Search - List of Books by Michael Sadleir
Michael Sadleir (25 December 1888–13 December 1957) was a British novelist and book collector.
Total Books: 29
He was born Michael Sadler, though upon beginning to publish novels he altered the spelling of his name to differentiate himself from his father, Michael Ernest Sadler, a historian and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds. The name change was precipitated by the scandal that followed the publication of Sadleir's novel Fanny by Gaslight, with some of the ensuing abuse being mistakenly directed at Sadleir's father.
Before the First World War, Sadleir and his father were keen collectors of contemporary art, and purchased works by young English artists such as Stanley Spencer and Mark Gertler. They were amongst the first collectors (and certainly the first English collectors) of the paintings of the Russian-born German Expressionist artist Wassily Kandinsky. In 1913, both Sadleir and his father travelled to Germany to meet Kandinsky in Munich. This visit led to Sadleir translating into English Kandinsky's seminal written work work on expressionism, Concerning the Spiritual In Art in 1914. This was one of the first coherent arguments for abstract art in the English language and its effects were profound. Extracts from it were published in the Vorticist literary magazine BLAST in 1914, and it had a major impact on the development of abstract art in Britain and North America right up until the 1960s. Sadleir's translation is still in print, and it remains one of the most commonly-used versions of Kandinsky's book in the English language.
Sadleir was director of the publishing firm of Constable & Robinson, a British delegate to the Paris Peace Conference, 1919, a member of the secretariat of the League of Nations, a novelist, a bibliographer and book collector. As collector and literary historian, he specialized in 19th century English fiction, notably the work of Anthony Trollope. He also conducted research on Gothic fiction and discovered rare original editions of the Northanger Horrid Novels mentioned in the novel Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Beforehand, some of these books, with their lurid titles, were thought to be figments of Austen's imagination. Sadleir and Montague Summers demonstrated that they did really exist. He was President of the Bibliographical Society from 1944 to 1946.
His best known novel is Fanny by Gaslight (1940), filmed in 1944, a fictional exploration of prostitution in Victorian London. His writings also include a biography of his father.
Sadleir's remarkable collection of Victorian fiction, now at the UCLA Department of Special Collections, is the subject of a catalogue published in 1951.
Sadleir lived at Througham Court, Bisley, in Gloucestershire, a fine Jacobean farmhouse altered for him by the architect Norman Jewson, c. 1929.