Ian Bradley

Catching the Last Bus to Woodstock: The Genesis of Inspector Morse

An examination of the evolution of Inspector Morse from the original manuscript of the first novel


Over the course of 13 novels and 33 televised episodes, Colin Dexter’s Chief Inspector Morse was established the world over as one of the most-loved creations in detective fiction, a Sherlock Holmes or Philip Marlowe for the late 20th Century.

Rarely are we able to witness first hand the moment of creation of such legendary figures. The existence of a draft with final revisions of Colin Dexter’s first Inspector Morse novel, Last Bus To Woodstock, however, allows the reader of this present volume to do just that.

By examining the original manuscript of the novel, written in Colin Dexter’s own hand, we can witness the very first appearance of Inspector Morse on the page and follow his progress through the case as the writer develops and revises his ideas.

We will discover the ways in which the relationship between the writer and his chief creation is nourished and sustained by their shared biography and geography.

This present study, then, is offered not only as a celebration of the mercurial and enigmatic Chief Inspector but also of the humanity, warmth and mischief of his creator, Colin Dexter.


Ian Bradley









You may also like…