Margery Allingham

English writer of detective fiction, editor

Margery Louise Allingham (20 May 190430 June 1966) was an English crime writer, best remembered for her detective stories featuring gentleman sleuth Albert Campion.


  • Once sex rears its ugly 'ead it's time to steer clear.
    • Flowers for the Judge (1936) ch. 4.
  • 'A quotation's only a short neat way of sayin' somethin' everybody knows, like "It's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide."' (Italics in original)
    • The Fashion in Shrouds, New York: Felony & Mayhem, 2008, chapter six, p. 58 (Originally published in 1938)
    • In standard English the italicized text means, "It's crazy to give a policeman the bribe in counterfeit money." It was popularized as a nonsense catchphrase by Mad magazine.

The Oaken Heart (1941)Edit

  • What attracted me the most of all to the detective story, was the protective covering offered to the author.
  • Telling the truth is the basis of all classic art.
    • from Introduction
  • To be free takes a lot of time and trouble.
  • As a nation, we English will fight and die for principles we cannot find time to teach in our free schools.
  • We, me and thee and the parson and all the other lads in the village constitute the public, and the politicians are our servants.
  • Our ideal is the statesman who knows and loves his country and who never makes the mistake of underestimating his employer, either in intelligence or strength.
  • The unity of instinct and the universal belief in freedom for the individual which id the backbone of democracy is a very real thing in Britain today. We are not only fighting for it, it is our greatest weapon.
  • There were times when I wished I had been 'prenticed to a different trade. I was putting in seven hours a day on it. It was an odd life I was always hoping that the end of one thriller would not overtake me before I had finished the other.
  • Few people can see God, and it seems an even bolder mind to see the Devil. Active evil is more incomprehensible than active good, and so it ought to be.
  • Courage is not herself enough. She cannot stand alone. She is a part, not a whole, a wife, not a man and wife. A well appreciated helpmeet.
  • There is something very good in pride of race if you can be satisfied in your heart it is absolutely genuine and is based on things you have see, heard and felt rather than on those you have read.
  • What a period. What an age to have been alive in. Oh thank God I was born when I was.
    • The Oaken Heart - the story of an English Village - Michael Joseph ISBN 095108562X

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