The last British hero: the mysterious death of Grand Prix legend Richard Seaman
Posted 06 October 2005 - 17:58
just looking at www.amazon.co.uk and found a book that about to be publish on richard seaman .
any one here heard about it or about the writer ?
Posted 06 October 2005 - 18:07
As a child Richard Seaman dreamed of being a spy; as a young boy he dreamed of motor racing. In 1937, Adolf Hitler gave him a chance to do both. What followed was a breathtaking chain of events that changed the course of history. Seaman could have killed Hitler. Instead, Hitler's secret police murdered Seaman and his fate was buried in the avalanche of coming war. The truth was lost for over half a century until a trail of shattered lives and elaborate lies led to the discovery of Seaman's former wife, living in America. Richard Seaman was an enigma. One of Europe's leading Grand Prix drivers in the 1930s, he was a patriotic Englishman and anti-Nazi who became the only non-German driver in the Mercedes racing team that was the pride of Nazi Germany. A cocky, flamboyant daredevil, Seaman was initially admired by Hitler and seen as a useful Anglo-Saxon propaganda tool during the years of appeasement. But as the outbreak of war loomed ever closer, Seaman came to be seen as a threat and he in fact used his position at the heart of Nazi society to provide intelligence for the British Secret Service. With suspicions mounting, an off-the-cuff joke about doing the world a favour by getting rid of Hitler almost certainly sealed his fate. Sixty-six years after the British Government declared his death following a horrific accident at the 1939 Belgian Grand Prix 'a tragic accident', The Last British Hero reveals shocking evidence about the attempted cover-up of the truth behind Seaman's fate, along with enthralling details of Hitler's obsession with the Mercedes racing team, the bitter love triangle involving Seaman's young wife (the daughter of the co-founder of BMW) and a Nazi officer, Seaman's mother's affair with Hitler's foreign minister, Joachim Ribbentrop, and the wild, drug-fuelled lives of the 1930s racing crowd. After painting a compelling portrait of inter-war Berlin, the book also reveals a more recent intervention by German industrialists to prevent the recovery of Seaman's wrecked Mercedes car and race diary, believed to be buried close to his former family home in Worcestershire, England.
Posted 06 October 2005 - 18:39
Posted 06 October 2005 - 19:11
This amazing scenario (with spys, adultery, and crime, to please the average reader), smells like imagination to me. But, one never knows. Life is sometimes amazing, wilder than the wildest scenarios.
Anyway, I would like to know what kind of documents the author uses to reach those conclusions. Is it mainly written documents or "oral tradition"? And, after knowing what kind of documents are used (if any), I would have to read them myself to check its interpretation. A lot of authors tend to read between the lines... and beyond the lines.
Posted 06 October 2005 - 19:30
They buried THE CAR ??? ? I've never heard of this, hard to believe.
Posted 06 October 2005 - 21:22
the book is ever published...?
Posted 06 October 2005 - 21:31
TNF works in a different way to the other fora, so you may need to adopt a more patient stance. And then, in due course, you will (hopefully) be rewarded...!
Posted 06 October 2005 - 21:38
i try to learn from the great people here , at least 1 hour a day .
TNF just make me want to learn more & more about the subject and to try to look for as many info as i can get .
but it learns me one more thing , try to do the best and to get all the info about one subject .
you know , to read stuff in abook is o.k but to read about it in TNF is like sitting in a university and hearing the students talking and sharing alot of info and that is one great thing for me .
who could be a better teacher then mr. DOUG NYE ...?
thanks again for all of you
and sorry if i it looks like i try to heart some one ...
Posted 06 October 2005 - 21:43
No problem, my friend.
Originally posted by duby
and sorry if i it looks like i try to heart some one ...
I was merely concerned that you seemed a little over-anxious, but I can see now that wasn't the case...
Let's see what the 'TNF University' provides!
Posted 06 October 2005 - 21:58
First quoted publication date I saw was October 2004, but it's kept slipping in the schedule and is not even currently featured on their website. Amazon claim it's due in May 2006, but as Mainstream's Spring 2006 catalogue hasn't yet been produced, that may be just as theoretical as any other date previously quoted. You can find pdf versions of Mainstream's seasonal catalogues at http://www.mainstrea.../catalogue.html
Posted 07 October 2005 - 00:18
This one is simply a complete waste of trees.
Posted 07 October 2005 - 21:00
I resent paying good money for what looks like a sensationalist potboiler, but if there's a grain of truth in what is in it, then maybe it'll be worth it.
Posted 07 October 2005 - 21:50
You might have a point there.it might generate a flicker of interest in some readers. does anybody know if "Early one morning" increased laymen's interest in prewar Bugs?
Posted 07 October 2005 - 22:19
Bugatti Queen OTOH .... I've recommended that to several friends and they all loved it!
Posted 07 October 2005 - 23:32
I wonder if any of our professional writers have ever been tempted to create a potboiler for Hollywood gold?
Posted 08 October 2005 - 09:19
Chris Nixon made a bit of a play about this, but Erica was very short of money at the time, Dick's estate only amounting to about £1500 and not including his Mercedes Benz earnings, which were locked away in Germany. (Inter alia I wonder if D-B ever paid up after the war?) Reggie, OTOH, wasn't short of a bob or two and his diary records a few "desultory" meetings with Erica in Torquay in the summer of 1940. The engagement wasn't popular with his friends and was soon broken off, Erica moving on to America. I get the impression that it was perhaps almost an "engagement of convenience", since - technically - Erica was an enemy alien and could have been interned at any time. Presumably the combination of her anti-Nazi views, the fact that she was the widow of a prominent British sportsman and (maybe) an engagement to a well-connected and prosperous businessman saved her from ending up on the Isle of Man. Eric Dymock, in "High Speed Diary", makes the point that Erica never figured in Reggie's voluminous address book in her own right and concludes that perhaps his heart was never in it.
Originally posted by KJJ
It's interesting that Erica Seaman remained in England after the war began, even getting engaged to Reggie Tongue in 1940.
Posted 08 October 2005 - 10:10
Posted 09 October 2005 - 16:21
Posted 09 October 2005 - 20:53
Posted 09 October 2005 - 22:51
That's a bit mild isn't it? Why 'preferably dead'? Surely something highly painful like kneecapping - or if it's a writer 'kneecapping of the wrists'
Originally posted by Doug Nye
~ should be taken out and shot (preferably dead).
Posted 09 October 2005 - 23:56
In my very humble opinion, the story of Seaman is quite interesting on its own without the need for sensationalized embellishment of the sort put forth in Shirley's version.
Posted 21 April 2006 - 22:24
It looks like you may have got your wish, Dennis. As I mentioned before, it seems to have dropped from sight on Mainstream's website.
Originally posted by Dennis Hockenbury
Given my interest in this era of motor racing which includes RJBS, it offends my nature to admit that I will be quite pleased if this title never makes it to publication.
This one is simply a complete waste of trees.
Plus, the pdfs of their seasonal catalogues appear to have been "doctored" to remove all references to it! When I last checked (see link above), it was featured in the Autumn 2004 and subsequent catalogues. It's not there any more ....
And in case they somehow manage to erase them, here, thanks to Google, is the text of two press releases issued in Autumn 2003:
News 14 August 2003
An LA based production company has made a substantial offer for film rights to THE LAST BRITISH HERO: The Mysterious Death of Grand Prix Legend Richard Seaman by Phil Shirley. One of Europe's leading Grand Prix drivers in the 1930s, Seaman was a patriotic Englishman and anti-Nazi who became the only non-German driver in the Mercedes racing team which was the pride of Nazi Germany. A cocky, flamboyant daredevil, Seaman was initially admired by Hitler and seen as a useful Anglo-Saxon propaganda tool during the years of appeasement. But as the outbreak of war loomed ever closer, Seaman came to be seen as a threat, and in his book Shirley suggests that he may have used his position at the heart of Nazi society to provide intelligence for the British Secret Service. The manuscript is due at the end of the year but work on the film will begin based on early material and the author's notes.
News 6 October 2003
Film contracts have finally been signed for THE LAST BRITISH HERO (working title RACE WITH THE DEVIL) Film rights have been sold to RAW films in Los Angeles. It looks like screenwriter Dennis Johnson has signed up to write the screenplay. He is one of the top 20 writers in Hollywood who became a celebrity after writing the 1970's box office smash The Haunting. It is likely that Paul Schrader will direct. He directed RAW films last Hollywood movie, Autofocus, which had a shooting budget of $14 million. World rights are still available and it will be one of our lead titles at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
In LAST BRITISH HERO Phil Shirley investigates the events surrounding the death of motor racing champion, Richard Seaman. In 1939 living a life of leisure on the international grand prix circuit Richard Seaman appeared to have it all. As the only non-German driver in the Mercedes Racing Team, which was the pride of Nazi Germany, British and US secret services approached Seaman to use his contacts to obtain information about military technical advances being carried out by BMW and Mercedes engineers. The Nazi Secret Police had plans of their own and asked Seaman to spy on his wife's father, the influential head of BMW, who was refusing to co-operate with Hitler's plans. Seaman was in a terrible dilemma and his wife urged him to escape before the Belgian Grand Prix. Pride and burning ambition drove him to compete in the race but he had enlisted the help of an American journalist who had a dangerous plan to smuggle the pair out of Nazi controlled Europe during the end of race celebrations to start a new life in the United States. It was to be the last race of his life. Seaman's silver Mercedes skidded off the track and burst into flames. Phil Shirley has spent the last twelve years investigating Seaman's death and has uncovered some dramatic facts which question whether it was really an accident. The book will not be published until Autumn 04 but the manuscript is due for delivery by Christmas 03.
The book title brings up innumerable hits on bookselling sites (usually linked to Amazon, who no longer quote a date for it), with one or two quoting "2007".
Posted 22 April 2006 - 19:19
Cor ! And what a good film THAT was !!
Posted 10 September 2008 - 14:24
Personally I haven't read the book concerned but the suggested spy/conspiracy subplot does seem both absurd and unnecessary.
Having read "Dick and George", Nixon's books and others on the period I would have thought an excellent screenplay could be written based around the real events? One of the most exciting periods of motor racing set against a backdrop of the gathering clouds of war, add the love story in and you might have a winner. Anyone know if it's been tried?