1899 – Born on January 17th in London. Shute wrote very popular, contemporary, gently romantic adventures, most having something to do with flying or with Australia—plus one vision of the world after a nuclear holocaust. And it’s the latter he is most remembered for today.
1926 – His first novel was Marazan, in which the hero, Richard Stenning, is a pilot being chased by police while in pursuit himself of a drug-smuggling ring.
1928 – His novel, So Disdained, is for the most part a laid-back, spy novel, perhaps the first in which the communists are the villains, albeit tentatively.
1938 – He resigned from his company to concentrate on his writing for which his reputation was growing. During the Second World War Shute worked for the British government in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve on secret weapons projects and as a European correspondent.
1948 – His novel, No Highway, places an adventure of sorts in Britain’s aircraft industry.
1954 – His autobiography Slide Rule came out.
1957 – His famous novel is On the Beach, made even better known by the Hollywood film produced during the height of the Cold War, as well as by a more recent television miniseries.
1960 – Died in January 12th in Melbourne.