James Hilton

Franklin Library James Hilton books

Lost Horizon - World's Best Loved Books - 1981

Author Jame Hilton biography

James Hilton (1900–1954) was an English novelist and author, best known for his works of fiction, including the novel Lost Horizon, which introduced the concept of Shangri-La, a fictional utopian paradise in the Himalayas. Hilton was born on September 9, 1900, in Leigh, Lancashire, England. He attended Christ's College, Cambridge, where he studied English literature. After completing his education, Hilton worked as a journalist and wrote for various publications.

His breakthrough came with the publication of Lost Horizon in 1933. The novel tells the story of a group of people who crash-land in the Himalayas and discover the hidden, idyllic valley of Shangri-La, where inhabitants live in peace and harmony. The novel explores themes of utopia, the search for meaning in life, and the contrast between the modern world and an idealized, simpler existence. Lost Horizon was a critical and commercial success, earning Hilton the Hawthornden Prize in 1934. The book's popularity led to adaptations in various forms, including a film directed by Frank Capra in 1937.

Hilton's other notable works include Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1934), a novella about the life of a schoolteacher, which was also adapted into successful films. Random Harvest (1941) is another well-known novel that tells the story of a man suffering from amnesia and the woman who helps him recover his past.

Throughout his career, Hilton wrote numerous novels, short stories, and screenplays. His writing often explored themes of nostalgia, the impact of war, and the search for personal fulfillment. While he may not be as widely read today as some other authors, James Hilton left a lasting legacy with his influential works, and "Lost Horizon" remains a classic of 20th-century literature. James Hilton passed away on December 20, 1954, in Long Beach, California, USA.

Lost Horizon

While attempting to escape a civil war, four people are kidnapped and transported to the Tibetan mountains. After their plane crashes, they are found by a mysterious Chinese man. He leads them to a monastery hidden in "the valley of the blue moon" a land of mystery and matchless beauty where life is lived in tranquil wonder, beyond the grasp of a doomed world.

Hugh Conway saw humanity at its worst while fighting in the trenches of the First World War. Now, more than a decade later, Conway is a British diplomat serving in Afghanistan and facing war yet again—this time, a civil conflict forces him to flee the country by plane.
When his plane crashes high in the Himalayas, Conway and the other survivors are found by a mysterious guide and led to a breathtaking discovery: the hidden valley of Shangri-La.
Kept secret from the world for more than two hundred years, Shangri-La is like paradise—a place whose inhabitants live for centuries amid the peace and harmony of the fertile valley. But when the leader of the Shangri-La monastery falls ill, Conway and the others must face the daunting prospect of returning home to a world about to be torn open by war.
Thrilling and timeless, Lost Horizon is a masterpiece of modern fiction, and one of the most enduring classics of the twentieth century.

It is here, in Shangri-La, where destinies will be discovered and the meaning of paradise will be unveiled.

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