An English author of spiritually-themed novels and poetry, he is best known for popular works such as The Far Hills, Cry of Morning, and Tread Softly in This Place. His radio and television screenplays include The Voodoo Dancer, Exit from Prague, and Comeback.
He began publishing his poetry in his high school newspaper. He published his first novel, The Far Hills, in 1952.
In 1942, he converted to Roman Catholicism.
He married Veronica McAdie just three weeks after meeting her. He was born in Essex, England, and he later moved to Dublin, Ireland.
He won an award for his documentary film, which focused on the life of Irish poet Francis Ledwidge.