novelist, playwright, and screenwriter, educated at Wadham College, Oxford. His novels include Imaginary Toys (1961), The White Father (1964, set in Africa), and the more experimental The Undiscovered Country (1968), in which a narrator, ‘Julian Mitchell’, describes his school and university days, and his relationship with ‘Charles Humphries’, a boyhood friend who, on his suicide, leaves Julian the manuscript of his novel A New Satyricon, which he proceeds to transcribe.
Mitchell then turned to the theatre and television, achieving West End success with Half‐Life (1977), a play about an ageing archaeologist, and Another Country (perf. 1981, pub. 1982, filmed 1984), which examines the pressures and conflicts that turned some of the young intellectuals of the 1930s towards Marxism. Later plays include Francis (1983), on the life of Francis of Assisi, and After Aida (1986). His screenplays include a study of Wilde (1998, played by Stephen Fry); he has also written stage adaptations of the novels of Compton‐Burnett and TV adaptations of Colin Dexter's ‘Inspector Morse’ Oxford detective stories.