by Roy C. Dicks

To go to the greenhouse when the weather is wild, to close the door, to stand and listen to the wind outside, to the rain that slashes the frail roof, to see, through the misted glass, the black, storm-tossed branches of distant elms, to take a deep breath, to savour to the full the strange and almost uncanny peace which this frail tenement creates … to me this is one of the truest joys which life has given

Beverley Nichols

Down the Garden Path


  • Prelude (Chatto and Windus 1920)
  • Patchwork (Chatto and Windus 1921; Holt 1922)
  • Self (Chatto and Windus 1922)
  • Crazy Pavements (Jonathan Cape 1927; Doran 1927)
  • Evensong (Jonathan Cape 1932; Doubleday 1932)
  • Revue (Jonathan Cape 1939; Doubleday 1939)


  • No Man’s Street (Hutchinson 1954; Dutton 1954)
  • The Moonflower (Hutchinson 1955; Dutton 1955 as The Moonflower Murder)
  • Death to Slow Music (Hutchinson 1956; Dutton 1956)
  • The Rich Die Hard (Hutchinson 1957; Dutton 1958)
  • Murder by Request (Hutchinson 1960; Dutton 1960)

Children’s Novels

  • The Tree That Sat Down (Jonathan Cape 1945)*
  • The Stream That Stood Still (Jonathan Cape 1948)*
  • The Mountain of Magic (Jonathan Cape 1950)
  • The Wickedest Witch in the World (W. H. Allen 1971)

*These two titles were published in one volume by St. Martin’s in 1966.


  • Twenty-Five (Jonathan Cape 1926; Doran 1926)
  • All I Could Never Be (Jonathan Cape 1949; Dutton 1952)
  • The Sweet and Twenties (Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1958)
  • A Case of Human Bondage (Secker and Warburg 1966; Award Books 1966)
  • Father Figure (Heinemann 1972; Simon and Schuster 1972)
  • Down the Kitchen Sink (W. H. Allen 1974)
  • The Unforgiving Minute (W. H. Allen 1978)

Gardens and Homes

  • Down the Garden Path (Jonathan Cape 1932; Doubleday 1932)*
  • A Thatched Roof (Jonathan Cape 1933; Doubleday 1933)*
  • A Village in a Valley (Jonathan Cape 1934; Doubleday 1934)*
  • How Does Your Garden Grow? (Allen and Unwin 1935; Doubleday 1935) **
  • Green Grows the City (Jonathan Cape 1939; Harcourt 1939)
  • Merry Hall (Jonathan Cape 1951; Dutton 1953)†
  • Laughter on the Stairs (Jonathan Cape 1953; Dutton 1954)†
  • Sunlight on the Lawn (Jonathan Cape 1956; Dutton 1956)†
  • Garden Open Today (Jonathan Cape 1963; Dutton 1963)‡
  • Forty Favourite Flowers (Studio Vista 1964; St. Martin’s 1965)‡
  • Garden Open Tomorrow (Heinemann 1968; Dodd 1969)‡
  • The Art of Flower Arrangement (Collins 1967; Viking 1967)


*These three titles form the Allways trilogy about Nichols’s Tudor cottage in Glatton, Cambridgeshire. The Gift of a Garden, a condensation of the three, along with a new introduction by Nichols, was published by W. H. Allen in 1971 and Dodd in 1972.

** A collection of four radio essays by Nichols plus essays by Compton Mackenzie, Marion Cran, and Vita Sackville-West.

†These three titles form the Merry Hall trilogy about Nichols’s Georgian manor house in Ashtead, Surrey. The Gift of a Home, a condensation of the three, along with a new introduction by Nichols, was published by W. H. Allen in 1972 and Dodd in 1973.

‡These three titles form the Sudbrook trilogy about Nichols’s late-eighteenth-century attached cottage in Richmond, Surrey.


  • Cry Havoc! (Jonathan Cape 1933; Doubleday 1933)
  • News of England; or a Country without a Hero (Jonathan Cape 1938; Doubleday 1938)
  • Verdict on India (Jonathan Cape 1944; Harcourt 1944)
  • Uncle Samson (Evans 1950)


  • The Fool Hath Said (Jonathan Cape 1936; Doubleday 1936)
  • A Pilgrim’s Progress (Jonathan Cape 1952)


  • No Place Like Home (Jonathan Cape 1936; Doubleday 1936)
  • The Sun in My Eyes (Heinemann 1969)

Short Stories

  • Women and Children Last (Jonathan Cape 1931; Doubleday 1931)
  • Men Do Not Weep (Jonathan Cape 1941; Harcourt 1942)


  • Failures (Jonathan Cape 1933)
    A collection of three plays: The Stag, Avalanche, and When the Crash Comes.
  • Evensong (Samuel French 1933)
    Written with Edward Knoblock.
  • Mesmer (Jonathan Cape 1937)
  • Shadow of the Vine (Jonathan Cape 1949)


  • Memories and Melodies (Thornton Butterworth 1925; G. H. Doran 1926)
    Nichols ghostwrote this “autobiography” of Dame Nellie Melba. The 1980 reissue of this title in Australia (Thomas Nelson) and in London (HamishHamilton) acknowledged Nichols’s authorship.
  • The Valet As Historian (R.W. Forsyth 1926?)
    A customer premium for the R.W. Forsyth “Shop For Men” in London.
  • Are They the Same at Home? (Jonathan Cape 1927; Doran 1927)*
  • The Star-Spangled Manner (Jonathan Cape 1928; Doubleday 1928)*
    *These two books of celebrity sketches were published, together with Twenty-Five, as Oxford–London–New York by Jonathan Cape in 1931, with a new introduction by Nichols.
  • For Adults Only (Jonathan Cape 1932; Doubleday 1933)
    A satire on parental advice manuals.
  • Puck at Brighton: The Official Handbook of the County Borough of Brighton (Brighton Corporation Publicity Committee 1933)
    Annual tourist guide to which Nichols heavily contributed.
  • A Book of Old Ballads (Hutchinson 1934)
    Compiled and annotated by Nichols.
  • A Stream and Its Source (Edinborough & Co. 1935)
    A customer premium for the Dexter line of tailored men’s clothing.
  • The Living and the Dead: An Essay on Indian Art (Thacker [Bombay] 1944)
  • Yours Sincerely (George Newnes 1949)
    A collection of Nichols’s columns from the popular weekly Woman’s Own, including those by fellow columnist Monica Dickens.
  • The Queen’s Coronation Day: The Pictorial Record of the Historic Occasion, with the Eyewitness Account of Her Majesty’s Crowning (Pitkin Pictorials 1953)
  • Beverley Nichols’ Cat Book (Thomas Nelson 1955)
  • Beverley Nichols’ Cats’ A. B. C. (Jonathan Cape 1960; Dutton 1960)*
  • Beverley Nichols’ Cats’ X. Y. Z. (Jonathan Cape 1961; Dutton 1961)
    **These two titles were published together as Beverley Nichols’ Cats’ A to Z in 1977 by W. H. Allen.
  • Powers That Be (Jonathan Cape 1966; St. Martin’s 1966)
    An overview of paranormal phenomena.
  • Twilight: First and Probably Last Poems (Bachman and Turner 1982)

Books introduced or prefaced by Nichols

  • The Faro Table, or The Gambling Mothers by Charles Sedley (Nash and Grayson 1931)
  • The Making of a Man: Letters from an Old Parson to His Sons by Albert Victor Baillie (Nicolson and Watson 1934)
  • In Extremis: Worst Moments in the Lives of the Famous by Cyril Butcher (Hutchinson 1934)
    Nichols is also featured in one chapter.
  • Ye Sundial Booke by T. Geoffrey W. Henslow (Foyle 1935)
    A collection of sundial mottos and verses.
  • How to Do the Flowers by Constance Spry (Dent 1953)
  • Cats in Camera by Jan Styczynski (Deutsch 1962)
  • In an Eighteenth Century Kitchen: A Receipt Book of Cookery, 1698 (Woolf 1968)
    A reprint of the original that Nichols found boarded up in his Glatton cottage and described in A Thatched Roof.
  • So Brief a Dream by Rafaelle, Duchess of Leinster (W. H. Allen 1973; John Day 1973 as The Dutchess from Brooklyn)
  • All About Cats (Orbis 1975)
  • Jam Tomorrow: Some Early Reminiscences by Basil Bartlett (Elek 1978)

Published music and lyrics

Published by Warner-Chappell:

  • From Cochran’s 1930 Revue: “Selection,” “The Little Things You Do,” “Since Eros Went Away”
  • Cabaret number “My Heart Is Out of Work” (1934)
  • From Floodlight (1938): “Artificial Flowers,” “Birds of Dawn,” “Dancing with the Daffodils,” “I Will Pray,” “Little White Room”
  • From TV Production of Evensong (1953): “The Song of the Willow”

Published by Lawrence Wright Music:

  • Cabaret number “Another One Gone” (1935)
  • From TV production of Shadow of the Vine (1958): “The Shadow Prelude”
  • Included in Father Figure (1972): “Piano Etude”

Recorded music

  • Selection from Cochran’s 1930 Revue, including “The Little Things You Do,” piano solos by Billy Mayerl, Columbia DB 117.
  • “The Little Things You Do” was also recorded by Leslie “Hutch” Hutchinson, on Parlophone R 639
  • “The Little Things You Do” was included in the 1986 LP and the 1990 CD The Song Is – Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Living Era AJA 5041. It was incorrectly attributed.
  • Piano selection from Floodlight (1938) played by Beverley Nichols, HMV BC 443.
    Also from this revue: “Artificial Flowers,” sung by Frances Day, and “Little White Room,” sung by John Mills and Frances Day, HMV B 8590. This song was included in the 1970 LP Revue 1930-1940, EMI Parlophone PMC 7154, when the entire score of Floodlight was incorrectly attributed to Vivian Ellis.
  • Other songs by Beverley Nichols were recorded by performers including Dame Clara Butt. Unfortunately, archive material is incomplete or information had been lost.

The Parish of Glatton

The Fenland Trust

Sawtry History Society

University of Reading

University of Delaware

Penguin Random House