Ronald Fraser

Arthur Ronald FraserArthur Ronald Fraser (1888-1974), who was knighted in 1949, was a soldier, civil servant and writer. Most of his writing uses fantasy or science-fictional devices. His first novel, The Flying Draper (1924; revised 1931), clearly influenced by H.G. Wells, has a draper discover the ability to levitate himself. In Flower Phantoms (1926) there is an orchid who demonstrates the secrets of sex to a nubile young woman. In the science-fictional Beetle’s Career (1951), there is a super-Weapon which has beneficial side-effects. His “Venus Quartet”, which started with A Visit from Venus (1958), features discussions among the inhabitants of the solar system. For more details, see the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

Sir Arthur Ronald Fraser was the son of a Scottish cloth merchant who had moved to London. He was educated at St Paul’s School, and in his early teens was writing poetry, which was published in the Westminster Gazette. He worked in an insurance company, but in his spare time read at the British Museum. After his war service, He had a career as a civil servant in the overseas section of the Department of Trade, and then as a diplomat in the Foreign Office, serving in Argentina and France as the Commercial Minister in the British Embassies there, and later as a Government Director of the Suez Canal. His knighthood in 1949 was in recognition of his distinguished diplomatic service. He published twenty-seven novels between 1924 and 1961. In retirement he was involved in the New Age movement, and ran a healing and meditation centre with his partner Ingrid from a temple attached to his home.

For his biographical details I am so far dependent for a brief account on the website of Valancourt Books. Oddly, Sir Arthur Ronald Fraser does not appear to be in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

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