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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 May, 2005, 09:31 GMT 10:31 UK
Wycliffe author's web of interest
W J Burley (from wjburley.com)
Burley drew a picture of Cornwall that was "warts and all"
The life and work of the Cornish author who created the Wycliffe detective novels is being celebrated online with a new website.

W J Burley, who died in 2002, was born in Falmouth, and lived in the county for most of his life.

The site features contributions from his son, Alan Burley, and Burley biographer Andrew Darling, and looks at the work of the grammar school teacher.

A TV series based on Wycliffe in the 1990s regularly reached 10m viewers.

'Totally unexpected'

The 36 episodes between 1993 and 1998 were filmed in Cornwall, and Burley said he was overwhelmed by the success of the programme in which Jack Shepherd played the character of Detective Superintendent Charles Wycliffe.

Speaking before his death in 2002, he said he never expected the series to be quite so popular.

He said: "It was totally unexpected and very pleasing.

"The choice of the name Wycliffe was important. It caught people's imagination."

Jack Shepherd
The Wycliffe programme with Jack Shepherd reached 10m viewers
Biographer Andrew Darling said: "He was guy who drew a picture of Cornwall that was warts and all, and that was something that many people found most endearing about the books, particularly to ex-pats like myself."

John Burley was born in Falmouth in August 1914.

He worked for the gas industry until 1950 when he went to study zoology in Oxford.

He was appointed the head of biology at Newquay Grammar School in 1955 where he remained until his retirement in the 1970s.

John Burley's first book was published in 1966, it featured a detective called Dr Henry Pym. The first of Wycliffe's 22 adventures appeared two years later.

Wycliffe author dies in Cornwall
25 Nov 02 |  England

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