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James Hilton Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Catherine Herself (1920)Description / Buy at Amazon
Storm Passage (1922)Description / Buy at Amazon
And Now Goodbye (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder At School / Was It Murder? (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
Contango / Ill Wind (1932)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lost Horizon (1933)Description / Buy at Amazon
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
We Are Not Alone (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
To You Mr. Chips (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
Random Harvest (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Story of Dr. Wassell (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
So Well Remembered (1945)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nothing So Strange (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Morning Journey (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
Time and Time Again (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Good Bye Mr. Chips & Other Stories (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Collected Novels Volume One (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Collected Novels Volume Two (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

James Hilton
James Hilton was born in Leigh, Lancashire, England, and was the son of headmaster of Chapel End School in Walthamstow, John Hilton. James was educated at the Monoux School Walthamstow until 1914, then The Leys School, Cambridge, and then at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he wrote his first novel and got awarded an honors degree in English Literature. Then he began working as a journalist, first for the Manchester Guardian, before reviewing fiction for The Daily Telegraph.

James wrote his two best remembered novels “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” and “Lost Horizon” as he lived in a house at 42 Oak Hill Gardens, in Woodford Green in northeast London.

He’s said to have been inspired to write “Lost Horizon”, and to invent “Shangri-La” by reading the National Geographic articles of an Austrian-American ethnologist and botanist exploring the southwestern Chinese provinces and Tibetan borderlands, named Joseph Rock. Hilton, who was still living in Britain at the time, was possibly influenced by the Tibetan travel articles of early travelers in Tibet whose writings were discovered in the British Library.

In 1934, “Lost Horizon” won him the Hawthornden Prize. He also won an Academy Award for his work on the screenplay for “Mrs. Miniver”, based on the novel by Jan Struther in 1942.

By 1938, he had moved to California, and his work became more connected with the Hollywood film industry. While he was in California, he was also the host of Hallmark Playhouse, one of radio’s prestige drama anthologies from 1948 until 1952.

James married Alice Brown, a secretary at the BBC, right before they left for America in 1935, however they divorced in the year 1937. Then he married Galina Kopernak, however they divorced eight years later. He became an America citizen in the year 1948.

Hilton, a heavy smoker, had various health problems when he made his farewell visit to England in the year 1954, and on December 20, he died at his home in Long Beach, California at the age of 54, from liver cancer, with his reconciled former first wife, Alice at his side.

“Knight Without Armour” and “Lost Horizon” were each adapted in 1937, while “We Are Not Alone” was adapted in 1939, based off a screenplay by Hilton. “Goodbye Mr. Chips” has been adapted four times, in 1939, 1969, 1984, and 2002. Gary Cooper starred in “The Story of Dr. Wassell”, which was adapted in 1944. James narrated the 1947 adaptation of “So Well Remembered”, which starred John Mills.

“And Now Goodbye” is a stand alone novel and was released in 1931. The Redford rail smash was a bit of bad business. That cold November morning, glittering with sunshine and a thin layer of snow on the fields, the London-Manchester express hit this wagon which had strayed onto the main line from a siding.

Scattered cinders set fire to the wreckage; engine and two first coaches got derailed; and fourteen people in the first coach died. Unfortunately, there were some that didn’t get killed outright. It’s a curious thing that even once all of the names of persons that could have possibly been traveling on that particular train that particular morning, had been collected and investigated, there were still two charred bodies totally unaccounted for, and both were women.

“Lost Horizon” is a stand alone novel and was released in 1933. An adventure novel about a military man that stumbles on the world’s greatest hope for peace deep in Tibet: Shangri-La.

Hugh Conway saw humanity at its absolute worst as he fought in the trenches during World War I. Now, over a decade later, he’s a British diplomat serving in Afghanistan and faces war yet again—this time, there’s a civil conflict that forces him to flee from the country by plane.

His plane crashes high up in the Himalayas, he and the other survivors are discovered by this mysterious guide and are led to a breathtaking discovery: the hidden valley of Shangri-La.

Shangri-La, having been kept a secret from the world for over two hundred years, is like paradise, a place whose inhabitants live for centuries amid the harmony and peace of the fertile valley. However when the leader of the Shangri-La monastery becomes ill, he and the others have to face the daunting prospect of returning back home to a world that is soon to be torn apart by war.

“Goodbye, Mr. Chips” is a stand alone novel and was released in 1934. Mr Chipping, the classics master at Brookfield School since the year 1870, takes the reader on a beguiling journey through the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Sometimes Chips, as he’s affectionately known, is an old man who dreams by the fire; then he is a difficult young taskmaster schooling each of his students, or a middle aged man encountering the wonderful Katherine, whose “new woman” opinions work far reaching changes within him.

While succeeding generations of boys continue marching onward through Chips’ mind, James’ narrative stays masterful. He seamlessly interweaves a poignant love story with the eccentricities and jokes of English public school life, as he also chronicles a new and uncertain world filled with upheaval and conflict which extends far beyond the turrets of Brookfield.

“So Well Remembered” is a stand alone novel and was released in 1945. George Boswell, while World War I comes to an end, looks back on how his fate was inextricably tied to that of his sleepy English hometown.

While he was a young man, he knew that he had much greater prospects ahead of him than those that were offered to him by his native mill town in northern England. As a civic leader and respected lawyer, he possessed the charisma and skill to shine on the national stage. However ambition is not without a price.

When he’s got to choose between staying behind for the people that have come to depend on him and the promise of a bright future, George’s decision comes with a shocking price.

This is a story about people pulled reluctantly toward modernity amid all the factories and farms of Lancashire, and is a celebration of the steadfast character of a common English village.

Book Series In Order » Authors » James Hilton

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