The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) first approached me shortly after Lewis's Return Home, 2012's Radio 4 documentary about Ted Lewis. Today sees the publication of the latest update of the ODNB, which adds biographies of 99 men and women who shaped British history from the 13th to late-20th century.
The May update includes a special focus on the history of British cinema, from the silent films of the 1910s to 1970s thrillers such as Get Carter. The update marks the fiftieth anniversary of three celebrated British films, Mary Poppins, Zulu, and Becket with biographies of the actors, directors, and cinematographers involved with these works.
It includes, for the first time, an entry for Ted Lewis which I wrote last year. On the road to greater recognition for one of Britain's literary innovators and author of arguably the best crime novel of its era, it's a signpost. But in context with the beginning of the re-publication of Lewis's novels by Soho Press later this year, it seems that things are moving in the right direction.
Highlights and extracts from the update, along with an introduction to the new content, are freely available at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography website from Thursday 29 May.