(1888-1974) UK soldier, civil servant and writer, knighted in 1949. Most of his work, like his first novel, The Flying Draper (1924; rev 1931), utilizes fantasy or sf devices – in the initial case self-levitation – to create allegorical or philosophical arguments, unmistakably influenced by H G Wells: the draper in this first novel, for instance, finds that the ability to fly enforces almost literally "higher" thoughts. In Flower Phantoms (1926) an orchid responds to the protagonist's nubility by showing her the secrets of sex. In Beetle's Career (1951), which is sf, a super-Weapon is shown to have beneficial side-effects. In the Venus quartet – A Visit from Venus (1958), Jupiter in the Chair (1958), Trout's Testament (1960) and City of the Sun (1961) – various inhabitants of the solar system confer about a number of mildly pressing topics. In an elegant, generally painless manner, Fraser concentrated throughout his career on novels of controlled wit, mild Satire, admissible sentiment and serene Transcendence; only occasionally would these entertainments move into darker regions. [JC]
see also: Psychology.
Sir Arthur Ronald Fraser
born London: 3 November 1888
died Chinnor, Oxfordshire: 12 September 1974
individual titles (selected)
Previous versions of this entry