Jeffrey Archer

(1940- )

1940-

"If you are lucky enough to have that gift - to tell a story, to tell a tale - that's just luck. You can't go down to Marks and Spencer and say 'I'll have a packet of stories please'."

Birthplace

Western Super Mare, England

Education

Not Oxford University, as is often reported, but the Oxford Department of Education.

Other jobs

Businessman (who made and lost a fortune, then, with Not A Penny More..., made another), politician, pop-art collector, erstwhile would-be Mayor of London, perjurer, convict.

Did you know?

When the BBC launched breakfast television, Archer petitioned the corporation to allow him to present it.

Critical verdict

Personality and irritating marketing as "the best storyteller in the world" may explain the critical viciousness towards his lacklustre thrillers.

Recommended works

Kane and Abel, with the classic Archer warring twins theme; First Among Equals, for an insider's view of British politics.

Influences

His favourite short-story writers are F Scott Fitzgerald, Maupassant, HH Munro, W Somerset Maugham and O Henry.

Now read on

Sidney Sheldon, John Grisham

Adaptations

His work has been adapted for TV but never filmed; his play The Accused chimes with details of his own colourful life (and gives audiences the chance to vote on his innocence or otherwise).

Recommended biography

Jonathan Mantle's In-For-A-Penny is written in the Archer style; Jeffrey Archer: Stranger Than Fiction by Michael Crick certainly is.

Useful links and work online

Work online
· Short story: Perfect Gentleman

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Theatre: Defending Jeffrey . . . ?

Defending Jeffrey . . . ?
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
****

Alfred Hickling

05, Apr, 2001 @11:00 PM

McCrum on Jeffrey Archer
Review: The Eleventh Commandment

Robert McCrum

17, May, 1998 @3:54 PM

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John Crace's digested read: False Impression by Jeffrey Archer

Few suspected that behind Fenton's facade as a respected banker lay one of Ceausescu's most loyal cronies who had amassed a fabulous horde of impressionist art by getting rich collectors to borrow money at ridiculous rates of interest and then killing them.

John Crace

06, Mar, 2006 @9:49 AM

My other life: Jeffrey Archer

Writers reveal their fantasy career

15, Mar, 2009 @12:01 AM

Jeffrey Archer

The first scene at the railway station in Brief Encounter, with Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard is a moving love scene with no explicit sex, played with such conviction.

06, Feb, 2000 @6:37 PM

Observer review: The Nose by Elena Lappin

Elena Lappin traps a story of dreadful secrets inside one of a perky young journalist in The Nose.

Adam Mars-Jones

05, Aug, 2001 @1:56 PM

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Sons of Fortune by Jeffrey Archer

"Thank you for your generous donation, Mrs Davenport," oozed Dr Greenwood.

"Mrs Davenport's baby has died," said nurse Nichol. "I'll swap it with one of Mrs Cartwright's twins."

Nat Cartwright grew into one of the most handsome, intelligent and fair-minded young men in Connecticut.

11, Jan, 2003 @12:21 AM

The digested read: Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer

''Dear me,' he muttered to himself. 'That boy is going to be as remarkable as Jeffrey Archer''

John Crace

17, Mar, 2009 @12:01 AM

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Archer publishes gospel according to Jeffrey

Jeffrey Archer is today publishing his radical re-telling of the story of Judas Iscariot, The Gospel According to Judas.

Lindesay Irvine

20, Mar, 2007 @2:20 PM

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Cometh the Hour by Jeffrey Archer – digested
John Crace reduces a sprawling tale of high-stakes international intrigue and romance to juicy, bite-size chunks

John Crace

20, Mar, 2016 @4:00 PM