But he was also an all-round literary phenomenon. He was mates with Eric Gill and Dylan Thomas, wrote a verse satire on Mussolini and produced a number of experimental novels which have been said to anticipate the French nouveaux romans of the 1950s- Robbe-Grillet, Duras, people like that. He is also remembered as the person whom George Orwell beat up with a metal-shod shooting stick- an incident that strengthens my impression that Orwell (for all that he was a great writer) was a deeply unpleasant man.
In old age Heppenstall became very right wing and somewhat mad and wrote a series of pot-boilers about crime and criminals. He died in 1981- aged 70. Most of his books- including the ground-breaking novels- are out of print.