Nicolas Bentley Biography

Nicolas Clerihew Bentley (14 June 1907 – 14 August 1978) was a British author and illustrator, best known for his humorous cartoon drawings in books and magazines in the 1930s and 1940s. (The son of Edmund Clerihew Bentley (inventor of the clerihew verse form), he was given the name Nicholas but opted to change the spelling.)

He married Barbara Hastings (1908–1989), a writer of children's books and the daughter of Sir Patrick Gardiner Hastings on 17 October 1934, and they had one child, Arabella in 1943.

Nicholas Clerihew Bentley was born in Britain on 14 June 1907, at Highgate in London. He was educated at University College School where he left at the age of 17, having decided that his academic abilities would not take him to university. He then enrolled at Heatherley's School of Fine Art, a prestigious private college, but left after a few months. After leaving Heatherley's, Bentley worked without pay as a clown in a circus. When this job ended, he was a film extra; and during the General Strike of 1926 he worked on the London Underground.