Tuesday, January 1, 2013

British Women Writers of Fiction 1910-1960 (Wh - Z)

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]


WHEATLEY, VERA [MARY] (30 Nov 1890 - 1975)
(née Semple)
1920s – 1960s
Author of nearly 20 works of fiction for adults and children. These include two related titles, Lilias Next-Door (1924) and Lilias Goes to School (1928), the latter a school story. Other children's titles are Into the Picture Screen, or, The Time of Enchantment (1931), Summer with the Morrisons (1954), and Always the Wetherby Girls (1966). Her novels for adults appear to have romantic themes, and include Devices and Desires (1926), Single-Handed (1931), A Candle of Understanding (1947), and Love Has Many Tongues (1964). Wheatley also published a biography, The Life and Work of Harriet Martineau (1957).

WHEELER, MARGARET (dates unknown)
1920s
Untraced author of one novel, The Amazing Padre (1924), which sounds like a rather feisty adventure/romance, and one girls' school story One Term at School (1925).

WHETTER, LAURA (1903 - 1960)
(married name Mannock)
1930s – 1950s
Author of more than two dozen romantic novels, including Empty of Heart (1934), Stolen Thunder (1936), A Star Danced (1940), Sunlight Sonata (1942), Dust for Dreams (1946), Whither Thou Goest (1952), Eve Without Her Eden (1953), and Bachelor Gay (1959).

Whibley, Polly
          see JAMES, PAULINE M.

WHIPPLE, AMY (1854 – 18 Apr 1940)
1900s – 1930s
Author of more than 20 children's books, many with religious themes. Titles include The Children of the Crag (1913), Winning the Prize (1917), Two Pairs and an Old (1923), Dr. Appleby's Daughters (1925), and Purple-Splendour Island (1933).

WHIPPLE, DOROTHY (26 Feb 1893 – 14 Sept 1966)
(née Stirrup)
1920s – 1960s
Popular novelist whose works have been revived by Persephone and has become their bestselling author. She published 12 volumes of fiction for adults and four more for children. Her eight full-length novels are Young Anne (1927), High Wages (1930), Greenbanks (1932), They Knew Mr. Knight (1934), The Priory (1939), They Were Sisters (1943), Because of the Lockwoods (1949), and Someone at a Distance (1953). The last, widely considered her best, is the tragic, lovely tale of a happy marriage destroyed and a woman's efforts to rebuild her life in the aftermath. It's also highly evocative of the immediate postwar years. The Priory is set during the leadup to the war, and includes a poignant scene in which a pregnant woman imagines her chances of surviving a bombing raid. (As a side note, E. M. Delafield's Provincial Lady in Wartime, published the following year, recommends The Priory to a friend as the perfect wartime reading.) And Hugh Walpole said of Greenbanks that it contained "some of the best creation of living men and women that we have had for a number of years in the English novel." Whipple's four other volumes of fiction include the novella Every Good Deed (1946) and three story collections, which have been recombined by Persephone into two new volumes, The Closed Door and Other Stories (2007) and Every Good Deed and Other Stories (2016). She also published a memoir of her childhood, The Other Day (1950), and Random Commentary (1966), subtitled "Books and Journals Kept from 1925 Onwards" and compiled from her working notebooks. The latter's first half contains glimpses of her earliest successes as an author, as well as the trials and concerns of day-to-day life, while the second half is composed of her impressions of wartime life. After her final novel got a disappointingly lukewarm reaction, she published four children's titles. I've written about Whipple several times—see here.

Whistler, Mary
          see POLLOCK, IDA [JULIE]

WHISTLER, THERESA [THOMASIN DOLIGNON] (23 Apr 1927 – 20 Jul 2007)
(née Furse)
1950s, 1980s
Best known for her biography of Walter de la Mare, Imagination of the Heart (1993), she had earlier written two children's books, The River Boy (1955), which she also illustrated, and Rushavenn Time (1988). She apparently married her brother-in-law a few years after her sister's premature death.

WHITAKER, MALACHI (23 Sept 1895 – 7 Jan 1976)
(pseudonym of Marjorie Olive Whitaker, née Taylor)
1920s – 1930s
Wildly acclaimed yet enigmatic author of four story collections—Frost in April (1929), No Luggage? (1930), Five for Silver (1932), and Honeymoon (1934). Vita SACKVILLE-WEST compared her to Katherine Mansfield. She published a memoir, And So Did I (1939), described by ODNB: "Narrated in her crisp and conversational style, it is a frank if fragmented account of life just before the outbreak of the Second World War. Like her short stories it is poised on a knife edge." In the same year, despite all the acclaim she had received, she announced she had nothing further to say, and thereafter published no new work. Her Selected Stories appeared in 1946, but then it wasn't until 1984's The Crystal Fountain that her work appeared in print again. Persephone has now announced a new collection of her stories to be released in late 2017.

WHITBY, BEATRICE [JANIE] (c1856 – 20 Jan 1931)
(married name Hicks)
1880s – 1910s
Daughter and wife of doctors, and author of about a dozen novels which ODNB describes as "intelligent, very mildly feminist fiction". Titles include The Awakening of Mary Fenwick (1889), Part of the Property (1890), Sunset (1897), Bequeathed (1900), Flower and Thorn (1901), The Whirligig of Time (1906), The Result of an Accident (1908), and Rosamund (1911).

WHITE, AGNES ROMILLY (4 Aug 1872 - 1945)
1930s
Irish author of two novels—Gape Row (1934) and Mrs. Murphy Buries the Hatchet (1936). Both were reprinted in the 1980s by White Row publishers in Belfast. That publisher described the first book as "[a] boisterous, rich, nostalgic book which immerses the reader in the cheerful chaos of everyday life in a small Irish villlage on the eve of the First World War." The second takes place in the same village ten years after the war has ended.

WHITE, ANTONIA (31 Mar 1899 – 10 Apr 1980)
(pseudonym of Eirene Adeline Hopkinson, née Botting, earlier married names Green-Wilkinson and Smith)
1930s - 1970
Translator and novelist best known for her debut, Frost in May (1933), an account of a young girl in a Catholic boarding school, which has the distinction of having been chosen as the very first Virago reprint and has been called the female equivalent of Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. White was by all counts a troubled soul—she was committed to Bethlem Hospital (aka "Bedlam") for several months in 1922, suffered lifelong anguish due to doubts about her Catholicism, and had troubled relationships with men (husbands and otherwise) and with her children.  Her personal turmoil prevented her from publishing a second novel until The Lost Traveller in 1950, a sort of sequel to Frost in May (though the main character has a different name). She continued the story in two more novels, The Sugar House (1952) and Beyond the Glass (1954). She also published a story collection, Strangers (1954). She worked on but never completed an additional novel, a portion of which was published along with her memoirs in As Once in May (1983). She also wrote two children's books—Minka and Curdy (1957) and Living with Minka and Curdy: A Marmalade Cat and His Siamese Wife (1970). Her diaries were published in the early 1990s. As a translator, White is known for her English translations of multiple works by Colette, as well as the likes of Maupassant, Voltaire, and Marguerite Duras.

WHITE, CONSTANCE MARY (2 Nov 1903 – 12 Sept 2004)
(née Lockett)
1930s – 1970s
Author of more than 40 volumes of fiction. Apart from five hospital stories, beginning with Cadet Nurse at St. Mark's (1958), which seem to have been marketed to adults, her work was primarily for children, many for the "teen" market that publishers had only just discovered. Sims & Clare counted 17 girls' school stories, often with creative settings. These include A Sprite at School (1947), Ponies at Westways (1949), four books set in a ballet school (1951-58), Film Stars at Riverlea (1952), Schoolgirl Reporter (1953), and School Afloat (1965), about a school on a cruise ship. Non-school titles include The Adventurous Three (1939), Set to Music (1954), Lynne Goes East (1959), Rashid to the Rescue (1961), The House with Blue Shutters (1969), and Mystery of Matmos (1970).

WHITE, DOROTHY VERNON [HORACE] (31 Jan 1877 – 27 Jul 1967)
(née Smith)
1900s – 1910s
Author of three novels—Miss Mona (1907), Frank Burnet (1909), and Isabel (1911). Her Times obit describes Frank Burnet as "a moral fable about weakness and strength of character, written with great intelligence and gusto." At age 30, she married William Hale White, who wrote fiction as "Mark Rutherford" and was 45 years older than she. He died only two years later, and she stopped publishing fiction. However, her Times obit also singles out The Groombridge Diary (1924), a powerful account of their life together. For many years, White took Bible classes for impoverished youths, and wrote about her experiences in Twelve Years with My Boys (1912).

WHITE, ETHEL LINA (1876 – 13 Aug 1944)
1920s – 1940s
Author of seventeen novels, many of them thrillers involving young women in peril. By far her best remembered work is The Wheel Spins (1936), the source for Alfred Hitchcock's film The Lady Vanishes (1938, many reprints of Wheel make use of Hitchcock's title), which deals with the disappearance of a governess from a moving train. Hitchcock adapted the novel freely. White's first major success was Some Must Watch (1933), which was also destined to be made into a famous film—Robert Siodmak's The Spiral Staircase (1948, subsequent reprints also make use of this title), about a young woman spending the night in a remote Cornwall mansion, whose fellow guests include a serial strangler. The Third Eye (1937), reprinted by Greyladies, is about a young games mistress at a girl's school going up against the evil second-in-command of the school. And While She Sleeps (1940), according to Contemporary Authors, is about a woman "randomly picked to be the victim of a murder. … [A]s one irritation after another plagues her on the trip, she feels her luck has dried up. Unbeknownst to her, however, each of these annoyances actually save her from becoming the victim of foul play." White's other titles are The Wish-Bone (1927), 'Twill Soon Be Dark (1929), The Eternal Journey (1930), Put Out the Light (1931), Fear Stalks the Village (1932), The First Time He Died (1935), Wax (1936), The Elephant Never Forgets (1937), Step in the Dark (1938), She Faded Into Air (1941), Midnight House (1942), The Man Who Loved Lions (1943), and They See in Darkness (1944).

WHITE, HEATHER (12 Feb 1902 – 2 Jan 1979)
(pseudonym of Jess[ie] Mary Mardon Ducat, married name Foster)
1920s – 1950s
Author of 12 works of fiction, mostly for children. She wrote several Guiding adventures, as well as two school stories—The New Broom at Prior's Rigg (1938) and The Two B's and Becky (1939). Her first book, The Extravagant Year (1929), seems to be an adult novel, and The Golden Road (1931) may be as well. Others include Daffodil Row (1937), Watersmeet (1940), Rowan in Search of a Name (1941), and Holiday in Rome (1955).

WHITEHEAD, KATE (5 Aug 1896 – 22 Feb 1978)
(married name Oxley)
1920s – 1930s
Wife of Selwyn Oxley, a pioneer educator of the deaf. Author of two novels, The King's Legacy (1928) and For Prince Charlie (1929), and several children's books about cats, including Stubby: The Story of a Cat as Told by Himself (1931) and Kellyann: Being the Story of a Manx Cat (1933).

WHITELAW, MARGOT (dates unknown)
1930s
Untraced author of more than a dozen short romantic novels, including The Flirting Bride (1931), A Wilful Woman (1932), A Broadway Butterfly (1932), The Girl Who Interfered (1932), The Marriage of Mockery (1933), Betty Breaks Away (1935), Beyond Her Reach (1936), Double-Crossed (1937), The Climber (1939),

WHITHAM, GRACE I[SABELLE]. (7 Feb 1874 – 16 Nov 1965)
1900s – 1930s
Author of more than 20 volumes of fiction, mostly historical children's titles. These include Squire and Page: A Story of Olden Days (1905), Basil the Page: A Story of the Days of Queen Elizabeth (1908), The Nameless Prince: A Tale of Plantagenet Days (1912), and When I Was a King (1937). Works that appear to be for adults include Marjorie Conyers (1921), As I Hear Tell (1924), Stinging Nettles (1927), and Sarah's Husband (1929).

WHITING, MARY BRADFORD (c1863 – 9 Dec 1935)
1880s – 1930s
Biographer and author of more than 20 works of fiction for both adults and children. Titles include Stronger than Fate (1889), The Torchbearers (1904), Meriel's Career: A Tale of Literary Life in London (1914), A Daughter of the Empire (1919), and a girls' school story called What Hazel Did (1924). She also published two biographical books about Dante.

WHITLOCK, PAMELA (21 Mar 1920 – 3 Jun 1982)
1930s – 1940s
Author, with Katharine Hull, of four popular children's books, most famously The Far-Distant Oxus (1937), written when the pair were still teenagers, about six children on their own in Exmoor. The others are Escape to Persia (1938), Oxus in Summer (1939), and Crowns (1947).

WHITNEY, JANET PAYNE (1889 - 1974)
1940s – 1950s
Biographer and novelist. A Quaker who married an American and moved to Pennsylvania, Whitney wrote six novels, some or all about 19th century Quakers. Titles are Jennifer (1941), Judith (1944), Intrigue in Baltimore (1952), The Quaker Bride (1954), The Ilex Avenue (1956), and Not for Ransom (1959). She also published four biographies, including Abigail Adams (1949).

Whittingham, Sara
          see BRADLEY, NORAH MARY

WHITTLE, NORAH [MARGUERITE] (20 Sept 1895 - 1971)
1950s – 1970s
Author of two early children's titles, The Moated Manor and The Ring (both 1950), followed by more than a dozen novels which seem to be romantic in nature, including Caroline (1964), Grapes from Thorns (1965), Crowsfell (1967), Poor Little Rich Girl (1973), and Thyme and Rue (1975).

WHITTON, BARBARA (1921 – 21 Sept 2016)
(pseudonym of Margaret Hazel Chitty, née Watson)
1940s
Author of a single wartime novel, Green Hands (1943), an enthusiastic and entertaining tale of a group of girls in the Women's Land Army during World War II, which went through at least seven printings. Assuming that the book was based on her personal experiences, it's appropriate that she seems to have later worked as a florist. (Thank you to Peter Andrews for providing information about Whitton.)

WHITTON, [FLORENCE] DOROTHY (1901 - 1984)
1940s
Author of two novels—White Lady (1946), about which I could find no details, and Halo of Dreams (1948), a historical novel about a young girl inspired by Joan of Arc who gets involved with trying to put Henry VI back on the throne.

WHYTE, CHRISTINA GOWANS (11 Jan 1869 - 1961)
(married name Geddes)
1900s - 1910
Scottish author of seven children's books. Her debut, The Adventures of Merrywink (1906), won a £100 Bookman competition. The others are The Story-Book Girls (1906), Nina's Career (1908), Uncle Hilary's Nieces (1909), For the Sake of Kitty (1909), The Five Macleods (1909), and The Girls Next Door (1910).

Whyte, Violet
          see STANNARD, HENRIETTE ELIZA VAUGHN

Wick, Stuart Mary
          see FREEMAN, KATHLEEN

WICKSTEED, HILDA M[ARY]. (3 Aug 1884 – 23 Oct 1950)
1920s – 1930
Author of three children's books—Titch: The Story of a Dog (1920), Titch & Jock (1922), and Jerry & Grandpa (1930)—as well as a biography of her father, engineer Charles Wicksteed (1933).

WILCOX, BARBARA [MAUD/MAUDE] (1896 – 19 Aug 1964)
(married name Smith)
1940s
Author of four children's books—Bunty Brown: Probationer (1940), Bunty Brown's Bargain (1942), Bunty of the Flying Squad (1943), and Susan at Herron's Farm (1946)—as well as cookbooks and non-fiction about rural life with her future husband.

WILCOX, SUSAN (dates unknown)
1950s
Untraced author of a single girls' school story, Twins at Highfields (1954).

WILENSKI, MARJORIE [ISOLD] (1889 – 1965)
(née Harland)
1940s
Wife of art critic and historian Reginald Wilenski. Author of one novel, Table Two (1942), about a group of women translators in the fictional Ministry of Foreign Intelligence in London, just before and during the Blitz. I reviewed it here.

WILKES, MARY (dates unknown)
1940s
Untraced author of one novel,The Only Door Out (1945), discussed in Anna Bogen's Women's University Fiction, 1880–1945. Other details about her are lacking.

WILKINSON, ELLEN [CICELY] (8 Oct 1891 – 6 Feb 1947)
1920s – 1930s
Journalist, political figure, activist, and author of two novels. She is most widely known as one of the first women MPs, representing Jarrow, and was part of the iconic 1936 Jarrow March, about which she published the non-fiction The Town that was Murdered (1939). She was later a junior minister under Churchill during World War II and became Minister of Education in 1944, only the second woman to serve as a minister. Her first novel, Clash (1928), set during the 1926 General Strike, provides fascinating insight from Wilkinson's own experiences. Her second novel was a mystery, The Division Bell Mystery (1932), about the murder of a wealthy financier in the House of Commons.

WILLANS, KATHARINE M[ARY]. (1907 - 1965)
(married name Rustige, aka Martha Holt)
1930s
Author of four novels—Faith Unfaithful (1933), The Proceedings of the Society (1935), Virgin Martyr (1936), and The Banker and His Daughter (1939), the last published under her pseudonym.

WILLARD, BARBARA [MARY] (12 Mar 1909 – 18 Feb 1994)
1930s – 1990s
Author of more than 70 volumes of fiction. She began with nearly a dozen adult novels, including Love in Ambush (1930), Name of Gentleman (1933), Joy Befall Thee (1934), about a family of theatrical costumiers, Set Piece (1938), The Dogs Do Bark (1948), and Portrait of Philip (1951), about Philip Sidney. She then turned almost exclusively to children's fiction, and was most famous for her Mantlemass series, nine tales, beginning with The Lark and the Laurel (1970), tracing one English family from the 15th to the 17th century. Other children's titles include Snail and the Pennithornes (1957), Eight for a Secret (1960), The Suddenly Gang (1963), The Richleighs of Tantamount (1966), The Battle of Wednesday Week (1968), The Country Maid (1978), and The Ranger's Daughters (1992).

WILLCOCKS, M[ARY]. P[ATRICIA]. [SUSAN] (1869 – 22 Nov 1952)
1900s – 1930s
Critic, biographer, translator, and author of sixteen works of fiction. Some of her early fiction, such as Widdicombe (1905) and A Man of Genius (1908), was influenced by Hardy. Other titles include The Sleeping Partner (1919), Ropes of Sand (1926), Delicate Dilemmas (1927), and The Cup and the Lip (1929).

WILLCOX, KATHLEEN M[ARY]. (30 Jul 1899 - 1990)
1920s – 1960s
Author of three girls' school stories—The Mystery of the Third Form Room (1926), Averil's Ambition (1927), and The Stanford Twins at St. Faith's (1934). She is probably the same author who wrote travel books for children in the 1960s. John Herrington found a newspaper story from 1938 about a court case in which Willcox and a woman with whom she had lived for five years sued one another for alleged expenses and debts.

WILLIAMS, ELMA M[ARY]. (3 Jun 1913 - 1971)
1950s – 1960s
Author of 16 volumes of fiction, some or all of which appear to be romantic thrillers. Titles of these include The Waiting Years (1957), To Africa—the Bride (1958), Love in a Mist (1960), Strange Legacy (1961), Escape to Death (1961), Tomorrow a Stranger (1962), Owls Do Cry (1964), and Where Is Sylvia? (1967). Paul's Secret Courage (1967) appears to be her one work for children. In later years, she was better known for her memoirs about her animal sanctuary, Pant Glas, which overlooked Dovey Estuary. These titles include Pig in Paradise (1964), Animals Under My Feet (1965), Heaven on my Doorstep (1970), and Ride a Cock Horse (1971).

WILLIAMS, GRACE LLOYD (dates unknown)
1930s
Untraced author of a single short romance, Her Son's Choice (1932).

WILLIAMS, [ANNIE] MARGUERITE (dates unknown)
1920s – 1940s
Biographer and author of eight novels, possibly with religious themes—The Garden of Healing (1925), Splendid Joy (1926), Steeps to the Stars (1927), A Mother of Men (1929), The Hands of a Man (1934), Our Folk (1937), Just Common Clay (1939), and Be Merry, My Dear (1942). She also published Blazing the Trail: A Pageant of British Baptist History (1940).

Williams, Peggy
          see EVANS, MARGIAD

WILLIAMS, URSULA MORAY (19 Apr 1911 – 17 Oct 2006)
(married name John)
1930s – 1980s
Illustrator and author of more than 60 children's titles. Her best known work is probably Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse (1938), about a toy pony who sets out in the world to make a living. She also published pony stories and family adventures. Titles include Jean-Pierre (1931), Anders and Marta (1935), A Castle for John-Peter (1941), Gobbolino the Witch's Cat (1942), The Three Toymakers (1945), The Binklebys at Home (1951), The Binklebys on the Farm (1953), The Moonball (1958), Beware of This Animal (1964), The Cruise of the "Happy-Go-Gay" (1967), Man on a Steeple (1971), The Kidnapping of My Grandmother (1972), No Ponies for Miss Pobjoy (1975), and Paddy on the Island (1987).

WILLIAMS-ELLIS, [MARY] AMABEL (ANNABEL) [NASSAU] (25 May 1894 – 27 Aug 1984)
(née Strachey)
1920s – 1930s
Cousin of Lytton Strachey as well as Dorothy STRACHEY and Marjorie STRACHEY. She began writing in collaboration with her husband, architect Clough Williams-Ellis. She later published numerous non-fiction works for children, and several collections of fairy tales because she felt there was “a real need for authentic re-tellings of traditional tales if Disney and Enid BLYTON were not to reign supreme." She published five novels, including Noah’s Ark (1925), about a young couple vainly resisting their instincts to marry and reproduce, The Wall of Glass (1927), about class conflict, The Big Firm (1928), To Tell the Truth (1933), a fable about communism and capitalism, and Learn to Love First (1939). She published a volume of stories, Volcano (1931), based on a 1928 trip to Russia. A book of games Williams-Ellis wrote with her husband, In and Out of Doors (1937), was reportedly popular during World War II as a means of entertaining children during long nights in air raid shelters. Headlong Down the Years: A Tale of To-Day (1951), written with her husband, is described by the Orlando Project as a satire written in the style of Thomas Love Peacock. I reviewed her first novel here.

Williamson, Ethel
          see VEHEYNE, CHERRY

WILLMOT, [ANNIE] FLORENCE (1857 – 19 Apr 1955)
1900s – 1920s
Author of seven volumes of Christian-themed children's fiction, including one school story, Care of Uncle Charlie (1912). Other titles are The Tender Light of Home (1908), Benedicite: A Karoo Reverie (1909), Loyal Hearts and True (1910), The Heart of a Friend: A Story for Girls (1911), Kitty and Kit (1912), and Sheila's Inheritance (1924).

WILLOUGHBY, [LOUISE] CECILIA (1905 – 26 Aug 1985)
(married name Craven)
1930s
Author of three novels, including Friday's Moon (1932), which the Bookman compared (unfavorably) with Mary WEBB's Precious Bane. The others are Mellory's Yard (1934) and The Silver Fountain (1935).

WILSON, DESEMEA (1878 – 16 Mar 1964)
(née Newman, aka Barbara Desmond, aka Diana Patrick)
1920s – 1940s
Mother of Romilly CAVAN. Author of more than 30 romantic novels, most under the name "Diana Patrick", including The Islands of Desire (1920), Dusk of Moonrise (1922), Dreaming Spires (1923), Gay Girl (1927), Outpost of Arden (1930), Fragile Armour (1936), and A Little Season (1943).

WILSON, JACOBINE MENZIES (1892 - 1955)
(née Napier-Williamson)
1940s
Mother of Jacobine HICHENS. Biographer and author of four novels. September to September (1940) is, according to The Tablet, "the simple story of a prosperous country-dwelling family in the year between Munich and the outbreak of war." The others are The Eye of a Needle (1942), At First Light (1944), and August at Acrelands (1946).

WILSON, ROMER (26 Dec 1891 – 11 Jan 1930)
(pseudonym of Florence Roma Muir Wilson, married name O'Brien)
1910s – 1920s
Novelist, playwright, and biographer, whose fiction often focuses on artists and the impacts of war. Martin Schüler (1918), is about a relentlessly ambitious German composer, while If All These Young Men (1919), according to ODNB, is about "the enervating impact of the war on the home front." The Death of Society (1921), which won the Hawthornden Prize, traces the love of an Englishman for an older Norwegian women. Her other novels were The Grand Tour (1923), Dragon's Blood (1926), and Greenlow (1927). She also published two novellas, Latterday Symphony (1927) and The Hill of Cloves (1929), as well as three collections of fairy tales from around the world. Her one biography was All Alone: The Life and Private History of Emily Jane Brontë (1928). Wilson died of tuberculosis at age 38.

WILSON, THEODORA WILSON (1865 – 8 Nov 1941)
1900s – 1940
Social worker, Biblical writer, and author of more than 40 volumes of fiction for children and adults. Among her children's fiction are two school stories, The Founders of Wat End School (1932) and The St Berga Swimming Pool (1939). Other fiction includes T'Bacca Queen (1901), Father M.P. (1904), Sarah the Valiant (1907), Moll o' the Toll-Bar (1911), The Children of Trafalgar Square (1915), Netherdale for Ever! (1919), The Undaunted Trio (1923), The Explorer's Son (1928), The Sole Survivor (1935), Margot Fights Through (1936), and The Disappearing Twins: A Lakeland Yarn (1940). Wilson is discussed in some depth in Rediscovering Forgotten Radicals, edited by Angela Ingram and Daphne Patai. She was a committed pacifist and a Quaker.

WILSON-FOX, ALICE [THEODORA] (1863 - 1943)
(née Raikes)
1900s – 1920s
Author of about 10 works of fiction for adults and children, including The General's Choice (1905), A Dangerous Inheritance (1909), Hearts and Coronets (1910), Love in the Balance (1911), A Regular Madam (1912), Too Near the Throne (1918), and Charmian: Chauffeuse (1925).

WILTSHIRE, MARY (1887 – 7 May 1958)
(pseudonym of Frances Mary Isborn)
1920s – 1940s
Cellist, music teacher, and author of ten novels, often set in and around Wiltshire. Titles are Patricia Ellen (1924), Thursday's Child (1925), The Lesser Breed (1926), The Burying Road (1928), He Who Come After (1931), John Quaintance (1932), Heritage (1933), Cockle and Barley (1935), To-Morrow (1938), and These Maintain the City (1947).

WINCH, EVELYN M. (17 Jul 1895 – 23 May 1939)
(pseudonym of Marie Elspeth Agnes Winch, née Makgill)
1920s – 1930s
Born in Auckland to British parents, but living in Scotland by age 4. Author of 16 novels, probably romances, including The Mountain of Gold (1928), The Hunting of Hilary (1929), Enemy's Kiss (1935), The Luck Shop (1935), The Dark Path (1936), Passport to Happiness (1937), Happily Ever After (1938), and Mankiller (1939).

Winch, John
          see BOWEN, MARJORIE

WINGATE, LITITIA BERYL (11 Dec 1881 – 24 Oct 1944)
(née Tucker, aka Mrs. Alfred Wingate)
1920s – 1930s
Novelist and historian who specialized in writing about China. Her six novels are A Servant of the Mightiest (1927), about Genghis Khan, Jên (1928), about Marco Polo, Before Sunset (1929), Thereabouts (1933), London Luck (1933), and Within a Generation (1939).

Winstanley, Edith Maud
          see HULL, E[DITH]. M[AUDE].

WINSTANLEY, LILIAN (18 Nov 1875 – 28 Sept 1960)
1900s, 1920s
Literary scholar, poet, and author of five novels—Stolen Banns (1907), The Winged Lion (1908), The Scholar Vagabond (1909), The Double Disappearance (1925) and The Face on the Stair (1927). One wonders if the latter two could be mysteries or thrillers. She wrote several acclaimed critical works about Shakespeare, as well as volumes on Shelley and Tolstoy.

Winter, John Strange
          see STANNARD, HENRIETTE ELIZA VAUGHN

Winterton, Mark
          see KIDD, BEATRICE ETHEL

WOOD, LESLEY (dates unknown)
1920s
Author of a single girls' school story, The Tangled Twins (1928).

WOOD, MOLLY (19 Oct 1909 - 1994)
(married names Phillips and Troke, aka Hester Bourne, aka Lyn Arnold)
1940s, 1960s – 1970s
Author of four early novels as Lyn Arnold—Joy as It Flies (1940), The Home-Coming (1943), Tea with Lemon and Flash of Joy (1943), and Holiday from Life (1945), followed by seven later crime and romance novels as Hester Bourne—The Spanish House (1962), In the Event of My Death (1964), Where Is Evie Alton? (1968), After the Island (1969), The Red Raincoat (1970), A Scent of Roses (1971), and The House Across the Water (1972). Could she have used other pseudonyms in the years in between?

WOODGATE, MILDRED VIOLET (20 Mar 1886 – 27 Feb 1978)
(aka Oliver Barton)
1920s – 1930s
Author of numerous biographies of religious figures, as well as at least eight novels, including mysteries and adventures. Steve at Bear Alley discussed her here a couple of years ago. He describes The Two Houses on the Cliff (1931) as a mystery with romantic elements, and quotes a review of Pauline's Lady (1931) that compares it to the earlier works of M. E. Braddon. Other titles are The Children of Danecourt Park (1924), The Eye of the Peacock (1928), The Secret of the Sapphire Ring (1930), The City of Death (1934), The Silver Mirror (1935), and The Ring of Fate (1939).

Woodhouse, Rena
          see TERRINGTON, RENA

Woodroffe, Daniel
          see WOODS, MARY

WOODS, MARGARET LOUISA (20 Nov 1855 – 1 Dec 1945)
(née Bradley)
1880s – 1920s
Poet and author of ten volumes of fiction. Her well-received debut, A Village Tragedy (1887), deals with the plight of an unwed mother. The Vagabonds (1894) deals with a group of circus performers. The Invader (1907) is the tale of a woman whose hypnotism results in a sexually free alternate personality. Other novels are Esther Vanhomrigh (1891), Sons of the Sword (1901), The King's Revoke (1905), A Poet's Youth (1923) and The Spanish Lady (1927). Come Unto These Yellow Sands (1915) is a collection of children's tales with supernatural themes. She also published a story collection, Weeping Ferry and Other Stories (1897).

WOODS, MARY (c1866 - ????)
(née Woodroffe, aka Daniel Woodroffe, aka Mrs. J. C. Woods)
1890s – 1910s, 1930s
Author of at least five novels as Daniel Woofroffe—Her Celestial Husband (1895), Tangled Trinities (1901), The Beauty Shop (1905), The Rat-Trap (1912), and The Quicksand (1933)—and one as Mrs. J. C. Woods, The Evil Eye (1903).

WOODWARD, AMY [LUCY] (17 Jun 1883 – 23 Jan 1974)
(née Temple)
1930s – 1950s
Author of nearly 20 volumes of fiction for children and adults. Titles include The Treasure Cave (1931), The Missing Diamonds (1934), The Two Adventurers (1934), The Quest (1938), Michael Drives the Car (1939), Mrs. Bunch's Caravan (1940), The Serpents (1947), and The Haunted Headland (1953). Life Is Sweet: The Intimate Diary of an Author's Wife (1943) is presumably non-fiction, but if so I haven't determined who her author husband was.

WOOLF, BELLA SIDNEY (1876 – 24 Nov 1960)
(married names Lock and Southorn)
1890s – 1930
Sister of Leonard Woolf. Travel writer and author of nearly a dozen children's books. Titles include Jerry and Joe: A Tale of the Two Jubilees (1897), All in a Castle Fair (1900), Dear Sweet Anne, or, The Mysterious Veres (1906), The Twins in Ceylon (1909), More About the Twins in Ceylon (1911), The Golden House (1912), and Chips of China (1930). Her travel writing includes the first Western guidebook to Ceylon, How to See Ceylon (1914), as well as Killarney and Round About (1901), Eastern Star-Dust (1922), and Under the Mosquito Curtain: Sketches of Life in the East (1935).

WOOLF, [ADELINE] VIRGINIA (25 Jan 1882 – 28 Mar 1941)
(née Stephen)
1910s – 1940s
A central figure in 20th century British literature, Woolf published ten novels, as well as short fiction, voluminous essays and reviews, biography, a play, and a famous diary spanning most of her career. Her novels are The Voyage Out (1915), Night and Day (1919), Jacob's Room (1922), Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), Orlando (1928), The Waves (1931), Flush (1933), The Years (1937), and Between the Acts (1941). She wrote two very famous long essays, A Room of One’s Own (1929), about the difficulties for women of being creative artists, and Three Guineas (1938), a passionate condemnation of war and fascism. So much critical and biographical work on Woolf exists that it's impossible to even approach here, but Hermione Lee's biography (1996) is an excellent place to begin.

WOOLFITT, SUSAN (1907 - 1978)
1940s
Memoirist and author of one children's title, Escape to Adventure (1948), about youngsters having adventures on the canals of England. This presumably draws on her own experiences as a canal boat worker during World War II, recounted in her memoir Idle Women (1947).

WORGER, BIDDY (6 Jun 1891 – 8 Sept 1958)
(full name Edith Worgel, née Wotzel, earlier married name Gaskins)
1930s
Author of four humorous novels—A Page from Life (1933), Bessie the Bus (1934), Dusky Ladies (1935), and The Memoirs of Bartimus Winkle (1936). Her second husband was a doctor and she apparently spent some years in the Medical Service in Fiji, where some of her fiction appears to be set.

WORSLEY-GOUGH, BARBARA [KATHLEEN] (1903 – 10 Oct 1961)
(married name Hale)
1930s – 1950s
Author of seven well-received humorous novels and two mysteries, as well as books on cooking and fashion. A Feather in Her Cap (1936) is the tale of several Bright Young Things on a month-long jaunt to Austria, while The Sly Hyena (1951), according to the West Australian, "tells of life in London today, with excursions to country houses which include a castle in Ireland and a whimsy cottage in the Surrey hills." The other novels are Public Affaires (1932), Sweet Home (1933), Nets to Catch the Wind (1935), Learn to Be a Lady (1938), and Old Father Antic (1955). Her two mysteries are Alibi Innings (1954, reprinted by Penguin), set in the world of cricket, and Lantern Hill (1957), apparently set in the pop music industry.

WRAY, I. (20 Apr 1894 – 14 Feb 1969)
(pseudonym of Iris Elaine Bickford, married name Palliser)
1930s
Author of two mystery novels. The Vye Murder (1930) was praised by The Spectator for its portrayal of women, and Murder—and Ariadne (1931), about a murder following a "rowdy house party", was praised by the West Australian as "ingeniously constructed".

WRIGHT, CONSTANCE [METCALFE] HAGBERG (1862 – 11 Jan 1949)
(née Lockwood, earlier married name Lewis)
1920s
Not to be confused with American author Constance Choate Wright. Author of one children’s book, Tales of Chinese Magic (1925), and one novel, The Chaste Mistress (1930), about the 1779 murder of Martha Ray, which has also been memorialized by Wordsworth and discussed by Elizabeth JENKINS.

WRIGHT, ESTHER TERRY (1913 – Oct 1984)
(married name Hunt)
1940s – 1950s, 1970s
Author of three novels. Pilot's Wife's Tale (1942) is a more or less autobiographical portrayal of her pilot husband's injuries and recovery after being shot down during the Battle of Britain. The Prophet Bird (1958), about a couple struggling in the postwar years, is, according to the author's son, also autobiographical in theme. Her last, A Vacant Chair (1979), received an amusing review in the Glasgow Herald: "Blowed if I know how to describe A Vacant Chair, a rare venture into fiction (only her third in over 30 years) by Esther Terry Wright. She's an original, no mistake about that, and these random gatherings about Roof and Arfur, who run a tiny flower shop near Covent Garden, are full of irrelevant joys." Following her divorce, Wright took her first job at the age of 46, going to work at the BBC. (Thank you to Charles Hunt for his information about his mother and her books.)

WRIGHT, FRANCES C[AMILLIA]. (dates unknown)
1950s
Untraced author of one school story listed by Sims and Clare, The Mystery of the Trees (1954). It seems likely that she is also the author of The Mystery of the Lovelace Luck (1957), also published in Scotland and credited simply to Frances Wright.

Wright, Francesca
          see ROBINS DENISE NAOMI

WYATT, [MARY] ISABEL (22 Oct 1901 – 9 Jul 1992)
(née Foster)
1930s – 1970s
Children's author and popular reteller of legends and folklore for children. Titles include The Book of Fairy Princes (1949), Seven-Year-Old Wonder Book (1958), The Dream of King Alfdan (1961), King Beetle-Tamer and Other Lighthearted Wonder Tales (1963), and The Witch and the Woodpecker (1970). She also published non-fiction analyses of Shakespeare and the legends of King Arthur. Two early titles published by Hodder & Stoughton—Maid's Malady (1930) and Cheese Carnival (1934)—appear to be novels, but little information is available beyond the fact that the former may be a dialect novel set on "the moors."

WYCHWOOD, SUSAN (dates unknown)
1930s
Untraced author of a single girls' school story, French Leave (1936), set in a small boarding school in a French provincial town.

WYLD, DOREEN (DORIS) [ELISE] (8 Oct 1897 – 6 Jul 1969)
1950s
Author of two girls' school stories which, according to Sims & Clare, were published in reverse order, with Hilary Takes a Hand (1952) beginning the major plotlines and The Girls of Queen's Mere (1950) concluding them.

Wylde, Katharine
          see COLVILL, H[ELEN]. H[ESTER].

WYLIE, I[DA]. A[LEXA]. R[OSS]. (16 Mar 1885 – 4 Nov 1959)
1910s – 1950s
Suffragist, popular short story writer, and author of more than 30 works of fiction. Towards Morning (1918) was praised as a relatively balanced portrayal of post-WWI Germans. The Bookman called Ancient Fires (1924) "[a]n exquisite love story set in a modern background that smacks nevertheless of witch craft and medievalism and strange, sinister powers." Keeper of the Flame (1942) was made into film of the same name starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Other titles include The Native Born, or, The Rajah's People (1910), The Red Mirage (1913), Tristam Sahib (1917), The Dark House (1922), The Silver Virgin (1929), Furious Young Man (1936), Strangers Are Coming (1941), Where No Birds Sing (1947), and Claire Serrat (1959).

WYLLARDE, DOLF (1871 - 1950)
(pseudonym of Dorothy Margarette Selby Lowndes)
1890s – 1930s
Sister of Armine GRACE. Author of more than 40 volumes of fiction which, according to OCEF, span "both exotic tales and more serious examinations of the predicament of single women." Titles include A Lonely Little Lady (1897), As Ye Have Sown (1906), The Unofficial Honeymoon (1911), Youth Will be Served (1913), Exile: An Outpost of Empire (1916), The Lavender Lad (1922), The Water Diviner (1923), The Career of Beauty Darling (1926), Miss Pretty in the Wood (1929), The Girl Groom (1936), and Claimed Under Heriot (1939). Among her books were at least two for children—Things (1915) and They Also Serve: A Story for Girls (1924).

Wyndham, Esther
          see LUTYENS, MARY

WYNNE, ALICE CLARA VERONICA (1890 – 4 Mar 1969) & EMILY ADELAIDE (1871 - ????)
1920s
Authors of a single novel, Every Dog (1929), a far-fetched-sounding farce about a businessman trying to escape his responsibilities. The Spectator called it “tedious, though funny in places.” It's unclear what the two authors' relationship was, though the 19 year age difference might suggest they were mother and daughter.

WYNNE, MAY (1 Jan 1875 – 29 Nov 1949)
(pseudonym of Mabel Winifred Knowles, aka Lester Lurgan)
1900s – 1940s
Enormously prolific author of nearly 200 books in all, including adult romance and mystery and children's adventure and holiday stories as well as numerous girls' school stories. In the early 1910s, she published six novels under her Lurgan pseudonym. Among her numerous titles are Ronald Lindsay (1905), The Red Fleur-de-Lys (1912), The Hero of Urbino (1914), Roseleen at School (1920), The Spendthrift Duke (1921), Peggy's First Term (1922), Jean Plays Her Part (1926), Plotted in Darkness (1927), Belle and Her Dragons (1931), The Unseen Witness (1932), Two Maids of Rosemarkie (1937), Sadie Comes to School (1941), The Terror of the Moor (1943), and The Unsuspected Witness (1945).

WYNNE, PAMELA (1879 – 29 Jan 1959)
(pseudonym of Winifred Mary Scott, née Watson)
1920s – 1950s
Author of more than 60 romance novels. Her first success was Ann's An Idiot (1923), which was filmed as Dangerous Innocence. Other titles include Penelope Finds Out (1926), Love In A Mist (1932), Love Begins At Forty (1936), and Merry Widows (1943).

WYNNE-TYSON, ESMÉ (29 Jun 1898 – 17 Jan 1972)
(pseudonym of Dorothy Estelle Esmé Innes Ripper, married name Tyson, aka Esnomel, aka Amanda, aka Diotima)
1920s
Child actress, playwright, philosopher, and novelist. Security (1927) is, according to its jacket blurb, about the "lengths a woman will go to to ensure security for herself and her children when it is jeopardised by the sins of the father." Quicksand (1927) was an adaptation of a play she co-wrote with Noël Coward. Three more novels—Momus (1928), Melody (1929), and Incense and Sweet Cane (1930)—followed, before she began to focus on journalism and philosophy. She later wrote three more philosophical novels with John Davys Beresford—Men in the Same Boat (1943), The Riddle of the Tower (1944), and The Gift (1947)—though according to ODNB they collaborated on seven more that were published under Beresford's name only. She used her Amanda pseudonym for children's stories and her Diotima pseudonym for journalistic work.

WYNNE-WILLSON, D[OROTHY]. [MARY] (22 Feb 1909 – 25 Feb 1932)
1930s
Author of a single novel, Early Closing (1931), an adult novel set in a boys' school which was a selection of the Book Society. She died of influenza the following year at age 22. Poignantly, she had a twin sister who lived until 1996. A memoir of Willson was published by novelist and bibliophile Michael Sadleir. I wrote in more detail about the novel and her tragic death here.

YARDLEY, MAUD H[OGARTH?]. (1868 – 1 May 1954)
(née Crofts? [uncertain but probable identification])
1900s – 1910s
Novelist whose first book, Sinless (1906), is described by OCEF: "in which a man returns from India after ten years to meet his wife, with another man identically circumstanced, meets the wrong one in the fog at Charing Cross station, and spends the night with her by mistake. By the end they have contrived to shake off their other halves and are living happily ever after." Others are Nor All Your Tears (1908), To-day and Love (1910), Love's Debt (1913), For You (1913), Because (1913), At the Door of the Heart (1913), A Man's Life Is Different, or, The Sleeping Flame (1914), Soulmates (1917), and Mrs. John (1919). OCEF credits her with only eight novels, but ten titles are shown in the British Library catalogue—perhaps two are poetry or non-fiction?

YEO, MARGARET [DOROTHY] (1 Apr 1877 – 12 May 1941)
(née Routledge)
1910s - 1940
Author of Christian-themed biographies and fiction. Novels include The Comrade in White (1916), The Abiding City (1916), Salt (1927), A King of Shadows (1928), Wild Parsley (1929), and Uncertain Glory (1930).

YORKE, CURTIS (1854 – 3 May 1930)
(pseudonym of Susan Rowley Long, married name Lee)
1880s – 1920s
Popular author of dozens of "cheerful, lightweight romances" (OCEF), including Hush! (1888), The Mystery of Belgrave Square (1889), Bungay of Bandiloo (1903), Queer Little Jane (1912), Dangerous Dorothy (1912), The Level Track (1919), Miss Daffodil (1920), The Woman Ruth (1921), and Maidens Three (1928).

Yorke, Jacqueline
          see MATTHEWMAN, PHYLLIS

YORKE, MARGARET (30 Jan 1924 – 17 Nov 2012)
(pseudonym of Margaret Beda Larminie, married name Nicholson)
1950s – 2000s
Author of more than 40 novels, most of them crime fiction, often set in English villages, featuring ordinary people driven by circumstance to crime. She began her career with several works of general fiction, including Summer Flight (1957), Deceiving Mirror (1960), and The Limbo Ladies (1969). Five of her novels from the 1970s feature Oxford don Patrick Grant, but in most of her work—according to Contemporary Authors—“Yorke was best known as an author of the ‘whydunit,’ rather than the ‘whodunit.’ Few of her plots revolve around discovering the criminal. Instead the reader watches as the criminal wreaks havoc—or tries to—on the other characters in the story.” Crime titles include No Fury (1967), The Small Hours of the Morning (1975), Death on Account (1979), Find Me a Villain (1983), Speak for the Dead (1988), and Cause for Concern (2001).  The five novels featuring Patrick Grant are Dead in the Morning (1970), Silent Witness (1973), Grave Matters (1973), Mortal Remains (1974), and Cast for Death (1976).

Young, Diana
          see RAYMOND, DIANA

YOUNG, DIANA FRANCES (1894 – 24 Feb 1965)
(married name Martienssen)
1930s
Author of seven novels about which I have little information. Titles are Storm Before Sunrise (1935), The Door Stood Open (1936), The Unfinished Symphony (1937), The Lonely Guest (1937), Stray Cat (1938), Doves in Flight (1938), and Son of the Dark (1939).

YOUNG, ELLA (26 Dec 1867 – 23 Jul 1956)
1900s, 1920s – 1930s
Poet, Celtic mythologist, and children's author, born in Ireland but immigrated to the U.S. in the 1920s, where she taught at Berkeley for several years. Her four acclaimed children's books were The Coming of Lugh (1909), which was illustrated by none other than Maud Gonne, The Wonder-Smith and His Son (1927), The Tangle-Coated Horse and Other Tales: Episodes from the Fionn Saga (1929), and The Unicorn with Silver Shoes (1932). Her memoirs were published as Flowering Dusk (1945).

YOUNG, E[MILY]. H[ILDA]. (21 Mar 1880 – 8 Aug 1949)
(married name Daniell)
1910s – 1940s
Author of eleven novels and two children's books, known for her blending of humor with serious themes of female freedom and growth. Miss Mole (1930), often considered her best work, deals with a damaged, outspoken, spinster housekeeper/companion and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Her other novels are A Corn of Wheat (1910), Yonder (1912), Moor Fires (1916), A Bridge Dividing (1922, aka The Misses Mallett), William (1925), The Vicar's Daughter (1927), Jenny Wren (1932), The Curate's Wife (1934), Celia (1937), and Chatterton Square (1947). Her two children's titles are Caravan Island (1940) and River Holiday (1942). I wrote a bit about Miss Mole here.

YOUNG, F[LORENCE]. E[THEL]. MILLS (1875 – 6 Nov 1945)
1900s – 1940s
Author of more than 50 novels, often set in South Africa and generally romantic in tone, though she published at least one early sci-fi/fantasy novel called The War of the Sexes (1905). Other titles include A Dangerous Quest (1904), Atonement (1910), The Purple Mists (1914), Beatrice Ashleigh (1918), Foreshadowed (1921), The Wine Farm (1924), The Inheritance (1928), The Rich Cargo (1932), Dreamlight (1938), and Two Streams (1945).

YOUNG, PATRICIA (1921 - ????)
1940s – 1960s
Author of 20 novels, including Narrow Streets (1942), Far Flung Seed (1943), The Devil and His Apple (1945), Dockside Symphony (1947), The Gallant Opportunist (1949), East of Bow Bells (1950), London's Child (1954), Half Past Yesterday (1959), Taffy (1961), and Sweet the Dream (1961).

YOUNG, [ALICE] RUTH (26 Jan 1884 – 2 Dec 1983)
(née Wilson)
1920s
Primarily known as a poet, she also published one novel, The Serpent's Head (1922), and one children's book, The Sea-Gull and the Sphinx: A Fairy Story (1924). She later published two biographies, Mrs. Chapman's Portrait: A Beauty of Bath of the 18th Century (1926) and The Life of an Educational Worker, Henrietta Busk (1934).

ZANGWILL, EDITH AYRTON (1875 – 5 May 1945)
1900s – 1920s
From a family of pioneering women (her mother was a doctor, her stepmother a scientist), Zangwill was a suffragist and activist as well as author of six novels. Her early novels deal humorously with women's issues—The First Mrs Mollivar (1905), for example, is about a woman who marries a widower and finds herself haunted by his first wife. Later works are more serious, particularly The Call (1924), which deals with the suffrage movement, and The House (1928), which deals with her own nervous breakdown. The others are The Barbarous Babes: Being the Memoirs of Molly (1904), Teresa (1909), and The Rise of a Star (1918).

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