his impressions of Sir Maurice with devastating consequences.
Nigel wants to find out the truth; Lady Celia Brearley wants to suppress the truth; only Sir Maurice knows the truth. In his novel Magnificent Britain author Michael Murray explores the nature of biography and its relationship to fiction and the truth; the consequences of pursuing a secret life; and the sexual politics of the twentieth century.
Michael Murray was born in London, UK. He left school aged fifteen and worked in a variety of jobs including solicitor's clerk, tea taster's assistant, frozen food salesman and postal worker before auditioning for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He graduated with a Diploma in Acting and over the years has acted on stage and film and has had a successful career in corporate voice-overs. He is a qualified teacher and has an M.A. in Education from the University of Hull.
Michael started to write whilst at primary school and was encouraged by his teacher Mr E.R. Braithwaite author of "To Sir with Love". On leaving school he wrote articles for magazines and journals and in the late 1960's he trained to be a journalist in Fleet Street. Michael has written several stage plays, some of which have been performed in small scale venues.
Michael has been writing "Magnificent Britain" since the late 1990s when he became interested in the educational benefits of Art Therapy and began blocking out a novel about a group of art therapists and their clients. This early draft metamorphosed into a completely different novel set in an English village that was participating in the Magnificent Britain gardening competition and focussed on the conflicts that arose between the villagers and the art therapists. Over time he became more and more fascinated with the back story to the inauguration of the Magnificent Britain competition and particularly with the characters of Sir Maurice Brearley and his biographer Nigel Lush.
By 2010 the novel had reached 1200 pages and Michael realised that it could not contain all these story lines. He divided the novel and focussed on the character of Nigel Lush and the consequences of him unearthing Sir Maurice's secrets. "Magnificent Britain" was published in February 2012 and Michael is now working on the other half of the original novel which he is intending to publish later in the year.