Michael Harrison was born on April 25, 1907, in Milton, England. He was educated at King's College and the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He served briefly in the British Military Intelligence during World War II. He worked as a journalist, editor, creative director of an advertising agency, managing editor of Trade News Ltd. and The British Ink Maker, a market research executive, and an industrial and technical consultant.
Michael Harrison's literary career began in 1934 with the publication of his first novel. His early years were prolific, and he published seventeen novels between 1934 and 1954. His early publications included What are We Waiting For? (1939) and There's Glory For You! (1949). During the 1950s, he turned to the genre of mystery writing. Harrison wrote three short crime novels under the pseudonym of Quentin Downes (1952-54) and achieved his greatest literary success with the publication of In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes in 1958. Harrison became a leading authority on Sherlock Holmes, writing seven subsequent novels about the Victorian sleuth. Harrison was also a great admirer of Edgar Allan Poe's detective, C. Auguste Dupin. He wrote twelve short sequels to Murder in the Rue Morgue, and entitled the resulting anthology Murder in the Rue Royale (1972).
Harrison was awarded the Occident Prize for Weep for Lycidas (1934), was named Duke of Sant Estrella by the Kingdom of Redonda (1951), and was named Irregular Shilling by the Baker Street Irregulars of New York (1964). He was a member of the Society of Authors, Crime Writers Association, Baker Street Irregulars of New York, and the Sherlock Holmes Society of London. He died in 1991.
From the guide to the Michael Harrison Collection TXRC96-A42., 1939-1962, (bulk 1958-1961), (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin)