Shane Leslie

Born in London to Shane and Marjory Leslie, Desmond Leslie (1921-2001), was a spitfire pilot in the Royal Air Force during WWII, a writer, film maker, and musician. His publications included Careless Lives: a novel (c, 1945), Pardon My Return (1946), Angels Weep (1948), Flying Sauces have Landed (1953), Hold Back the Night (1956), The Jesus File (1975), The Amazing Mr. Lutterworth: a Novel (1958), How Britain Won the Space Race (1972), and True Horsemanship through Feel (2001).

He also wrote screenplays, including My Hands Are Clay (1947), Stranger At My Door (1950), Stranger from Venus (1954), and Them And The Thing (1960).

Desmond was also a talented pianist and musician who had foray into musique concrete, an experimental electronic music genre composed of collages of a variety of recorded sounds, such as voices, musical instruments, and sounds from the natural world. From his home studio, Desmond produced a record called Music of the Future in 1960. He also composed music for Sir Michael Redgrave’s “Living Shakespeare” recording series.

A liberal, conservationist, and idealist, Desmond supported the ordination of women priests and started a campaign to save badgers of the British countryside around London, which were being terminated because they were thought to spread tuberculosis. A member of the faith healing sect White Eagle Lodge, he believed in reincarnation.

During the last decade of his life, he spent most of his time restoring and maintaining Castle Leslie, his family estate, in Glaslough, County Monaghan, Ireland.


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