Wade was a major figure in the development of the Golden Age period, writing twenty novels and two story collections. He did not receive the immediate credit and respect he deserved. Indeed, seven of his books were not even published in America. His first novel, The Verdict of you all, was published in 1926 by Constable, and he continued to produce a novel a year for the next thirty years (except for the World War 2 years). Of his early work, The Duke of York's Steps merits particular attention, as do The Dying Alderman and Mist on the Saltings. Wade's work was always tightly plotted, skilfully written and extremely atmospheric.
His penultimate novel is perhaps his best. A Dying Fall is superbly written, with very strong and deeply developed characters. The fact that it was published in 1955, nearly 30 years after his first novel serves only to enhance his reputation. The novel also, famously, did not reveal the solution until the very last line.
Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher, 6th Baronet, passed away in 1969 leaving us a fine literary legacy. Very few of his contempories can claim to have achieved Wade's level of quality and consistency. Although Wade did not enjoy the recognition he deserved during the early part of his career, he did enjoy something of a revival in the latter part, as readers and collectors discovered his early work. Henry Wade comes highly recommended to both the reader and the collector despite the fact that he remains, unjustly, in the shadow of some, frankly inferior, Golden Age authors.
Henry Wade Bibliography
Sir Henry William Rawson WadeQCFBA (16 January 1918 – 12 March 2004), known as William Wade, was a British academic lawyer, best known for his work on the law of real property and administrative law.
Wade was educated at Shrewsbury School and at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. After a fellowship at Harvard University, he began his career as a civil servant in the Treasury, before being elected to a fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1946. From 1961 to 1976 he was Professor of English Law at Oxford University and a fellow of St John's College, Oxford, and from 1978 to 1982 Rouse Ball Professor of English Law at Cambridge University; from 1976 to 1988 he was Master of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He held the degrees of MA and LLD, and the honorary degree of LittD from Cambridge University.
In 1985, he gave evidence for the defence at the trial of Clive Ponting for an alleged breach of the Official Secrets Act for revealing details of the conduct of the Falklands war, at which Ponting was acquitted.
Wade was an oarsman, mountaineer and a keen gardener in latter years.