Born in rented lodgings at 18 Whitworth Road, South Norwood, London. Baptised James McLaren Ross, the middle name given in honour of Mrs McLaren, his parents’ landlady-cum-midwife.
He and his family move to 80 Paisley Road, Southbourne, a suburb of Bournemouth.
He and his parents move to Marseilles and then Nice. He is subsequently educated on the Riviera and in Paris. In his teens, he starts calling himself Julian Maclaren Ross. (The hyphenated surname was a latter addition.)
Leaving his parents behind in France, he returns to England, funded by an allowance from his grandfather’s estate. Initially, he lives in Bognor Regis before moving to London.
Marries Elizabeth Gott and moves back to Bognor Regis, but the marriage last only about six months.
(Accompanying picture: Maclaren-Ross (left) and his friend and landlord, C.K. Jaeger, posing on the veranda of their house in Bognor Regis)
His allowance abruptly stops, forcing him to work as a door-to-door vacuum-cleaner salesman and then as a gardener. Meanwhile, he succeeds in selling a radio play to the BBC.
Cyril Connolly includes one of Maclaren-Ross short stories in the recently launched magazine, Horizon. Shortly afterwards, Maclaren-Ross is conscripted into the army as ‘Private Ross, J’.
While stationed in a series of English coastal garrisons, he produced a string of satirical short stories about the army. These appear in Horizon, Penguin New Writing, English Story and the other leading literary magazines of the period, earning him a reputation as the new star of English writing.
Deserts from the army. On being gaoled, he suffers a breakdown. He is then sent to a military psychiatric hospital where they assess his suitability to undergo a court martial.
After a brief period of imprisonment, he settles in London where he soon finds a job as a scriptwriter on government propaganda documentaries.
Jonathan Cape publishes his first, highly rated book, The Stuff to Give the Troops: 25 Stories of Army Life.
Publishes second short story collection, Better than a Kick in the Pants.
Publishes best-selling novella, Bitten by the Tarantula: A Story of the South of France.
Publishes third collection of short stories, The Nine Men of Soho.
Publishes first full-length novel, Of Love and Hunger. Anthony Powell ranks it alongside the work of Patrick Hamilton and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Starts writing for The Times Literary Supplement.
Has his first experience as one of a team of screenwriters, who include the young Roger Vadim.
Publishes translation of Raymond Queneau’s Pierrot.
Works as a journalist and screenwriter for both film and television.
Publishes The Weeping and the Laughter, a childhood memoir which he envisages being part of an autobiographical trilogy.
Makes his debut in the pages of the weekly magazine, Punch.
Following the traumatic split from his latest girlfriend, he moves from London to Oxford, where his friend, the New Zealand writer Dan Davin, lives.
On a visit to London he encounters George Orwell’s widow, Sonia, with whom he becomes obsessed.
Publishes translation of Georges Simenon’s Maigret et la grande perche, released in England as Maigret and the Burglar’s Wife.
Moves back to London, mainly motivated by the need to be close to Sonia Orwell, whom he has begun to stalk.
Meets Leonard Woolf’s niece, Diana Bromley, with whom he begins an affair.
Publishes The Funny Bone, a collection of short stories, parodies, and memoirs.
Embarks on the first of numerous popular radio serials for BBC.
Diana Bromely gives birth to Maclaren-Ross’s only child, Alex.
Publishes Until the Day She Dies, a thriller based on one of his radio serials.
Publishes The Doomsday Book, a thriller based on one of his radio serials.
Moves with Diana and Alex to a flat in Hove.
Splits up with his wife and moves back to London.
Starts writing for the London Magazine, now under the editorship of the poet Alan Ross.
Publishes My Names Is Love, another thriller based on one of his radio serials.
Completes the first instalment of his Memoirs of the Forties, which is serialised in the London Magazine.
Suffers a fatal heart attack. Buried in an unmarked grave in Paddington Cemetery in North London.
(Accompanying picture: Maclaren-Ross's final home)
His Memoirs of the Forties is published to considerable acclaim.
(Accompanying picture: C.K. Jaeger holding Maclaren-Ross's cane)