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Author: James Hilton


Hilton found literary success at an early age. His first novel, Catherine Herself, was published in 1920, when he was at the age of 20. Several of his books were international bestsellers and inspired successful film adaptations, notably Lost Horizon (1933), which won a Hawthornden Prize; Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1934); and Random Harvest (1941). Lost Horizon (1933), which sold briskly in the 1930s as one of the first Pocket Books, is sometimes referred to as the book that began the paperback revolution. The novel is said to be inspired by reading the National Geographic Magazine articles of Joseph Rock, an Austrian-American botanist and ethnologist exploring the southwestern Chinese provinces and Tibetan borderlands. The Danish father of the mathematician Sir Christopher Zeeman, Christian Zeeman, has also been claimed to be the model for the hero of the story. He disappeared while living in Japan (where Christopher Zeeman was born in 1925, and was reputed to be living incognito in a Zen Buddhist monastery.


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