MacInnes, Colin [key], 1914–76, English novelist, b. London. Son of the novelist Angela Thirkell, MacInnes was educated in Australia and served in the British intelligence corps during World War II. He was best known for his “London novels,” which delineate various types of London life. They display MacInnes's talent for acute observation, sympathy for the underdog, and interest in sociology. City of Spades (1957), for example, vividly depicts the life of black immigrants to England. The other “London novels” are Absolute Beginners (1959) and Mr. Love and Justice (1960). Three Years To Play (1971) is a novel set in Elizabethan London in which Shakespeare is a character. The essays collected in Out of the Way (1980) reveal MacInnes's broad concern with race, class, and crime.
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