Norman Hunter (Norman George Lorimer Hunter)

Norman Hunter

Norman George Lorimer Hunter (23 November 1899 – 23 February 1995) was a British children’s author, creator of Professor Branestawm. Norman Hunter was born in Sydenham, England, on 23 November 1899. He attended Beckenham County School for Boys (later known as Beckenham and Penge Grammar School and then Langley Park School for Boys). He left school to volunteer for service during World War I in the London Irish Rifles. Hunter wrote popular books on writing for advertising, brain-teasers and conjuring among many others. His career started as an advertising copywriter and in the 1930s he was performing as a stage magician in Bournemouth. It was at this time he started to write the Professor Branestawm series, originally intended for radio. The first book, The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm, was published in hardback in 1933 with illustrations by W. Heath Robinson, the second, Professor Branestawm’s Treasure Hunt in 1937 with drawings by James Arnold. George Adamson illustrated the reissue of Professor Branestawm’s Treasure Hunt in 1966, and when Norman Hunter brought out his third book in the series in 1970 after a gap of more than thirty years, Adamson provided the illustrations. Two further Professor Branestawm titles were then published with Adamson’s drawings. Other artists were to provide illustrations for later books in the series: Gerald Rose; David Hughes; Jill McDonald, and Derek Cousins. Many of the books were reissued in Puffin Books, the Penguin children’s imprint, the first of these, The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm, under Eleanor Graham’s editorship in 1946 and many others under Kaye Webb’s in the 1960s and 1970s. Norman Hunter returned to London during the Second World War, living on a boat on the Thames. Post-war, in 1949 he went to work in South Africa and the fiction writing ceased. On his retirement in 1970, he once again returned to London, where Thames Television had just produced the Professor Branestawm eight-part TV series. He continued writing in his retirement, with his last book published in 1983.


  • November, 23, 1899
  • United Kingdom
  • Sydenham, England


  • February, 23, 1995
  • United Kingdom
  • Staines

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