Authors: Jeffrey Archer
Jeffrey Howard Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare is an English author and former politician. He has served five years in Britain’s House of Commons, fourteen years in the House of Lords, and two in Her Majesty’s prisons, which spawned three volumes of highly acclaimed Prison Diaries.
All of his novels and short story collections, including Kane and Abel, Sons of Fortune, and False Impression, have been international bestsellers. Jeffrey Archer is married to Mary Archer, a scientist specializing in solar power. Outside politics, he is a novelist, playwright and short story writer.
Jeffrey Howard Archer was born April 15, 940 in the City of London Maternity Hospital. He was two weeks old when his family moved to the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, where he spent most of his early life.
He has an older brother born out of wedlock, also originally called Jeffrey, who was put up for adoption at an early age. His father, William was sixty-four when Archer was born. In 1951, Jeffrey Archer won a scholarship to Wellington School, in Somerset.
Jeffrey Archer studied for three years, gaining an academic qualification in teaching awarded by the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. While in Oxford he was successful in athletics, competing in sprinting and hurdling.
After leaving Oxford Jeffrey Archer was elected to the Greater London Council, and three years later at the age of 29, he became Member of Parliament for Louth.
After five years in the Commons and a promising political career ahead of him, he invested heavily in a Canadian company called Aquablast, on the advice of the Bank of Boston. The company went into liquidation, and three directors were later sent to jail for fraud. Left with debts of £427,727, and on the brink of bankruptcy, he resigned from the House of Commons.
At 34, determined to repay his creditors in full, Jeffrey Archer sat down to write his first novel Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less. Written at the home of his former Oxford Principal, it was taken up by the Literary Agent, Debbie Owen, and sold to 17 countries within a year. It was also made into a successful serial for BBC Radio 4, and was later televised in 1990 by the BBC.
His second novel, Shall We Tell the President?, a fast moving thriller about a plot to assassinate Edward Kennedy while he was President of the United States, later up-dated by the author substituting Florentyna Kane, from The Prodigal Daughter, for Edward Kennedy.
With two bestsellers behind him, Kane and Abel came next. The book told the story of two men, one Polish, an illegitimate son of a gypsy, the other rich and privileged from a wealthy Boston banking family. Abel Rosnovski survives countless setbacks, emigrates to the US and builds up a thriving hotel chain. William Kane inherits a powerful bank and makes it more successful. Their paths cross only once but the meeting causes them to become bitter enemies, each determined to destroy the other.
The novel became a number one best-seller in hardcover and paperback all over the world and has sold over 3.5 million in the UK paperback edition alone. Kane and Abel was made into a television mini-series by CBS in 1985, starring Peter Strauss and Sam Neill.
The following year, Granada TV screened a ten-part adaptation of another Archer bestseller, First Among Equals, which told the story of four men and their quest to become Prime Minister. Jeffrey Archer states he spends considerable time writing and re-writing each book. He goes abroad to write the first draft, working in blocks of two-hours at a time, then writes up to seventeen additional drafts.
In 2011, Archer published the first of five books in The Clifton Chronicles, which follow the life of Harry Clifton from his birth in 1920, through to the finale in 2020. Only Time Will Tell tells the story of Harry from 1920 through to 1940 and was published in the UK in May of 2011.
Now published in 97 countries and more than 37 languages, Jeffrey Archer is firmly established, with international sales passing 250 million copies.