Jack Dale's Books

Jack Dale was born in London in 1923. He left school at 14 and went into the printing industry. Called up for military service during the war, he served as a soldier in North Africa and Italy. In 1953, he was awarded a TUC scholarship to Coleg Harlech. After graduating from University College Cardiff, with a degree in English Literature, he spent a year as a Teaching Fellow in the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. Back in England, he taught English in a number of secondary schools before becoming a school inspector. His writing career began properly only after retirement.
A PAIR OF SHADOWS an original novel, 251 pages estimated published 2019, A Pair Of Shadows - Amazon link

Book Cover 
The two characters, Gerry in Jeremiah's Girdle, and Alastair Goodfellow in Death On The Doorstep are two rather different persons in different situations with different backgrounds. What they have in common is an inability to concur with an every-day reality that is the social substance for the majority of everyone else and which renders the possibility of a long-lasting life for most of them. Both men would like to fall in line with those who show them affection, particularly the two separate women who offer love at a time of personal destiny. Their failure to respond fully comes about by an inability to take life as it is for most of us. They live as if nothing is truly real and that they themselves are little more than shadows of existence. For them, it would seem, that the only point in being on earth at all is to leave it as soon as possible and go somewhere else that might offer something more reliable. In that respect, both men stumble on towards the door of death quite fearlessly.

an original novel, 256 pages estimated published 2016, A Sense of Existence - Amazon link

A Sense Of Existence (cover)
Terry Capel, now just in his fifties, doesn't value very much anything or anybody, including his own life and history. If he considers books important it is because he sells them for a living, mainly old ones written by writers long dead. They had lived in times of hardships, wars and general disaster even a lot worse than those now being lived through in the 21st century, but somehow these writers succeeded in expressing a complete sense of existence in giving meaning to their work. This is Terry's problem, nothing means much to him anymore. It suits him to remain remote from and even cynical towards all relationships. Only in marriage has he ever felt intimately close towards anyone but when his wife left him he quite easily slipped back into the familiar state of misanthropy and indifference. Others, including two women making his acquaintance, one his own age, the other a few years younger, begin to badger him in making a commitment. Finding himself irretrievably involved with both women, but more romantically with one than the other, his life begins to change, much for the better at first until feminine secrets are revealed that will dramatically change his life for ever.

an original novel, 350 pages estimated published 2016, Eternal riders Of The Night - Amazon link

Riders Book Cover 
When Hades snatched Persephone away to his kingdom in the netherworld and made her his queen, he bridged the  divide between gods and mortals. A few thousand years later, at the end of the 20th century, Richard Hader, retired art teacher, plans to take 20-year-old Cora to a world where they will become eternal riders of the night.

an original novel, 235 pages estimated  published 2014, Round And Round The Fire - Amazon link  

Round & Round The Fire- book cover 
Felicity Cross, in her early 30s, divorced, on holiday by herself in Venice, sees a baby fall into the canal. A man appears, David Tratby, a marine engineer on business in the city. Suddenly he sees the drowning infant and takes action. The encounter leads to romance between Felicity and David. Back in south-west England, she returns to the independent girls’ school where she teaches modern languages. A widower, 49, he lives in Birmingham with his three teenage children. Their romantic attachment continues in the course of their journeying back and forth. In the meantime, Felicity’s ex-husband, Peter, a television director, returns and wants her back. According to her religious upbringing, he remains her husband but she put no obstacles in his desire for a divorce. More her own age and with past remembrances of his tenderness, Peter is a known case compared with the distant Tratby and his existing family. Moreover, Felicity has become accustomed to the single life and is half reluctant to make any commitment to either of her suitors. Dramatic events at the school eventually compel her to make up her mind.

an original novel, 494 pages estimated  published 2013, The Test Entire - Amazon link  

Test Entire- book cover 
Robert Lacoste, of Huguenot descent, believing he can prove himself a leader of men, joins the British Army in 1913, aged eighteen. In the battles of the First World War, he learns the commonplace truth that soldiers die easily. In love, he discovers other kinds of danger, occasionally almost as damaging. During a period of complacent peace, economic decline and extreme political developments, the British government has little time or money for soldiers, yet in the end the nation's survival depends on them.  Finally, Robert realises that every single action and thought he has experienced, both at times of peace and of war, eventually amount to a test of the complete person he wishes to be..

PALEFACE SQUAW an original novel, 352 pages  published 2002, price £7.99. ISBN 0-9526532-2-2

The mountain men, or beaver hunters, initiated the exploration and exploitation of the American West long before the gold-fields of California were discovered, before the homesteaders trekked across the plains and before the cowboys became a legend. In many ways they were tougher, bolder and more adventurous than those who followed them. To stay alive they had to accommodate themselves to a harsh climate and to the existing occupants of the territory, the American Indians. Where they could, the mountain men lived with the natives, sharing their lives, and their women. No white woman joined them until Gracie Lewis turned up, to be called, contemptuously, "nothing better than a paleface squaw". Seventeen-years-old, reaching eighteen, this is her tale, how she showed herself as courageous and hardy as any man and survived, at a price, while experiencing every kind of emotional state, from intense fear to intense love, emerging triumphant at the end.

WHERE THE TREE FALLS a paperback original, 528 pages  published 1999, price £8.99. ISBN 0-9526532-1-4


The tale follows the lives and adventures of Mollie O'Shea and her family, particularly her adopted son, Michael. A heroic survivor, her story begins in 1900 when she is eighteen and is told with warmth and passion in Book One, called "Mollie's Destiny".

Book Two recounts what happens to Michael as he grows up in the years of political conflict between left and right, including the second world war, and ends in 1953. The story is about the feelings and passions of men and women during a period as dramatic as any in the history of the human race.


 Critical comments:

"This novel is well designed. The tale gripped me." Stanley Middleton, Booker Prize Winner.

"An epic novel, "Where the Tree Falls" is a highly readable semi-autobiographical work of fiction with historical overtones." Pete, lead guitarist of "Red Monkey", Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

"I loved every page. I slowed up towards the end, rationing myself because I didn't want it to finish." Susan Stevens, from Bramhall, Cheshire, in a letter to the author.

"Many thanks for giving me so many hours of pleasure." Elsie Williams, from Poole, Dorset, in a letter to author.


THE MAN WHO LIVED ONCE, and other stories. Paperback original, £5.99. Published 1996, ISBN 0 9526532 0 6.

Nearly 3000 years ago, in the Iliad of Homer, the question was asked if it were better to live nobly like a king and die young, or live like a beggar to old age. At the end of the second millenium, we put the question differently, but it's the same one: how best to live life.

Some have everything, wealth, fame, looks. Some have little but despair.

Whatever the case, time is brief for all. These short stories present characters who live dramatically in the present and strive vigorously to make sense of their existence.


All the above books can be obtained through most bookshops or via the Internet (Amazon).