Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tom Ingram

Tom Ingram (b. Spaxton, England, 26 July 1924; d. reg. Bath, England, January 2007)

Thomas Henry Ingram was the son of John Markham Ingram, an officer in the armed forces, and his wife Grace Williams.  He served in the Royal Artillery of the British Army from 1942-45, and was educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (B.A. 1948; M.A. 1957).  He worked for a few years as a teacher, and for several subsequent years as a researcher and writer, before lecturing in the United States for the Netherlands Office of Overseas Students in 1957-58, and as an instructor (1958-60) and assistant professor of English (1964-65) at Long Island University. Returning to England he held positions at the City of Bath Technical College (1960-64; 1965-67) and the British Polytechnic, West England College of Art (from 1967).  He married Marie Robbins-Vona in April 1958; they had three children, two daughters and one son.

All his books are published as by “Tom Ingram.” His first, Bells in England (1954), is nonfiction, and it includes two appendices written for the book by Robert Aickman, on Henry Irving in “The Bells” (five pages) and “The Bells of Bealings House” (also five pages). With Douglas Newton he compiled Hymns as Poetry (1955), and Banns of Marriage (1955) was his first novel.

Ingram turned to writing juveniles in the 1970s, and the first of these, The Hungry Cloud (1971; retitled Garranane in the 1972 U.S. edition), is a compelling fantasy (with excellent illustrations by Bill Geldart) of an evil lady named Fenrir who can destroy a person by drawing a likeness, threatening Kai and his sister Flor as well as their entire kingdom. It was followed by two other juveniles, The Night Rider (1975), a time-slip fantasy, and The Outcasts (1977), where in response to murderous attacks by eagles on a village, three people are driven away. 
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  1. Great work. Lovely to see a well researched summary of the work of someone you knew so well. In this case, my father!
    It's worth a hat tip to his collaboration with his long time partner Barbara Jones, whose work in the 'popular arts' has been well noted.

    1. Thanks for writing in, Patrick. The Aickman ties are strengthened by your father's association with Barbara Jones, who illustrated a children's book Timothy Tramcar (1949), written by Edith Ray Gregorson, Aickman's wife and partner as literary agents in the Richard Marsh Agency. I wonder, considering Aickman's contributions to Bells in England, whether Aickman and his wife might have represented your father as literary agents for his early few books.