Alms For Oblivion: characters and originals

Opened Mar 2015

Updated: 13 June 2023
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The author Simon Raven was an author, playwright, essayist, television writer, and screenwriter. His best-known books are the Alms For Oblivion sequence.

Peter Morrison is based on James Prior.

Somerset Lloyd-James is based on William Rees-Mogg.


Raven published a book called Boys Will Be Boys in 1963; it was a collection of articles and essays. In an artcle written for Punch (called 'For Whom the Bell Tolls') he invents a character called Nicholas Quinn, who has a telephone installed in his cottage against his will. That name will make Colin Dexter fans sit up, because Dexter's third Morse book was called The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn. It was published i 1977.

I suggest it is at least possible that Dexter took the name from Raven's article, consciously or otherwise.

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