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Claud Sykes

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posted on 2023-06-19, 14:53 authored by Dirk Van HulleDirk Van Hulle
Claud Sykes

Professional actor, co-founder of the English Players, writer, and MI5 agent. Born in Ipswich, England, in 1912 Sykes married Annie "˜Daisy' Race (1885-1969), his co-star in Octavia Kenmore's and Leigh Lovel's London company. Sykes acted in two dozen productions of Ibsen between 1908 and 1914 before he and his wife relocated to Switzerland in 1915, ostensibly for Sykes's health. He and JJ first encountered one another in early 1917, and by the end of the year, Sykes was overseeing typescript production on the early episodes of Ulysses. With a mix of professional and amateur actors, JJ and Sykes formed the English Players, whose first performance was The Importance of Being Earnest in April 1918. Through late 1919, the Players produced nineteen plays in Zurich and toured Switzerland. Sykes returned to England in 1920. In 1927 Sykes read proofs and provided suggestions for the German translation of Ulysses, published that year. In the 1920s, he wrote adventure fiction in the mold of John Buchan before, in the 1930s, establishing himself as a translator and author of First World War aviation writing, often under the pseudonym "˜Vigilant'. His translation work from German proved an effective cover for counter-intelligence work and, by the mid-1930s, he was reporting to his MI5 handler using the code name 'M/S'. In 1939, he worked briefly as a double agent, feeding disinformation to a Gestapo agent in Berlin. His interests in the theatre continued: he produced plays for the Letchworth Citizens' Company in the 1920s and published the Rutland-theory inspired Alias William Shakespeare? (1947). He died in Malta in 1963. William Brockman and Ronan Crowley

Funding

James Joyce's Unpublished Letters: A Digital Edition and Text-Genetic Study.

Belgian Federal Science Policy Office

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History

Name

Claud Sykes

Gender

M

Date of birth

1883-10-21

Date of death

1963-05-24

Nationality

English

Alternative names

Claud Walter Sykes

Relationships

husband of Daisy Race

Notes

Death date verified in National Probate Calendar

Project person ID

syke83

Usage metrics

    James Joyce Correspondence: People

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