Walpole, Sir Hugh Seymour, 1884–1941, English novelist, b. New Zealand, educated at Cambridge. His first two novels were failures, but with Fortitude (1913) he achieved financial and literary success. He was an uneven writer who turned out colorful, descriptive prose at a rapid pace; his best-known works include the historical Herries novels— Rogue Herries (1930), Judith Paris (1931), The Fortress (1932), and Vanessa (1933). Portrait of a Man with Red Hair (1925) is probably his best horror story. There are autobiographical elements in Jeremy (1919), Jeremy and Hamlet (1923), Jeremy at Crale (1927), and The Cathedral (1922). He also wrote short stories, several plays, biographies of Joseph Conrad (1916) and Anthony Trollope (1928), and the screenplay for the film David Copperfield (1934). Walpole was knighted in 1937.
See his autobiography (3 vol., 1924, 1932, 1940); biographies by R. Hart-Davis (1952) and E. Steele (1972).