Tuesday, January 1, 2013

British Women Writers of Fiction 1910-1960 (A)

For more information about this list, please see the introduction, linked below.

You can download the entire list in a single PDF. Clicking on the link below will open a Google Docs page displaying the entire list in PDF. To save a copy of the PDF, just click on the little down arrow in the upper left. You can also print the list from the Google Docs page, but be warned that it now weighs in at 418 pages!


Updated 6/9/2017


[Current total: 1,893 writers]


ABBOTT, NINA (1860 - c1932)
(pseudonym of Selina Sara Ellington Collinson, aka Nana Collinson)
1930s - 1940s
Mother of novelist and memoirist Naomi JACOB. Her claim to be on this list is shaky. Although she is credited as the author of three novels—Look at the Clock: A Yorkshire Novel (1939), Shadow Drama (1940), and Balance Suspended (1942)—it seems that the first was completed by her daughter after her death, and the other two were written entirely by Jacob from Abbott's notes. Jacob wrote about her in her memoir Robert, Nana and—Me: A Family Chronicle (1952).

Aberconway, Baroness
          see MACLAREN, CHRISTABEL

ABRAHALL, CLARE [CONSTANCE MARIA] HOSKYNS (c1900 - 29 Nov 1990)
(née Drury, aka C. M. Drury, aka Clare Constance Maria Drury)
1930s – 1970s
Novelist and author of children's fiction and biography. Kit Norris, Schoolgirl Pilot (1937), is in part a school story, as is Chris of Crighton's (1964). Other fiction includes From Serf To Page (1939) and Priscilla's Caravan (1939). In the 1940s she was divorced from her husband, who then married another girls' author, L[ois]. J[ennet]. OGLE.

Acland, Alice
          see MARRECO, ANNE

ACLAND, ELEANOR [MARGARET] (c1880 - 1933)
(née Cropper, aka Margaret Burneside)
1890s – 1930s
Friends, along with her husband, with E. M. Forster. Author of the pseudonymous early novel The Delusion of Diana (1898), and two more under her own name—In the Straits of Hope (1904), about artists in Chelsea, and Dark Side Out (1921), a multi-generational family saga. Her memoir, Goodbye for the Present, appeared in 1935.

ADAIR, HAZEL (30 May 1900 - 1 Oct 1990)
(pseudonym of Hazel Iris Addis, née Wilson, aka A. J. Heritage, aka H. I. Addis)
1930s – 1950s
Often confused with Hazel Joyce Willett below (including in the British Library catalogue). Author of more than 20 novels, including Wanted a Son (1935), A Torch Is Lit (1936), Over the Stile (1938), Sparrow Market (1938), Mahogany and Deal (1940), Quoth the Raven (1947), and No Bells Rang (1953). See here for information on both Hazel Adairs.

ADAIR, HAZEL (9 July 1920 – 22 Nov 2015)
(pseudonym of Hazel Joyce Willett, married names Mackenzie, Hamblin, and Marriott, aka Clare Nicol)
1950s, 1980s
Television actress, producer, and writer, sometimes confused with Hazel Iris Addis above. She co-wrote two novelizations from television programs, Stranger from Space (1953) and Life in Emergency Ward 10 (1959). Later, she published an additional novel, as Clare Nicol, Blitz on Balaclava Street (1983), about an ambulance driver in WWII. See here for more information on both Hazel Adairs.

Adair, Cecil
          see EVERETT-GREEN, EVELYN

ADAM, RUTH [AUGUSTA] (14 Dec 1907 – 3 Feb 1977)
(née King)
1930s – 1960s
Journalist, historian, and author of nine socially conscious novels. Her debut, War on Saturday Week (1937), follows a group of siblings from childhood during World War I to the outbreak of World War II (only a fear at the time the novel was published, but it must have seemed inevitable). I'm Not Complaining (1938), which was reprinted by Virago in the 1980s, is about a schoolteacher's growing political involvement in Depression-era England. There Needs No Ghost (1939), humorously contrasts the reactions of villagers and Bloomsburyites to the Munich Crisis. Murder in the Home Guard (1942) is Adam's only experiment with a murder mystery, set in an English village which faces its first bombing raid and the murder of a Home Guardsman on the same night. A House in the Country (1957) is a humorous look at a group of friends living together in a former manor house. Her other novels, often reflecting her concern about children of broken or unhappy homes, are Set to Partners (1947), So Sweet a Changeling (1954), Fetch Her Away (1954), and Look Who's Talking (1960). Adam also published the important historical survey A Woman’s Place, 1910-1975 (1975, reprinted by Persephone), and two girls' stories—A Stepmother for Susan of St. Bride's (1958) and Susan and the Wrong Baby (1961). From 1944-1976, Adam wrote a women's page for the Church of England Newspaper, and her perspective as a Christian socialist feminist was undoubtedly surprising on occasion for that readership, but apparently popular, as she continued for more than three decades. I've written about several of Adam's books—see here.

ADAMS, AGNES [LOUISE LOGAN] (10 Aug 1891 – 6 Jun 1951)
(aka Agnes Logan)
1920s – 1930s
Author of more than a dozen works of fiction for children and adults. Doddles (1920) and Doddles Makes Things Hum (1927) are two school-related stories mentioned by Sims & Clare. Other children's titles include Our Lil: A Village Story (1923), The Cottage in the Woods (1925), and Those Shepton Children (1928). Her three adult novels, published under her pseudonym, were The Necessary Man (1929), There Is a Tide (1930), and Comfort Me with Apples (1936).

Adams, Lily Moresby
          see BARRINGTON, E.

ADAMSON, MARGOT ROBERT (1898 – 15 Feb 1979)
1930s – 1960s
Scottish poet, travel writer, and novelist. She published two novels in the 1930s—Render Unto Caesar (1934) and Chapter & Verse (1937), the latter described as "[a] dramatic novel set in a Scottish Highland village"—then waited nearly three decades to publish her third and final novel, A Rope of Sand (1965), about Mary Queen of Scots.

ADCOCK, ALMEY ST. JOHN (15 Mar 1894 – 19 Feb 1986)
(married name Arundel, aka Hilary March)
1920s – 1940s
Sister of Marion St. John WEBB. Author of nearly a dozen novels under her own name and three under her pseudonym. Reviews suggest they tend toward the bleak. Titles are The Man Who Lived Alone (1923), This Above All (1924), Master Where He Will (1926), Winter Wheat (1926), Wet Weather (1927), The Judas Tree (1928), Simon Wisdom (1929), Poacher's Moon (1929), A Widow on Richmond Green (1930), The Street Paved with Water (1930), Up Hill (1932), The Woman at Iron Crag (1934), Tin Town (1939), and The Warped Mirror (1948).

Addis, H. I.
          see ADAIR, HAZEL (1900-1990)

ADENEY, GLADYS ELLEN (1885 - 1970)
(married name Easdale, aka Francis Adoney, aka Gladys Ellen Killin)
1950s
Described in her archives as having spent her life "on the margins of the London literary and musical scene," Adeney numbered Virginia WOOLF and Vita SACKVILLE-WEST among her friends. Her colorful memoir, Middle Age, 1885-1932 (1935), was originally published anonymously, then under her Killin pseudonym. Her one novel, Don't Blame the Stars (1951), was published under her Adoney pseudonym.

Adler, Irene
          see STORR, CATHERINE

Adoney, Francis
          see ADENEY, GLADYS ELLEN

AGNEW, [ALEXANDRA] GEORGETTE (1865 – 12 Jun 1957)
(née Christian, aka Nevin Halys)
1890s – 1910s
Playwright, poet, and author of five volumes of light romantic fiction—Marianna and Other Stories (1899), The Countess: A Summer Idyll (1905), The Night that Brings Out Stars (1908), The Bread Upon the Waters (1911), and Elaine's Party (1913). After 1913, she appears to have written mostly poetry and drama, some using her pseudonym.

AIKEN, JOAN [DELANO] (4 Sept 1924 – 4 Jan 2004)
(married names Brown and Goldstein)
1950s – 2000s
Novelist and children's author whose first story collection, All You've Ever Wanted, appeared in 1953. Best known for The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (1962), set in an alternate historical version of England, and the series of nearly a dozen sequels that followed it, Aiken also wrote ghost tales, including The Haunting of Lamb House (1991), which features Henry James and E. F. Benson as characters, a series of mysteries including Trouble with Product X (1966), and a series of Jane Austen sequels.

Ainsworth, Harriet
          see CADELL, ELIZABETH

Airlie, Catherine
          see MACLEOD, JEAN SUTHERLAND

Alan, Jane
          see CHISHOLM, LILIAN MARY

ALAN, MARJORIE (1905 - 1968)
(pseudonym of Doris Marjorie Bumpus)
1940s – 1950s
Mystery novelist about whom little seems to be known. Author of eight novels in all—Masked Murder (1945, aka Dark Prophecy), set at a prewar house party, Murder in November (1946, aka Rue the Day), Murder Next Door (1950), Murder at Puck's Cottage (1951), The Ivory Locket (1951), Dark Legacy (1953), Murder Looks Back (1955), and Murder in a Maze (1956).

ALBANESI, ADELAIDE MARIA (1859 – 16 Oct 1936)
(pseudonym of Effie Albanesi, née Henderson, aka Effie Rowlands)
1890s – 1930s
Author of more than 200 romantic novels, which seem to have been characterized by gushing prose and fainting heroines. Titles include Peter, A Parasite (1901), The Brown Eyes of Mary (1905), The Mistress of the Farm (1910), Poppies in the Corn (1911), The House That Jane Built (1921), Out of a Clear Sky (1925), Claire and Circumstances (1928), Princess Charming (1931), and The Top of the Tree (1937).

ALCOCK, DEBORAH (1835 – 15 Jan 1913)
1870s – 1910s
Victorian novelist whose final works appeared in 1910. Her most famous novel, The Spanish Brothers (1870), dealt with Protestant martyrs in the 16th century. Others include The Roman Students (1883), Geneviève (1889), By Far Euphrates (1897), Done and Dared in Old France (1907), No Cross, No Crown (1910), and The King's Service (1910).

ALDINGTON, [JESSIE] MAY (1872 - 1954)
(née Godfree, later married name Watkins)
1900s – 1910s
Mother of novelist Richard Aldington and innkeeper at the Mermaid Inn in Rye. Author of several novels of Kentish village life, including Love Letters That Caused a Divorce (1905), Meg of the Salt-Pans (1909), A Man of Kent (1913), and The King Called Love (1913).

ALEXANDER, MIRIAM (1879 - ????)
(married name Stokes)
1910s – 1920s
Author of five novels, at least some of them historical in theme and most focused on Ireland. Her debut, The House of Lisronan (1912, aka Beyond the Law), set during the 17th century Williamite War, went through six editions in 1912 alone. Others are The Port of Dreams (1912), The Ripple (1913), Miss O'Corra, M.F.H. (1915), and The Green Altar (1924).

ALEXANDER, RUTH (1879 – 18 Aug 1958)
(married name Rogers)
1920s – 1950s
Editor, literary agent, travel writer, and novelist. Author of more than a dozen novels in all, though several of her earliest works were among the first novelizations of plays and films, including Blackmail (1929), Rome Express (1932), and The Man Who Knew Too Much (1936). Her own novels include Thirst (1925), The Human Element (1926), Morning Glory (1934), Give Me Your Heart (1944), Engagement with a Star (1945), What Thing Is Fairest (1947), Beyond the Desert (1948), The Heart's Journey (1950), and Comes in the Light (1951).

Alien
          see DAWSON, LOUISA ALICE

ALLAN, DOT (1892 - 1964)
1920s – 1950s
Scottish author of 10 novels. Hunger March (1934) explores class in Glasgow during the Depression, while Makeshift (1928) is about the troubled adolescence of an aspiring writer. The others are The Syrens (1921), The Deans (1929), Deepening River (1932), Virgin Fire (1935), John Mathew, Papermaker (1948), Mother of Millions (1953), The Passionate Sisters (1955), and Charity Begins at Home (1958). See here for more information.

ALLAN, MABEL ESTHER (11 Feb 1915 – 14 May 1998)
(aka Jean Estoril, aka Priscilla Hagon, aka Anne Pilgrim)
1940s – 1990s
Prolific author of nearly 200 books, many of them for children and young girls, including school stories (usually focused on progressive schools and unconventional heroines), career stories, coming-of-age tales, holiday adventures, ballet stories, murder mysteries, and suspense. Some of her children's titles have been reprinted by Girls Gone By and Fidra in recent years, and several previously unpublished works for adults were released by Greyladies. Titles include The Glen Castle Mystery (1948), Over the Sea to School (1950), The MacIains of Glen Gillean (1952), Here We Go Round (1954), Margaret Finds a Future (1954), The Vine-Clad Hill (1956, aka Swiss Holiday), Black Forest Summer (1957), Catrin in Wales (1959), The Ballet Family (1963), and many, many more. She is also particularly known for her "Drina" series of ballet stories, written under her Jean Estoril pseudonym. I've written about some of her work here.

ALLAN, MEA (MARY ELEANOR) (23 Jun 1909 – 29 Aug 1982)
1940s – 1960s
Journalist, war correspondent, editor, writer on gardening and botany, and author of four novels. According to Wikipedia, Allan "was the first female war correspondent accredited by the British military and the first female news editor on Fleet Street." Her novels are Lonely (1942), Change of Heart (1943), which imagines the Allies winning WWII only to find Nazism regaining ground, Rose Cottage (1961), and Base Rumour (1962), apparently set on the Suffolk coast. Later work includes several books about gardening, as well as biographical works about well-known botanists and gardeners, such as The Tradescants: Their Plants, Gardens and Museum, 1570-1662 (1964) and The Hookers of Kew, 1785-1911 (1967).

ALLARDICE, ANNE (8 Jan 1895 – 8 Dec 1983)
(pseudonym of Alice Maude Ellen Sampson)
1930s
Author of two novels—Unwillingly to School (1930) and The Opening Gate (1932), the latter about "an English family before the First World War."

Allardyce, Paula
          see TORDAY, URSULA

ALLATINI, ROSE [LAURE] (23 Jan 1890 – 22 Nov 1980)
(aka R. Allatini, aka A. T. Fitzroy, aka Eunice Buckley, aka Lucian Wainwright, aka Mrs. Cyril Scott)
1910s – 1970s
Author of nearly 40 novels over a staggering 64 year career, most under her several pseudonyms and many highlighting enlightened views on social issues. Best known for her pacifist novel Despised and Rejected (1918), also an early sympathetic portrayal of homosexuality, which was widely banned. Other titles include Happy Ever After (1914), Requiem (1919), When I Was a Queen in Babylon (1921), Girl of a Good Family (1935), Oracle (1937), Family from Vienna (1941), Destination Unknown (1942), Rhapsody for Strings (1945), Dark Rainbow (1955), Instead of a Rocking Horse (1957), Conjuring Trick (1963), Wonder-Worker (1975), and Work of Art (1978). She was the companion of Melanie MILLS for a number of years.

ALLEN, ALICE MAUD (dates unknown)
(aka Allen Havens, née Bowers?)
1920s – 1930s
Author of at least four novels, including the politically-engaged Silhouette (1923), set at a post-WWI "Working Women's Conference," and The Trap (1931), which focuses on a wide range of characters and their experiences with and reactions to the war. The latter was published by the Hogarth Press. Others include Baxters o' the Moor (1922), One Tree (1926), a volume of poetry, The Upland Field (1937), and a biography of Sophy Sanger (1958).

Allen, Barbara
          see FINLAY, VIOLET VIVIAN

ALLEN, GWENDOLINE (dates unknown)
1940s
Untraced author of one girls' school story, The Fourth Form at White Abbey (1945), which was reprinted later the same year in an expanded edition.

ALLEN, PHOEBE [ANNE] (1850 – 18 Feb 1933)
1870s – 1930
Author of more than 30 volumes of fiction for children and adults. Her debut, Gilmory (1876), appeared while she was in her teens. Other titles include The Black Witch of Honeycritch (1886), The Boys of Prior's Dean (1891), Whispering Tongues (1896), Mafeking Day (1901), Granfer Garland (1906), The Mystery of Coxfolly (1908), and Minon, or, The Cat That the King Looked At (1930).

ALLINGHAM, EMMIE [EMILY JANE] (1879 – 5 Mar 1960)
(née Hughes)
1920s
Mother of mystery writer Margery ALLINGHAM and author of nine novels—Betty's Triumph (1925), The Quiet One of the Family (1926), The Path She Chose (1928), The Opening Door (1928), The One She Betrayed (1928), and Joyce the Second (1929).

ALLINGHAM, MARGERY [LOUISE] (20 May 1904 – 30 Jun 1966)
(aka Maxwell March, née Hughes)
1920s – 1960s
Prominent "Golden Age" mystery writer, best known for her series featuring detective Albert Campion (and his manservant, Lugg), of which The Tiger in the Smoke (1952), which vividly portrays the underworld of postwar London, is often considered her best. Allingham's own favorite was reportedly The Beckoning Lady (1955), which may have been partially autobiographical. Other mysteries include The Crime at Black Dudley (1929), Police at the Funeral (1931), Sweet Danger (1933), The Fashion in Shrouds (1938), Traitor's Purse (1941), More Work for the Undertaker (1949), and Hide My Eyes (1958). During WWII, she wrote three books not featuring Campion—the thriller Black Plumes (1940), a historical family tale, Dance of the Years (1943), and The Oaken Heart (1941), a non-fiction look at the early days of the war in a small Essex village.

Amber, Miles
          see COBDEN, ELLEN

Ames, Rachel
          see GAINHAM, SARAH [RACHEL STAINER]

AN OLD GIRL (dates unknown)
(pseudonym of ????)
1920s
Pseudonym of an unknown author who published a single school story some time in the 1920s (even the exact date is elusive) called Susie's Schooldays in France.

ANDERSON, HELEN M[AUD]. (1879 – 8 Dec 1947)
1920s – 1930s
Not to be confused with Helen Anderson, American author of the lesbian-themed Pity for Women (1937). Scottish author of four novels of the 1920s and 1930s—Domenico (1922), Kelston of Kells (1927), Golden Lads (1928), and Sons of the Forge (1932).

ANDERSON, KATHLEEN [AGNES CICELY] (21 Jan 1888 - 1972)
(aka Sister Mary Catherine)
1930s – 1940s
Biographer and author of four novels, including Brother Petroc's Return (1937), The Dark Wheel (1939), The Spark in the Reeds (1941), and The Flight and the Song: A Tale of Old Devon (1946), the last co-written with her sister, novelist Lilian M. ANDERSON. She also wrote four biographies—Henry Suso, Saint and Poet (1947), Steward of Souls: A Portrait of Mother Margaret Hallahan (1952), Margaret, Princess of Hungary (1954), and The Chronicles of Thomas Frith (1957).

ANDERSON, LILIAN M[AY]. (7 Nov 1889 - 1984)
(married name Robertson)
1920s – 1930s
Sister of Kathleen ANDERSON and author of a dozen novels, probably romantic in nature. Titles are The Taming of Becky (1920), A Lass Worth Winning (1920), The Rainbow Girl (1921), Breaking Her In (1921), Solo Voyager (1921), A Little Nobody (1922), A Contract of Marriage (1927), Misjudged (1929), Motherless Beauty (1931), The Village Vamp (1934), Betty Miller (1934), and Second Best (1937).

ANDERSON, VERILY (12 Jan 1915 – 16 Jul 2010)
(née Bruce, later married name Paget)
1950s – 1970s
Author of six humorous memoirs, including Spam Tomorrow (1956), about her adventures in World War II, and subsequent tales of family and school life—Our Square (1957), Beware of Children (1958), Daughters of Divinity (1960), The Flo Affair (1963), and Scrambled Egg for Christmas (1970). I wrote about some of those titles here. She also wrote the Brownies series of children’s fiction (1960-1977), three children's books focused on the York family—Vanload to Venice (1961), Nine Times Never (1962), and The Yorks in London (1964)—a girls' story called Clover Cloverdale (1974), and three biographical works about her own family's history—The Northrepps Grandchildren (1968), The Last of the Eccentrics: A Life of Rosslyn Bruce (1972), Friends and Relations (1980), and The De Veres of Castle Hedingham (1993). Beware of Children, about the Andersons' time running a holiday home for children, was filmed as No Kidding in 1960, and, oddly, featured Geraldine McEwan in the lead and Joan Hickson as the cook who liked her drink rather too much. Both actresses, of course, are best known now for playing Agatha Christie's Miss Marple in two different television adaptations of the novels.

ANDREWS, LUCILLA [MATHEW] (21 Nov 1919 – 3 Oct 2006)
(aka Diana Gordon, aka Joanna Marcus, aka Lucilla Crichton)
1950s – 1990s
Author of more than 30 romances, most with hospital settings, and of a powerful memoir, No Time for Romance (1977), about nursing in London during World War II, heavily relied upon by Ian McEwan in writing Atonement and reviewed by me here. She was reportedly asked by her publisher to revise her first novel, The Print Petticoat (1954), to remove intense wartime content based on her own experiences. However, she was later able to set several novels in wartime, including One Night in London (1979) The Phoenix Syndrome (1987), and Frontline 1940 (1990). Other works include The Quiet Wards (1956), A House for Sister Mary (1966), Highland Interlude (1968), In Storm and In Calm (1975), A Weekend in the Garden (1981), and The Sinister Side (1996).

ANNESLEY, MAUDE (11 Jan 1871 – 6 Nov 1930)
(pseudonym of Maude Gertrude Webster-Wedderburn, married names Hadden, Rider, and Brownlow)
1900s – 1920s
Author of at least ten novels, most famously The Wine of Life (1907), about a divorced woman, which was accused of "flagrant outrages against good taste," and Wind Along the Waste (1910), both of which became early silent films. If online accounts can be believed, her personal life was a dramatic one, including adultery, drugs, and the occult, and she apparently died in an asylum. Her other novels are The Door of Darkness (1908), This Day's Madness (1909), Shadow Shapes (1911), All Awry (1911), Nights and Days (1912), The Sphinx in the Labyrinth (1913), Blind Understanding (1916), and Where I Made One (1923). She also wrote a memoir, My Parisian Year: A Woman's Point of View (1912).

ANSLE, DOROTHY PHOEBE (27 Jul 1890 – 7 Jan 1983)
(married name Keogh, aka Laura Conway, aka Hebe Elsna, aka Vicky Lancaster, aka Lyndon Snow)
1920s – 1970s
Prolific author, under multiple pseudonyms, of romantic fiction, including such titles as Child of Passion (1928), Other People's Fires (1930), All Swans (1932), Brief Heroine (1937), This Clay Suburb (1938), Sometimes Spring Returns (1940), Everybody Loves Lorraine (1941), None Can Return (1942), The Happy Cinderella (1943), The Gilded Ladder (1945, reviewed by Leaves & Pages here), The Door Between (1950), Strange Visitor (1956), and Minstrel's Court (1963).

ANSON, KATHLEEN (30 Oct 1870 – 22 Jan 1955)
(pseudonym of Katharine Addison)
1920s
Author of a single novel, Deep Waters (1922), about which little information is available.

ANSTRUTHER. E[ILEEN]. H[ARRIET]. (25 Jun 1884 – 17 May 1970)
(née Wilkinson, aka Mrs. J. C. Squire)
1910s – 1920s
Author of three novels—The Farm Servant (1916), a love story set partly in pre-war Paris, The Husband (1919), which deals humorously with women's suffrage, and Five in Family (1924), which seems to be a humorous family story. A contemporary review suggests that all three may feature the same family or at least overlapping characters.

ANTONY, JONQUIL (5 Oct 1912 – 6 Dec 1980)
(married name Wyse)
1940s – 1950s
Best known as the main scriptwriter for "Mrs Dale's Diary," a popular BBC radio serial for more than two decades, Antony also published several novels, some linked to the series, such as Mrs. Dale at Home (1952). Other titles include The Robinson Family (1948, co-written with Lesley Wilson), The Malindens (1951), and Paradise Square (1952).

APPLETON, MARJORIE [IRENE] (17 Jan 1897 – 21 Aug 1963)
1940s
Journalist, historian, and author of at least two novels, Anything Can Happen (1942), about a domestic servant conscripted into work in a munitions factory, and Under One Roof (1943), about which I've found no details. She also published a non-fiction work, East of Singapore (1942), and a later work of history, They Came to New Zealand: An Account of New Zealand from the Earliest Times up to the Middle of the Nineteenth Century (1958).

ARBOR, JANE (8 Sept 1903 – 4 Feb 1994)
(pseudonym of Eileen Norah Owbridge)
1940s – 1980s
Author of more than two dozen romantic novels, including This Second Spring (1948), No Lease for Love (1950), Flower of the Nettle (1953), City Nurse (1956), Lake of Shadows (1964), The Other Miss Donne (1971), Roman Summer (1973), and Handmaid to Midas (1982).

ARCHER, [GERTRUDE] MARGARET (5 Dec 1913 - 2001)
(née Temple)
1940s – 1950s
Author of eight novels, the first two of which, at least—Canter's Chase (1945) and Gull Yard (1947)—are mysteries. The latter is set in the Victorian period. Other titles are Flowers for Teacher (1948), The Silent Sisters (1950), Jonathan Guest (1952), The Gentle Rain (1952), See a Fine Lady (1955), and Pardoned in Heaven (1956).

ARDEN, CLIVE (8 Feb 1888 – 4 Oct 1973)
(pseudonym of Lily Clive Nutt)
1920s – 1930s
Author of eight novels, which look like melodrama. Sinners in Heaven (1923), according to a blurb, contrasts "life in a country village with its smallness of outlook, snobbishness, and spite, and life in the wild places of the world, where convention and tradition are unknown." That novel and her follow-up, Enticement (1925), were made into films. The others are The Veil of Glamour (1926), The Spider and the Fly (1928), The Fetters of Eve (1931), The Enchanted Spring (1935), The Eagle's Wing (1938), and Anthony Keeps Tryst (1940).

ARDEN, MARY (1901 – 1931)
(pseudonym of Violet Murry, née le Maistre)
1920s
Second wife of John Middleton Murry (the first being Katherine Mansfield). Murry published only one story collection, Luck and Other Stories (1927), reviewed warmly by Naomi ROYDE-SMITH, before she—like Mansfield—succumbed to tuberculosis. Not to be confused with the untraced author from the 1940s, below.

ARDEN, MARY (dates unknown)
(sometimes incorrectly identified as Violet Murry)
1940s
Untraced author of two wartime novels, The House of Mystery (1940) and The Woman in Black (1944). Details are scarce, but she cannot, as some sources suggest, be Violet Murry, who published one story collection as Mary Arden (see above). Murry, second wife of Katherine Mansfield's widower, died in 1931.

ARMISTEAD, LORNA [MARGARET] (27 May 1906 – 25 Sept 2001)
(married name Marsden)
1930s
Author of one novel, Death of Henrietta (1934), a dark tale of war and family life which was scathingly reviewed in The Bookman. The critic bemoaned the fact that authors were still producing the type of book satirized by Stella GIBBONS in Cold Comfort Farm.

ARMITAGE, MARIGOLD [PATRICIA] (29 Nov 1920 – 29 Nov 2001)
(née Harris)
1950s – 1960s
Daughter of Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris and author of two novels of postwar Irish hunting life—A Long Way to Go (1952), described by Lionel Gamlin as a "vastly entertaining story of a gloriously unbalanced hunting community in County Tipperary," and its sequel, A Motley to the View (1961). She reportedly worked on a third volume, to be called A Run for My Money, but it was never completed.

ARMOUR, MARGARET (10 Sept 1860 – 13 Oct 1943)
(married name MacDougall)
1910s, 1940s
Scottish poet, novelist, and compiler of a significant ghost story compilation, The Eerie Book (1898). She appears to have written only two novels—Agnes of Edinburgh (1911), which deals with women's suffrage, and the much later The Imposter and the Poodle (1940).

ARMSTRONG, JULIET (21 Sept 1895 - 1979)
(pseudonym of Nancy Violet Campbell, née Morison)
1930s – 1970s
Author of more than 40 romantic novels for Mills & Boon, including Single Ticket (1938), The Singing Flame (1940), Frail Amazon (1941), Who Pays the Piper (1943), I'll Never Marry! (1945), Caught in a Moonbeam (1950), The House of the Swallows (1955), Mirror to Miranda (1960), and Wind Through the Vineyard (1969).

ARMSTRONG, MAVIS (dates unknown)
1930s
Untraced author of two novels, presumably romantic in nature—Her Wonderful Love (1930) and An Empty Triumph (1932).

ARMSTRONG, M[ARY]. VERA (?22 Apr 1904 - ?1992)
(uncertain identification)
1940s - 1950s
Author of the school story Maris of Glenside (1953) and of two other books for children that were focused on Guiding—Twenty Tales (1949) and Rival Camps (1950).

ARNOLD, MRS. J[OHN]. O[LIVER]. (1860 - 1933)
(pseudonym of Adelaide Victoria Arnold, née England [listed in British Library catalogue as "Mrs. A. V. Arnold"])
1910s – 1920s
Author of ten novels. Fire i' the Flint (1911) was described as "Hardyesque" by one source, while Megan of the Dark Isle (1914) was described as "unnecessarily gruesome." The Woman in Blue (1922) and The Merlewood Mystery (1928) seem to be supernatural thrillers. The others are The Fiddler (1911), Honours Easy (1912), Requital (1913), Garth (1921), 'Scutcheon Farm (1926), and The Clue (1927).

ARNOLD, LILIAN S[ARAH]. (1872 – 5 Oct 1950)
1900s – 1930s
Author of nine novels, about which little information is available. Titles are Liege Lady (1903), Also Joan (1911), The Storm-Dog: A Romance of Cornwall (1912), The Enchanting Distance (1915), The Something Better (1921), Draped Idols (1923), The Second Wife (1924), The Sinner that Repented (1925), and Earthquake in Surrey (1932).

Arnold, Lyn
          see WOOD, MOLLY

ARTHUR, FRANCES BROWNE (c1855 – 16 Feb 1920)
(aka Ray Cunningham)
1880s – 1930s
Niece of poet Frances Browne. Author of Scottish-themed novels and children's fiction under her own name and her pseudonym. Titles include Two Little Travellers (1903), The Laidlaws of Lammerlaw (1913), Mother Maud (1922). Several titles published in the 1930s, well after Arthur's death, appear to be reprints or serial stories published separately.

Arundel, Edith
          see MAYBURY, ANNE

ARUNDALE, PAMELA [CONSTANCE] (22 Apr 1919 – 28 Oct 2003)
(née Paige)
1950s
Author of a single novel, Bread and Olives: A Light-Hearted Tale of a Mediterranean Island (1957), set in a village on Cyprus, the main character of which The Spectator compared to Aunt Dot from Rose MACAULAY's The Towers of Trebizond.

Ashby, R[uby]. C[onstance].
          see FERGUSON, RUBY

Ashe, Mary Ann
          see BRAND, CHRISTIANNA

ASHFORD, DAISY (7 Apr 1881 – 15 Jan 1972)
(nickname of Margaret Mary Julia Ashford, married name Devlin)
1910s
Best known for The Young Visiters (1919), a short novel written when she was 9 years old, published—spelling errors and misunderstanding of adult culture intact—to enormous success when she was in her late 20s. It was reprinted 18 times the year it was published, and was dramatized and made into a musical and a film. Several of her other childhood writings appeared in Daisy Ashford: Her Book (1920) and The Hangman's Daughter and Other Stories (1983). Ashford was reportedly rather bewildered by the phenomenal success of her work, and felt that the praise belonged "to a Daisy Ashford of so long ago that she seems almost another person." She did not publish as an adult, though she began a memoir late in life, which she destroyed before her death.

ASHLEY, CHRISTINE (dates unknown)
1920s – 1930s
Untraced author of more than a dozen romantic novels, including The Marriage Lie (1921), A Just Impediment (1924), For Better, For Worse (1925), Her Wastrel Wooer (1928), The Price of Her Silence (1928), The Heart of a Humbug (1929), The Man She Wanted (1930), and Her Tangled Life (1931).

ASHTON, HELEN [ROSALINE] (18 Oct 1891 – 27 Jun 1959)
(married name Jordan)
1910s – 1950s
A trained doctor (though she stopped practicing when she married) and author of nearly 30 novels. Pierrot in Town (1913) and Almain (1914) deal with bohemian life in London, while several later titles have hospital settings, including the bestseller Doctor Serocold (1930), a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, Hornets' Nest (1935), and Yeoman's Hospital (1944, later filmed as White Corridors). Bricks and Mortar (1932, reprinted by Persephone), is about the life of a London architect, while The Half-Crown House (1956), which I discussed here, is about a dramatic day in the life of a family struggling to maintain its estate. A Background for Caroline (1928) reportedly draws on Ashton's own experiences nursing during WWI. Several later novels are fictionalized biographies, including William and Dorothy (1938), about the Wordsworths, and Parson Austen's Daughter (1949), about Jane herself. Other titles include Marshdikes (1917), A Lot of Talk (1927), Far Enough (1928), Mackerel Sky: A Conversation Piece (1931), Belinda Grove (1933), People in Cages (1937), Tadpole Hall (1941), Footman in Powder: A Panorama (1954), and Return to Cheltenham (1958).

ASHTON, MARY GRACE (11 Aug 1908 – 9 Jul 1980)
(married name Hills)
1920s – 1930s
Author of six novels, several of which, including her acclaimed debut Race (1927) and her third novel, The Sons of Jacob (1929), deal with relations between Jews and Gentiles in England. The others are Shackles of the Free (1928), The Lonely Journey (1931), The Eye of a Needle (1938), and The Gates of Luthany (1939).

ASHTON-JINKS, [ALICE] CICELY (4 Nov 1881 – 24 Oct 1972)
(née Hawley, married name Jinks [she added the Ashton], originally Alice Jane Hawley, she legally changed name to Alice Cecilia, which morphed into Alice Cicely)
1940s
Author of three historical novels—Child of Promise (1944), about Richard III and Anne Neville, A Heart Like Mine (1946), about Louise de la Vallière, mistress of Louis XIV, and The Rise of Françoise Scarron (1950), featuring the second wife of Louis XIV and the child murderer Catherine Voisin.

ASKEW, ALICE [JANE DE COURCY] (18 Jun 1874 – 6 Oct 1917)
(née Leake)
1900s – 1910s
Novelist who co-authored with her husband Claude an astonishing 90+ popular novels between 1904 and their deaths in 1917. Titles include The Shulamite (1904), Eve—and the Law (1905), The Plains of Silence (1907), The Devil and the Crusader (1909), Scarlet Town (1910), Helen of the Moor (1911), Bess of Bentley's: A True Shop-Girl Story (1912), The Golden Girl (1913), The Tocsin: A Romance of the Great War (1915), Nurse (1916), The Inscrutable Miss Stone (1917), Lavender's Inheritance (1920), and Evelyn (1924). In WWI, they worked together in a British field hospital in Serbia, publishing a memoir of their experience, The Stricken Land: Serbia as We Saw It (1916), and they were killed the following year when their ship was torpedoed by a German submarine.

ASKWITH, BETTY [ELLEN] (26 Jun 1909 – 10 Apr 1995)
(married name Jones)
1930s – 1960s
Biographer, poet, humorist, and novelist. She published five successful works with Theodora BENSON, including the novels Lobster Quadrille (1930) and Seven Basketfuls (1932) and three works of humor, beginning with Foreigners: or, The World in a Nutshell (1935). She published eight novels on her own—If This Be Error (1932), Green Corn (1933), Erinna (1937), The Admiral's Daughters (1947), A Broken Engagement (1950), The Blossoming Tree (1954), The Tangled Web (1960), and A Step Out of Time (1966). Late in her career, she focused on biography, particularly of prominent Victorian families.

ASQUITH, CYNTHIA [MARY EVELYN] (27 Sept 1887 – 31 Mar 1960)
(née Charteris)
1910s – 1940s
Daughter-in-law of Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, best remembered for her Diaries 1915-1918 (1968), an important addition to World War I literature, and for her popular anthologies of ghost stories, including The Ghost Book (1926), Shudders (1929), When Churchyards Yawn (1931), The Second Ghost Book (1952), and The Third Ghost Book (1955). She published two novels—The Spring House (1936), set during WWI and focused on the emotional turmoil of a soldier's wife, and One Sparkling Wave (1943), about four generations of women.

ASQUITH, MARGOT (MARGARET) [EMMA ALICE] (2 Feb 1864 – 28 Jul 1945)
(née Tennant)
1920s
Wife of Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith and mother of Elizabeth BIBESCO. Best known for her Autobiography (Volume 1, 1920, Volume 2, 1922), which was based on her diaries. Those diaries have now begun to be published as well, with the WWI diaries released in 2014. She also wrote a single novel, the semi-autobiographical Olivia (1928). She published several other memoirs, including My Impressions of America (1922), Places & Persons (1925), Lay Sermons (1927), More Memories (1933), and More or Less About Myself (1934). Rumor has it that she was the inspiration for E. F. Benson's Dodo.

Astley, Juliet
          see LOFTS, NORAH

ATKINSON, MARY EVELYN (20 June 1899 – 3 Dec 1974)
(married name Frankau)
1930s – 1960s
Author of more than 20 children's titles, including a series featuring the Lockett children, beginning with August Adventure (1936), and a later series featuring Fricka Hammond and her cousins, beginning with Castaway Camp (1951). Others include Mystery Manor (1937), The Compass Points North (1938), Challenge to Adventure (1941), The Monster of Widgeon Weir (1943), Chimney Cottage (1947), Hunter's Moon (1952), Unexpected Adventure (1955), and Where There's a Will (1961). Atkinson also wrote numerous one-act plays for women.

AUSTEN-LEIGH, LOIS [EMMA] (10 Jul 1883 - 1968)
1930s
Granddaughter of one of Jane Austen's nephews and author of four mystery novels in the 1930s—The Incredible Crime (1931), The Haunted Farm (1932), Rude Justice (1936), and The Gobblecock Mystery (1938). Incredible Crime is set at Cambridge, and is reportedly being reprinted for the first time in the British Library Crime Classics series.

AUSTIN, ALMA (dates unknown)
1920s – 1930s
Untraced author of five romantic novels—Miss Magnificent (1923), A Laggard in Love (1929), Beth Plays Up (1932), The Make-Believe Heiress (1933), and A Hard Man's Daughter (1933).

AUSTIN, PHYLLIS M[URIEL MARY]. (4 Apr 1888 - ?? Sept 1979)
(married name Coke, aka Rigby [husband's stage name])
1920s – 1930s
Wife of actor Edward Rigby and author of around 20 novels, probably romantic comedies. Titles include The Grass Eater (1921), The Gold Fish Bowl (1922), The Lovable Lunatic (1923), The Dream-Spell (1924), Valentine (1926), The Sloping Garden (1931), Sunblinds (1932), Concerto (1934), and Punch and Judas (1937).

AVERY, GILLIAN [ELISE] (30 Sept 1926 – 31 Jan 2016)
(married name Cockshut)
1950s – 1980s
Author of nearly 20 children's books, including The Warden's Niece (1957), about a Victorian girl fighting for an education and having adventures in and around Oxford, and The Elephant War (1960), also set in Victorian Oxford, about a girl whose aunt recruits her into a campaign to save a London Zoo elephant from being sent to the circus. Others include Trespassers at Charlcote (1958), The Greatest Gresham (1962), The Italian Spring (1964), A Likely Lad (1971), and Sixpence! (1979). In the early 1980s, she stopped writing children's fiction and published two adult novels, The Lost Railway (1980) and Onlookers (1983), then turned her attention to history and criticism. Non-fiction includes Nineteenth Century Children: Heroes and Heroines in English Children's Stories 1780-1900 (1965), Childhood's Pattern: A Study of the Heroes and Heroines of Children's Fiction 1770-1950 (1975), The Best Type of Girl: A History of the Girls' Independent Schools (1991), and Behold the Child: A History of American Children and Their Books 1621-1922 (1994).

AYRES, RUBY M[ILDRED] (28 Jan 1883 – 14 Nov 1955)
(married name Pocock)
1920s – 1950s
Bestselling author of well over 100 romantic novels (publishing as many as 12 novels in a single year). She had her first major success with Richard Chatterton, V.C. (1915), a wartime romance which spawned a sequel later the same year, The Long Lane to Happiness (1915). Other notable titles are Castles in Spain (1912), Invalided Out (1918), A Bachelor Husband (1920), The Second Honeymoon (1921), The Uphill Road (1921), The Man the Women Loved (1923), The Man Without a Heart (1923), Wynne of Windwhistle (1926), Spoilt Music (1927), By the Gate of Pity (1927), Life Steps In (1928), Heartbreak Marriage (1929), Silver Wedding (1937), The Little Sinner (1940), Nothing Lovelier (1942), Love Comes Unseen (1943), Love Without Wings (1953), and Dark Gentleman (1953). Many of her titles were reprinted decades after her death with only minor revisions to update them.

AYRTON, ELISABETH [EVELYN] (2 Feb 1910 – 15 Nov 1991)
(née Walshe, other married name Balchin)
1950s – 1970s
Best known for her cookbooks—among the first to utilize an historical approach—Ayrton also wrote four novels, including The Cook’s Tale (1957), described as “a love story with recipes,” The Cretan (1963), a darker novel of peasant life on Crete, Two Years in My Afternoon (1972), about a woman facing up to her husband's extramarital affairs, and Day Eight (1978), set in Kenya.

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