When Adam de Hegedus was 21 in 1927, a year before his university final examinations, he traveled to Britain, partly to learn English for the Hungarian diplomatic service, and partly to read up on international law for his doctoral thesis. He lived in a South Kensington boarding house and spent some of his time at the British Museum Library, but a great deal more time investigating London. He lived in London from June to December, and after those five months he decided to return to Hungary to complete the final examinations, but that he would abandon the diplomatic service and return to Britain to become a writer.
He then abandoned his diplomatic career and decided to go into journalism and he returned to Hungary. He contributed to The Observer, The London Mercury, and other weeklies.
Among his works are: The Golden Cock, 1934, a short story in Lovat Dickson's Magazine, volume 3, number 1, July, page 20. Hungarian Background, 1937, 302 pages. Don't Keep the Vanman Waiting: A Chapter of Autobiography, 1944, published in London by Nicholson & Watson, 246 pages. Mainly a memoir of army life during the Second World War, but also reflects on his earlier life. Patriotism or Peace?, 1947, published in New York by Charles Scribner's Sons, 266 pages. Rehearsal Under the Moon. The state of the world. Home and away, Notes on England after the Second World War, 1951, published in London by Hutchinson, 232 pages. The Heart in Exile, 1953, a novel, as Rodney Garland, published in London by W. H. Allen, 296 pages.
He stayed for a while in Paris and made friends with Andre Gidé. He settled permanently in London in 1939 and took a flat in South Kensington. The landlord, Philibert, and another tennant, Gustave, were interested in the plight of the national minorities in Europe, and Gustave produced political periodicals. Adam de Hegedus got a reduction in the rent in return for editing an English edition. During this time he made his living mostly by sending articles to his newspaper in Budapest.
The Heart in Exile by Rodney Garland
Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: Millivres Prowler Group (March 1996)
Amazon: The Heart in Exile
There are several novels which always make the list of important gay historical fiction. "The Heart in Exile" should definately be added to that list. Originally published in 1953, it recreates gay life in London after World War II, and also includes many references to gay life during the war. The main character is a gay psychiatrist (who has also had experiences with women), and thus the novel is written with intelligence and insight. I would recommend this book not only those who read fiction, but also to those interested in gay history. The author successfully paints a realistic and detailed picture of gay life in England during and after World War II with many references to the class structure present at that time. The book is somewhat somber in tone, but well worth it. A real find - highly recommended. (Amazon Review)
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