British novelist, playwright, and critic Julian Maclaren-Ross [formerly James Ross] (1912-1964) was best known for his bohemian lifestyle. His frequenting of pubs and clubs in the Soho and Fitzrovia districts of London became a source for his writing, which offered an ironic take on that life.
Maclaren-Ross' first published short story, '" Bit of a Smash in Madras," which appeared in Horizon (1940), centered on the life of an English employee in India. He served an army clerk during World War II and used his experiences during this period as material through which to examine the follies of military training. These short stories were collected in The Stuff to Give the Troops (1944). Maclaren-Ross also worked in film, creating scripts of thriller-serials for the Light Programme of the BBC. He further collaborated with Dylan Thomas on documentaries for the Ministry of Information.
His best work was considered to be Of Love and Hunger (1947), which drew on his pre-war experiences selling vacuum cleaners. The Weeping and the Laughter (1953), told of Maclaren-Ross' childhood, the first part of an autobiography, the remainder of which was never written. Maclaren-Ross was writing Memoirs of the Forties, one installment of which was published in The London Magazine, when he died suddenly of a heart attack in November of 1964.
From the guide to the Julian Maclaren-Ross Collection (MS 47), circa 1958-1964, (University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries. Special Collections Dept.)