John Blackburn Biography
Date of Birth June 26, 1923 Northumberland, England
John Blackburn was born in Northumberland, England and educated at Haileybury and Durham University. He was the brother of the poet Thomas Blackburn. During the Second World War, he served in the British merchant navy, becoming a radio officer. He attended Durham University after returning to civilian life, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1949.
His horror novels are often structured as thrillers, with detective story plots involving international espionage, but leading to a supernatural resolution. This means that, as with some of the books of James Herbert, many of Blackburn’s horror novels are notable for pace and plotting rather than for atmospheric effects. Blackburn specialized in mixing modern concerns such as germ warfare and international conspiracies with ancient traditions and curses, often to ingenious effect.
Blackburn’s novels Nothing but the Night and The Gaunt Woman were the basis for screenplays. The Gaunt Woman appeared as a made for TV movie in 1969 as Destiny of a Spy and Nothing But the Night was released to theaters in 1972.
John Blackburn died in 1993. Blackburn was regarded as the best British horror writer of his time.
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