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Britton, David

Entry updated 4 January 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1945-2020) UK publisher and author, founder with Michael Butterworth of Savoy Books in 1976 in Manchester, whose early list included works by Michael Moorcock, Charles Platt and Jack Trevor Story. With Butterworth, he edited The Savoy Book (anth 1978) and Savoy Dreams (anth 1984), which attempted with some success to demonstrate the anti-establishment ethos of the house, an ethos that brought both Britton and Butterworth into conflict with the UK obscenity laws, Britton himself being jailed for three months in 1982. Several years later, copies of his first novel, Lord Horror (1989) with Michael Butterworth (uncredited), a scatological examination of Nazism and the UK traitor Lord Haw-Haw which made use of pornographic imagery upsetting to the Manchester police, were seized. A Graphic Novel version of some of the same material, Lord Horror (graph in 14 parts 1990-2000), was also produced [for details see Checklist]. The novel – which depicts the survival in Burma of Hitler and Lord Haw-Haw – was clearly, if very offensively, a Satire; and the destruction order on remaining copies of the text was duly and properly lifted by a UK court in July 1992 – although the confiscated copies were not in fact returned and the book remains difficult, but not impossible, to find; the graphic novel remained banned. Though it is difficult to fix the reality level of the fever dreams of an insane Hitler who has survived the world, the tale clearly flirts with Hitler Wins material, but is more properly an Alternate History in which World War Two, the attendant Holocaust and its consequences are seen in terms of extravagantly distressing burlesque japes (see Holocaust Fiction).

The next two Lord Horror sequels – Motherfuckers: The Auschwitz of Oz (1996) and Baptised in the Blood of Millions: A Novel of Fucking Holocaust Terror (2001), all sequels being edited by Butterworth – were almost certainly just as offensive to officialdom in their tracing of the career of Britton's Lord Haw-Haw, with excursions backwards into the Holocaust itself, but no further actions were taken to attempt to defend UK citizens from the violence of Britton's feelings about the obscenities of Nazism. The next volume of the sequence, La Squab: The Black Rose of Auschwitz (2012), refocuses its satire on English children's fantasies – including The Wind in the Willows (1908) by Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932) – as Lord Horror leads the way down the Thames to a Steampunk London conceived in Urban Fantasy terms [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], where a version of Auschwitz is discovered in deep waters; Invictus Horror (2013) and Razor King (2017) perhaps less intensely further the action. A final volume, «Old Death», is projected for 2021. The sequence as a whole is an exemplary demonstration of the range and impact of contemporary horror (see Horror in SF) at its most intense. [JC]

David Britton

born Manchester, England: 18 February 1945

died Manchester, England: 29 December 2020

works

series

Lord Horror

graphic works (selected)

series

Lord Horror

Lord Horror: Hard Core Horror

Lord Horror: Reverbstorm

works as editor

about the author

  • Keith Seward. Horror Panegyric (Manchester, England: Savoy Books, 2008) [nonfiction: plus excerpts from Lord Horror texts: hb/John Coulthart]

links

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