Nicholas Mosley

Nicholas Mosley, 3rd Baron Ravensdale, 7th Baronet, MC, FRSL (25 June 1923 – 28 February 2017) was an English novelist.

He was born in London in 1923. He was the eldest son of Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet, a British politician, and his first wife, Lady Cynthia Mosley, a daughter of The 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston (Viceroy of India and Foreign Secretary). In 1932 his father, Sir Oswald Mosley, founded the British Union of Fascists and became an open supporter of Benito Mussolini. In 1933, when he was only 9, Nicholas’s mother, Lady Cynthia, died and in 1936 Diana Mitford, one of the Mitford sisters, who was already his father’s mistress, became his stepmother.

As a young boy, he began to stammer and attended weekly sessions with the speech therapist Lionel Logue to help him manage it. He later said that his father claimed never really to have noticed this stammer, but still, he may, as a result of it, have been less aggressive when speaking to him than towards other people. Mosley was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. In 1940, his father was interned because of his campaigning against the war with Germany. The younger Mosley was still soon commissioned into the Rifle Brigade and saw active service in Italy, winning the Military Cross in 1945.

In 1966, Mosley succeeded his aunt Irene Curzon, 2nd Baroness Ravensdale, his mother’s elder sister, as Baron Ravensdale, thus gaining a seat in the House of Lords. On the death of his father, on 3 December 1980, he also succeeded to the Mosley Baronetcy of Ancoats. In 1983, two years after his father’s death, Lord Ravensdale published Beyond the Pale: Sir Oswald Mosley and Family 1933–1980 in which he proved to be a harsh critic of his father. He called into question his father’s motives and even Oswald’s understanding of politics. The book contributed to the Channel 4 television program Mosley (1998), based on Oswald Mosley’s life. At the end of the serial, Nicholas is portrayed meeting his father in prison to ask him about his national allegiance.

Living in London, he was a half-brother of Max Mosley, former President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

Books in order of publication:


  • Spaces of the Dark (1951)
  • The Rainbearers (1955)
  • Corruption (1957)
  • Meeting Place (1962)
  • Accident (1965) (filmed in 1966 by Joseph Losey with a screenplay by Harold Pinter)
  • Assassins (1966)
  • Impossible Object (1968; filmed in 1973 by John Frankenheimer as Story of a Love Story)
  • Natalie Natalia (1971)
  • Catastrophe Practice (1979) (Part One of the Catastrophe Practice Series)
  • Imago Bird (1980) (Part Two of the Catastrophe Practice Series)
  • Serpent (1981) (Part Three of the Catastrophe Practice Series)
  • Judith (1986) (Part Four of the Catastrophe Practice Series)
  • Hopeful Monsters (1990) (Part Five of the Catastrophe Practice Series) – which won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award.
  • Children of Darkness and Light (1995)
  • The Hesperides Tree (2001)
  • Inventing God (2003)
  • Look at the Dark (2005)
  • God’s Hazard (2009)
  • A Garden of Trees (2012)
  • Metamorphosis (2014)


  • African Switchback (1958)
  • The Life of Raymond Raynes (1961)
  • The Assassination of Trotsky (1972; filmed by Joseph Losey)
  • Julian Grenfell, his life and the times of his death, 1888–1915 (1976) Republished by Persephone Books in 1999
  • Rules of the Game: Sir Oswald and Lady Cynthia Mosley 1896-1933 (1982)
  • Beyond the Pale: Sir Oswald Mosley and Family 1933-1980 (1983)
  • Experience and Religion: A Lay Essay in Theology (1965; first published in 1965 by Hodder & Stoughton)
  • The Uses Of Slime Mould – Essays of four Decades (2004)
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