Tuesday, January 1, 2013

British & Irish Women Writers of Fiction 1910-1960 (Ba - Bh)

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 501 pages!


[Current total: 2,263 writers]

UPDATED 5/7/2022


BACHE, [FRANCES] MARY (5 Aug 1904 – 5 Sept 1982)
Author of a single novel, Errand for a Lady (1940), which TLS called "a fine old-fashioned cloak-and-sword romance." She later published a work of non-fiction, Salter: The Story of a Family Firm 1760-1960 (1960).

BACON, MARJORIE F[LORENCE]. (11 Feb 1885 – Oct 1946)
Author of two novels. Men Have Their Dreams (1941) is about a teacher in a secretarial training school and the interactions and relationships of some of her students. According to the Guardian, "Miss Bacon has held before her the ideal of being unfailingly direct and amusing in the telling of her story, and as she ls remarkably knowledgeable about the material with which she deals, witty, and the mistress of an admirable narrative style she succeeds in holding our attention." Her second novel, about which I've found no details, was The Devil's Shilling (1942).

BAGNOLD, ENID [ALGERINE] (27 Oct 1889 – 31 Mar 1981)
(married name Jones)
1910s – 1950s
Novelist and playwright, most famous for National Velvet (1935), the tale of a teenage girl who disguises herself as a boy to ride in the Grand National. That book became a huge bestseller, was made into a famous film starring Elizabeth Taylor, and has always been marketed as a children's book, though Bagnold herself intended it for adults. Her career began with a memoir of her wartime nursing experiences in a London hospital. A Diary Without Dates (1917) was a success, but promptly got her fired from nursing, after which she became a V.A.D. in France. Those experiences in turn helped inspire her first novel, The Happy Foreignor (1920), a modernist work praised by the likes of Katherine Mansfield and Rebecca WEST. Her scandalous (and thoroughly cringeworthy) second novel, Serena Blandish, or, The Difficulty of Getting Married (1924), a work of flapper fiction, was published anonymously. The Squire (1938, reprinted by Persephone) is a sensitive, powerful novel about motherhood, which I wrote about
here. Her fifth and final novel, The Loved and Envied (1951), deals with an aging aristocratic woman (reportedly modelled on Bagnold's friend Lady Diana Cooper) and her friends. Bagnold wrote one children's book, Alice and Thomas and Jane (1930), about two children having far-fetched adventures. Her Autobiography appeared in 1969. Apart from fiction, Bagnold wrote a number of plays, scoring her biggest successes with The Chalk Garden (1955) and The Chinese Prime Minister (1965).

Baillie-Reynolds, Mrs.

BAINES, JOY (1898 – 2 Aug 1942)
(aka Basil Carey, aka Richard Hawke)
1920s – 1940s
Author of sixteen novels, including light dramas under her own name and adventures or thrillers under her two pseudonyms. Under her own name she wrote Wife to Hugo (1930), Seventh Sin (1931), Bitter Comedy (1933)—which reviewer Norah HOULT called "a trifle too familiar" but "bright and efficient"—Fiddler's Folly (1935), The Master of Chetwynd (1937), and Sweet Briar (1941). Using her masculine alter egos, she published The Dangerous Isles: A Romance of Pearl-Hunger (1926), Masquerade (1926), The Dreaming God (1927), Mountain Gold (1929), Gray Amber (1930), Dead Man's Shadow (1931), Captain Christine (1932), The Secret Enterprise (1932), Left for Dead (1934), and The Secret of Ayanora (1937).

BAKER, AMY J[OSEPHINE]. (27 Mar 1878 - 1966)
(married name Crawford)
1910s – 1960s
Author of 40 volumes of romantic fiction spanning five decades, including I Too Have Known (1911), Dear Yesterday (1917), Tyrian Purple: A Romance of the Ancient World (1919), The King's Passion (1920), The Painted Lily (1921), The Crepe de Chine Wife (1925), Aurora (1928), Six Merry Mummers: A Tale of India (1930), Never Laugh at Love (1932), Leaf in the Wind (1935), Fan Mail (1941), Pride of Yesterday (1943), Flower of Jade (1948), Swing Low, Swing High (1956), Golden Girl (1959), and Summer Isles of Eden (1962).

BAKER, DOROTHY (17 Oct 1891 – 15 Jan 1982)
(née Stoneham)
1940s – 1950s
Not to be confused with the American novelist of the same name, who was known for Young Man with a Horn (1938) and Cassandra at the Wedding (1962). This Dorothy Baker seems to have worked with the BBC and published only two novels, Coast Town Tapestry (1946), subtitled "a novel with a wartime background," and The Street (1951). Simon at Stuck in a Book unearthed a copy of the latter and reviewed it
here. According to the British Library catalogue, she appears to have published one final book, A Short Guide to English Architecture (1974).

BAKER, EMILY [SARAH] (c1841 – 28 Dec 1924)
(aka E. S. B.)
1890s – 1910s
Author of several Christian-themed works, including a boys' school story, Harry Winthrope's School Days: A Tale of Old Blundell's School (1907). Other titles that seem to be fiction are Jack Webster: A Christian Soldier (1899), Joe Blake (1900), and The Coming of Gwen (1919). She also published Peggy Gainsborough, The Great Painter's Daughter (1909), which looks like a biography.

BAKER, MARGARET J[OYCE]. (21 May 1918 – 17 Jan 2010)
1940s – 1980s
Children's author whose works are often set in Somerset and North Devon. Some of her work appears to be for very young children, but a few titles are clearly for older readers, including "Nonsense!" Said the Tortoise (1949), Four Farthings and a Thimble (1950), The Bright High Flyer (1957), Castaway Christmas (1963), and Cut Off from Crumpets (1964).

BALDWIN, MAY (8 May 1862 – 3 Jan 1950)
1900s – 1930s
Important early girls' school author. Sims and Clare note that though her work may seem conservative and old-fashioned in some respects, she was a pioneer in the range of schools she presented and the international locales she portrayed. Among her 40+ titles are A Popular Girl: A Tale of School Life in Germany (1901), The Sunset Rock (1903), The Girls of St. Gabriel's, or, Life at a French School (1905), Dora: A High School Girl (1906), Golden Square High School (1908), Muriel and Her Aunt Lu, or, School and Art Life in Paris (1909), Two Schoolgirls of Florence (1910), The Girls' Eton (1911), Moll Meredyth, Madcap (1913), An English Schoolgirl in Moscow (1915), Irene to the Rescue (1916), A Riotous Term at St. Norbert's (1920), The Brilliant Girls of the School (1924), The School in the Wilds (1925), Kenya Kiddies: A Story of Settlers' Children in East Africa (1926), High-Jinks at Priory School (1929), and The Tarletons in Brittany (1931).

BALDWIN, MONICA (22 Feb 1893 – 17 Nov 1975)
1940s – 1960s
Neice of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. A Catholic nun for 28 years, Baldwin left the convent in late 1941, at one of the darkest periods of World War II, and wrote about her experiences of culture shock—first in a memoir, I Leap Over the Wall: Contrasts and Impressions After Twenty-eight Years in a Convent (1949), then in a novel, The Called and the Chosen (1957). She also published a travel book, Goose in the Jungle (1965).

BALFOUR, EVELYN (EVA) BARBARA (16 Jul 1898 – 14 Jan 1990)
(aka Hearnden Balfour, combined pseudonym with Beryl Hearnden)
1920s – 1930s
A pioneer of the organic farming movement, Balfour is best remembered for The Living Soil (1943), considered a classic environmentalist text. She also published three mystery novels with her significant other, Beryl Hearnden—The Paper Chase (1927, aka A Gentleman from Texas), The Enterprising Burglar (1928), and Anything Might Happen (1931, aka Murder and the Red-Haired Girl)—all featuring series character Inspector Jack Strickland.

1920s – 1930s
Author of one novel, The Beetaley Jewels (1901), which may be a mystery, and two story collections—Solway Tides and Other Tales (1928) and "If All Tales…" (1936). We've not managed to locate significant information about her or her work, except that she seems to have lived in Dumfries later in life.

BALL, HYLDA (1874 – 17 Feb 1954)
(née Rhodes)
1910s – 1930s
Sister of Kathlyn RHODES and author of ten novels, about which little information is available. Titles are A Vase of Clay (1914), A Star Astray (1916), The Secret Bond (1917), The Unhallowed Vow (1918), What Snow Conceals (1919), The Secret Bond (1919), Of Finer Clay (1920), Peep o' Day (1929), Young Ambition (1930), and A Moorland Vendetta (1934).

BALL, OONA H[OWARD]. (25 Jan 1867 – 8 May 1941)
(née Butlin, aka Barbara Burke)
1900s – 1910s
Poet, biographer, and travel writer. Barbara Goes to Oxford (1907) is a charming travel novel in the form of a diary by a wealthy young woman of her trip to Oxford with a companion, exploring the city and finding romance. Their Oxford Year (1909) is similar in structure, but by a woman writing to her grandfather back in Canada. Her third work of fiction, A Quiet Holiday (1912), is a more serious tale of an orphan girl's stay on a farm in the Cotswolds. She was married to an Oxford lecturer, about whom she wrote Sidney Ball: Memories and Impressions of 'An Ideal Don' (1922). She later published one further travel book, Dalmatia (1932), presumably having gained knowledge from her daughter's marriage to a native of Mostar in what is now Bosnia.

BANCO (dates unknown)
(pseudonym of unknown author, probably but not certainly a woman)
1910s – 1920s
Unidentified author of at least six novels. The Outrage (1915) was about a woman novelist trapped in a Belgian town when the Germans arrive, and was criticized by one reviewer for excessive violence. Other known works are The Boy Who Didn't (1914), Lil of the Lounge: Being the Story of a City Man's Folly (1917), The Only Woman (1918), Kit of the Kitchen (1919), and Doll of the Dance (1921).

BANCROFT, MARIE EFFIE (12 Jan 1839 – 22 May 1921)
(née Wilton)
Stage actress and theatre manager, known for several popular boys' roles (Dickens wrote of seeing her in one). She published several memoirs with her husband Squire Bancroft, as well as one novel, The Shadow of Neeme (1912).

BANKES, VIOLA [FLORENCE GERALDINE] (11 Feb 1900 – 30 Aug 1989)
(married name Hall)
Daughter of the Bankes family whose estate, Kingston Lacy, she later memorialized in A Dorset Heritage (1953) and in her short memoir A Kingston Lacy Childhood (1986). Her novel Shadow-Show (1922) was a runner-up for a John Long Best First Novel contest. A second novel, Men for Pieces, was advertised but seems never to have appeared.

BANKS, LYNNE [BELINDA] REID (31 Jul 1929-             )
1960s – 1990s
Novelist, playwright, and children's author best known for The Indian in the Cupboard (1980) and its sequels. She began as an adult novelist, with the well-known (and often reprinted) The L-Shaped Room (1960), an edgy tale of a young woman, unmarried and pregnant, unemployed and living in a dingy flat. Two subsequent novels, The Backward Shadow (1970) and Two Is Lonely (1974), continue the character's story. Other novels for adults include An End to Running (1962), Children at the Gate (1968), Dark Quartet: The Story of the Brontës (1976), The Warning Bell (1984), and Fair Exchange (1998).

Baptist, R. Hernekin
          see LEWIS, ETHELREDA

BARCLAY, DAPHNE [DOROTHY CRISP] (14 Aug 1913 – 23 Sept 1985)
(née Binny)
1950s – 1960s
Author of two novels—Amedeo (1958), described in a review as "a moving story of the search by an illegitimate Italian boy, brought up in a convent, for the mother he never knew," and Pennypatch (1965), about which details are lacking. A review notes that Daphne was partly educated in Rome, as well as living there for a time with her husband, Lt. Col. Walter Patrick Barclay of the Scottish Black Watch. The couple had twins in 1940, but sadly her husband was killed in Tunisia in 1943.

BARCLAY, FLORENCE L[OUISA] (2 Dec 1862 – 10 Mar 1921)
(née Charlesworth, aka Brandon Roy)
1890s – 1910s
Mother of Vera Charlesworth BARCLAY. Author of romantic novels with a Christian component, in which pristine female characters are apparently often seen as the redeemers of men. Her most successful work was The Rosary (1909), which sold 150,000 copies in hardcover and remained a bestseller for decades. Barclay is reputed to have donated her profits from the blockbuster to charity. Other titles include Guy Mervyn (1891, written under her pseudonym), A Notable Prisoner (1905), The Following of the Star (1911), The Upas Tree (1912), The Broken Halo (1913), The White Ladies of Worcester (1917), and Returned Empty (1920).

BARCLAY, MRS. HUBERT (24 Dec 1871 – 16 Jun 1952)
(pseudonym of Edith Noel Daniell Barclay, née Daniell)
Author of five romances—Trevor Lordship (1911), A Dream of Blue Roses (1912), The Giant Fisher (1912), East of the Shadows (1913), and The Taste of Brine (1914). She published one book of poetry and a non-fiction work called The Queen's Cause: Scottish Narrative 1561-1587: A Biographical Romance (1938).

BARCLAY, VERA CHARLESWORTH (10 Nov 1893 – 19 Sept 1989)
(aka Margaret Beech)
1910s – 1940s
Daughter of Florence BARCLAY. A pioneer of the Scout movement, Barclay was also a prolific children's author, best known for her Jane series which included Jane Versus Jonathan (1937) and Jane Will You Behave (1944), and for various works on scouting and collections of campfire tales. Other titles include Danny the Detective: A Story for Wolf Cubs (1918), The Mysterious Tramp (1921), Peter the Cub (1928, under her pseudonym), Knave of Hearts (1933, under her pseudonym), and They Met a Wizard (1947).

Barcynska, Countess Hélène
          see SANDYS, OLIVER

BARFORD, DORA (26 Dec 1901 – 27 Jan 1985)
(middle name alternately given as Madeline, Madaline, or Madelaine)
Author of five historical novels—Mr. Corrington (1931), The Golden Cargazon (1932), set in the time of James II, Tricolor (1933), set during the French revolution, Greek Fire (1936), set in 1922 around the burning of Smyrna, and Evasion (1936), about an escaped convict from Devil's Island.

BARING, RUBY [FLORENCE MARY] (26 Sept 1886 – 5 Nov 1961)
(née Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, aka Ruby Cromer)
1920s – 1930s
Countess of Cromer (her husband was Lord Chamberlain in the 1920s and was briefly portrayed on Downton Abbey) and author of a memoir, Such Were These Years (1939), a collection of tales, Lamuriac and Other Sketches (1927), and what appears to be a novel, Unfettered Ways (1935), as well as a historical work, The Hospital of St. John in Jerusalem (1961).

BARKAS, NATALIE (13 Aug 1899 – 27 Sept 1979)
(née Webb)
1940s, 1960s
Wife of filmmaker and WWII camouflage expert Geoffrey Barkas and author of several non-fiction books about his work, including Behind the Camera: Reminiscences of Film-Making in West Africa (1934), and Thirty Thousand Miles for the Films: The Story of the Filming of "Soldiers Three" and "Rhodes of Africa" (1937). She also published two children's books, The Quest of the Bellamy Jewels (1949), based on a play by Michael Berrenger, and The Gold Hunters (1963).

BARKER, A[UDREY]. L[ILLIAN]. (13 Apr 1918 – 21 Feb 2002)
1940s – 1990s
Author of eleven novels and nearly as many story collections. She is particularly acclaimed for the latter, which include Innocents: Variations on a Theme (1947), Novelette with Other Stories (1951), The Joy-Ride and After (1963), Lost upon the Roundabouts (1964), Femina Real (1971), Life Stories (1981), No Word of Love (1985), and Submerged: Selected Stories (2002). Among her novels her most famous was The Gooseboy (1987), reportedly based in part on the life of actor/writer Dirk Bogarde. Others include Apology for a Hero (1950), A Case Examined (1965), John Brown's Body (1969), Relative Successes (1984), and The Woman Who Talked to Herself (1989). ODNB referred to her work as "oblique, strange, and shot through with mysticism."

BARKER, KATHLEEN FRANCES (2 Jan 1901 – 1 Apr 1963)
1930s – 1960s
Children's author and illustrator, particularly known for her drawings of dogs and horses. Barker also wrote children's fiction about animals, including Bellman: The Story of a Beagle (1933), Bellman Carries On (1933), Traveller's Joy (1934), and The Wood by the Water (1957).

Barling, Charles
          see BARRINGTON, PAMELA

BARLOW, [ANNA] ELIZABETH (20 Sept 1905 – 21 Apr 1976)
(married name Davie, sometimes Davie-Thornhill)
Author of a single novel, Green Pleasure (1931), about "the bright young people of the 'County'", which received positive reviews. [I found it too perky and snooty, and with a dash of virulent racism.]

BARLOW, HILARĖ EDITH (1856 – 30 Dec 1938)
Little information about her work is available, but Barlow appears to have published two mystery novels—The Sentence of the Judge (1912) and The Mystery of Jeanne Marie (1913)—as well as one children's book, "Waldmann": The Autobiography of a Dachsund (1910).

BARLOW, JANE (1857 – 17 Apr 1917)
1890s – 1910s
Poet and novelist known for verse and fiction about Irish farm life and often incorporating Irish dialect. Titles include Irish Idylls (1892), Kerrigan's Quality (1894), which "describes the effect of the famine and evictions from the viewpoint of a returned Irish-Australian emigrant," Maureen's Fairing and Other Stories (1895), The Founding of Fortunes (1902), By Beach and Bogland (1905), Flaws (1911), "a satirical view of middle- and upper-class Anglicized protestants in the south of Ireland," and In Mio's Youth (1917).

BARLTROP, MABEL (11 Jan 1866 – 17 Oct 1934)
(née Andrews, aka Octavia, aka Besma)
1920s – 1930s
"Prophet" and founder of the Panacea Society, known as Octavia. She purported to receive daily messages from beyond. Her best-known books were religious works and memoirs, but her final two, Wrong at the Root, or, The Bishop's Chaplain (1929) and The Rest House, or, The Bishop's Secret (1934), appear to be fiction.

BARNE, [MARION] KITTY (CATHERINE) (17 Nov 1882 – 3 Feb 1961)
(married name Streatfeild)
1930s – 1950s
An in-law of Noel STREATFEILD, and reportedly encouraged by her to try her hand at writing for children, Barne is now best known for her children's fiction, especially She Shall Have Music (1938) and Visitors from London (1940). She focused early in her career on more than a dozen plays, none of which achieved major success. She published six novels for adults—Mother at Large (1938), While the Music Lasted (1943)—a sequel to She Shall Have Music, reprinted in 2016 by Greyladies—Enter Two Musicians (1944), Duet for Sisters (1947), Vespa (1950), and Music Perhaps (1957). Other children's titles include The Amber Gate (1933), The Easter Holidays (1935), Family Footlights (1939), We'll Meet in England (1942), Three and a Pigeon (1944), Musical Honours (1947), a postwar family tale, Dusty's Windmill (1949), Tann's Boarders (1955), and two horse stories, Rosina Copper, the Mystery Mare (1954) and Rosina and Son (1956). I've written about several of her books—see

BARNES, DOROTHY (dates unknown)
Untraced author of one short romantic novel, A Kiss for Fun (1932).

BARNES, MARGARET CAMPBELL (7 Sept 1891 – 1 Apr 1962)
1940s – 1960s
Prominent historical novelist known for her carefully researched and well-written fiction, often about kings and queens. She published nearly a dozen in all, and several of her books remain in print. Titles are Within the Hollow Crown: A Novel of Richard II (1941), Like Us, They Lived (1944, aka The Passionate Brood), My Lady of Cleves: A Novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleeves (1946), Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (1949), With All My Heart: The Love Story of Catherine of Braganza (1951), The Tudor Rose (1953), Mary of Carisbrooke (1956), Isabel the Fair: The Passionate Novel of Isabel Capet, Wife of Edward II (1957), The King's Fool (1959), The King's Bed: A Novel of the Time of Richard III (1961), and Lady on the Coin (1963).

BARNES, WINIFRED (dates unknown)
Untraced author of story books for small children and books on English grammar, as well as two girls' school stories, The Jewels and Jenny (1948) and Jenny at St Julien's (1949).

BARNES-GRUNDY, MABEL [SARAH] (1 Jan 1869 – 16 Jan 1952)
(née Gaskell, second married name Wileman)
1900s – 1940s
Author of two dozen humorous romances characterized, according to OCEF, by their "extraordinary cheerfulness." Titles include A Thames Camp (1902), described as "a wife's gossipy diary of outings on the Thames and at the seaside," The Vacillations of Hazel (1905), Hilary on Her Own (1908), The Third Miss Wenderby (1911), An Undressed Heroine (1916), A Girl for Sale (1920), Sleeping Dogs (1924), The Strategy of Suzanne (1929), Sally in a Service Flat (1934), Paying Pests (1941), and The Two Miss Speckles (1946). The last is about two sisters living in Bath during World War II.

BARNETTE, IDA [MILLICENT] (13 Aug 1889 – 14 Oct 1977)
1930s – 1960s
Author of nearly three dozen romance and romantic suspense novels, including Innocence (1934), Pretence and Peril (1938), Maiden in
Danger (1951), Love May Not Last (1953), Stained Inheritance (1956), Love Me Tomorrow (1958), Love May Cheat Us (1958), Love on a Cruise (1959), Maiden in Peril (1962), Kiss in the Moonlight (1964), The Heart Must Pause (1965), And Love Is Fire (1967), and The Glamorous Goddess (1969).

BARON, F[????]. (dates unknown)
Untraced author of several children's titles, including one girls' school story, The Mystery of the Silver Statuette (1948), as well as Olive Dawson's Secret (1946), Pip Kin Seeks the Wizard (1946), The Flodden Rubies (1947), The King Works Magic (1947), and Chums Divided (1947).

BARR, AMELIA [EDITH] (29 Mar 1831 – 10 Mar 1919)
(née Huddleston)
1880s – 1910s
Born in England and emigrated to the U.S. in her twenties. Author of nearly 30 novels, including Romance and Reality (1872), A Daughter of Fife (1886), A Bow of Orange Ribbon (1886), A Border Shepherdess (1887), A Rose of a Hundred Leaves (1891), Bernicia (1895), The Maid of Maiden Lane (1900), Thyra Varrick (1903), Cecilia's Lovers (1906), The Strawberry Handkerchief (1908), A Reconstructed Marriage (1910), Sheila Vedder (1911), and
The Measure of a Man (1915). Her memoir, All the Days of My Life, appeared in 1913.

BARRATT, KATHLEEN [IRENE] (20 Sept 1910 – 28 Dec 2003)
(uncertain but probable identification)
1940s – 1950s
Author of four novels. Her first, To Fight Another Day (1947), is set in a girls' high school and deals with the conflicts between the senior mistress and a new headmistress, both of whom are alumni of the school. Her second, The Fault Undone (1949), is about an unmarried mother—one review called it a “[s]low, frigid, unromantic romance of a pedagogue and a girl who once made a mistake.” Her other two, about which information is lacking, are The Bright Lantern (1954) and Future in the Past (1956). If our identification of her is correct (and Kathleen Irene Barratt was indeed a schoolteacher, which fits well with her debut's themes), then she must be the Kathleen Irene Barratt who published an earlier volume of poetry, Visions & Fancies in Verse (1926).

BARRETT, ANNE [MAINWARING] (7 May 1911 – 20 Dec 1986)
(née Gillett, earlier married name Boxer)
1950s – 1960s
Author of seven children's titles. Her debut, Caterpillar Hill (1950), seems to have fantasy and time travel elements. Stolen Summer (1951) is the story of a girl and her widowed mother spending a summer in Dorset, while The Dark Island (1952) is about children on holiday in Ireland. The Journey of Johnny Rew (1954), also set in Dorset, is about a boy orphaned in the Blitz searching for his parents' origins. Songberd's Grove (1957), a runner up for the Carnegie Medal, is about two children fighting a neighborhood bully in London—the Guardian reviewer said the climactic scene was "as wild and ingenius as any Ealing comedy." Her other books were Sheila Burton: Dental Assistant (1956) and Midway (1967). Barrett's daughter came across some fascinating recollections her mother wrote about life in the A.T.S. in wartime Weymouth and shared them here.

BARRETT, JOAN (1868 - ????)
(pseudonym of Rose Davis, née Aburrow)
Wife of author Frank Barrett (really Frank Davis) and author of one early story collection, Monte Carlo Stories (1896), one children's book, The Story of a Cat and Two Naughty Magpies (1923), and one novel, The Pretty Nobody (1927), about which I have no details. You can read more about Barrett and her husband

Barrie, Susan
          see POLLOCK, IDA [JULIE]

BARRINGTON, E. (1862 – 3 Jan 1931)
(pseudonym of Eliza Louisa Beck, née Moresby, earlier married name Hodgkinson, aka Lily Moresby Adams, aka Lily Adams Beck, aka Louis Moresby)
Having travelled widely for most of her life, Barrington only began writing at age 60, after which she explored themes of spirituality, romance, and the supernatural, often with Asian settings. She has been described as the first female fantasy writer in Canada (following her relocation there in 1919). Titles include The Key of Dreams (1922), Dreams and Delights (1922), The Divine Lady (1924), made into a film in 1929, The Way of Stars (1925), The Exquisite Perdita (1926) The Thunderer (1927), The Laughing Queen (1929).

BARRINGTON, EMILIE [ISABEL] (1841 – 9 Mar 1933)
(née Wilson, aka Mrs. Russell Barrington)
1890s, 1920s
Author of biographies, travel writing, and other non-fiction, as well as two early novels, Lena's Picture: A Story of Love (1893) and Helen's Ordeal (1894), and what appears to be one more later novel, A St. Luke of the Nineteenth Century (1922).

BARRINGTON, MARGARET [LOUISA] (10 May 1896 – 8 Mar 1982)
(married names Curtis and O'Flaherty)
1930s, 1980s
Wife of author Liam O'Flaherty. Author of a single novel, My Cousin Justin (1939, published in the U.S. as Turn Ever Northward), which was reprinted in 1990, and which, according to the cover blurb, "races through the World War, the Irish Rebellion, the hectic conspiracies of the Irish patriots, and the post-war years in England." Her only other published work appears to be a story collection, David's Daughter, Tamar (1982), which appeared in the year of her death.

BARRINGTON, PAMELA (8 Aug 1904 – 12 Apr 1986)
(pseudonym of Muriel Vere Barling, née Mant, aka Charles Barling, aka P. V. Barrington)
1930s – 1960s
Author of more than two dozen mystery novels, including White Pierrot (1932), Saga of a Scoundrel (1947), The Changing Heart (1948), The Triangle Has Four Sides (1949), Forty-Three Candles for Mr Beamish (1950), Mr Hedley’s Private Hell (1950), The Rest Is Silence (1951), The Mortimer Story (1952), Account Rendered (1953), Among Those Present (1953), The Fourth Victim (1958), Night of Violence (1959), By Some Person Unknown (1960), The Gentle Killer (1961), Final Judgement (1964), Cage Without Bars (1966), A Game of Murder (1967), Slow Poison (1967), Accessory to Murder (1968), and My Friend Judas (1968). Confusingly, she also wrote 8 late mysteries using her husband's name, Charles Barling, including Afternoon of Violence (1963), Motive for Murder (1963), Appointment with Death (1964), Time to Kill (1965), The Crime Against Judy Bishop (1966), Confession of Murder (1967), Death of a Shrew (1968), and A Marked Man (1968). Account Rendered was made into a film, and The Gentle Killer was dramatized for BBC Radio.

BARRY, IRIS [SYLVIA] (25 Mar 1895 – 22 Dec 1969)
(married names Porter and Abbott)
Film critic and pioneer of film restoration, also known for her relationship with modernist writer Wyndham Lewis, with whom she had two children. She was hired in the 1930s by the Museum of Modern Art to build its Film Library, and her volume of film criticism, Let's Go to the Pictures (1926), presented, in the words of The New Yorker, her "fascinating philosophical ideas about the history, aesthetics, and potential of film." Barry also wrote two novels—Splashing Into Society (1923), described by the Spectator as "a very amusing satire on modern Mayfair, writter by a super-civilized and sophisticated adult in the manner of The Young Visiters," and Here Is Thy Victory (1930, aka The Last Enemy), which imagines the repercussions if people suddenly stopped dying. You can read more about her

BARTLETT, [PRIMROSE] MARIE (30 Jun 1912 – 14 Nov 1991)
(née Swan, earlier married names Austin and Marks, aka Valerie Rift, aka Rowena Lee, aka Sara Linden)
1950s – 1970s
Author of more than 30 romantic novels under her various pseudonyms. Some of the novels were historical, and she was obviously fond of the word "diadem." Titles include Tides of Zhimoni (1955), Wake of a Moonbeam (1956), So Low the Stars (1956), Singing Volcanoes (1958) Dangerous Delight (1959), Sweet Pledge of Love (1960), The Spanish Garden (1962), Tread Softly, My Love (1963), A Diadem for Philippa (1964), A Diadem in Jeopardy (1966), Corinna's Diadem (1967), A Coil of Sun (1968), and The Diadems of a Duchess (1972). Under her own name, she published the evocatively-titled The Rhino Stayed for Breakfast (1958), a memoir of her life in Kenya.

BARTON, ANN (dates unknown)
Unidentified author of a single girls' career story, Kate in Advertising (1955).

Barton, Oliver

BARWELL, PEGGY [MABEL] (6 Oct 1909 – 2 Dec 1997)
(married names Morland and Mason)
Playwright and author of a single novel, Cadenza (1950). In the 1930s and 1940s she was married to prolific mystery novelist Nigel Morland.

(married name Guichard)
1900s – 1930s
Journalist, translator, and author of nine novels. Her fiction—sometimes focused on Jewish life in Poland and Russia—includes Their Yesterday: A Chronicle of Mistakes (1909), When Summer Comes Again (1915), Baldwin's Kingdom: A Story of Russian Life (1917), Love and Sacrifice (1918), Passover (1920), and The Enchanted Garden (1921). She then wrote three novels in collaboration with Elliot Monk—By Whose Hand (1922), The Amethyst Button (1926), and The St. Cloud Affair (1931)—which may be mysteries.

BATCHELOR, MARGARET (24 Sept 1876 – 8 May 1955)
(married name Phillpotts)
1910s – 1920s
Author of six girls' stories, about which little information is available. The titles are Sallie's Children (1912), Six Devonshire Dumplings (1920), A Little Rhodesian (1922), The Children of Sunshine Mine: A Story of Rhodesia (1923), Gwenda's Friend from Home (1924), and Morwenna's Prince (1926).

BATCHELOR, MAUD [ALICE] (19 Sept 1874 - 1952)
(née Batty)
Author of a single novel, The Woman of the House (1934), a humorous diary of the life of a well-to-do London lady, which I reviewed
here. Batchelor was herself a "Lady" as her husband was Stanley Lockhart Batchelor, a High Court judge in India.

BATCHELOR, PAULA [VIVIENNE] (1923 – 3 Jan 2013)
(married names Gibbs and Lansberry)
Author of two novels—Bed Majestical (1954, aka If This Be Virtue), about a young girl trying to preserve her virtue at the court of an 18th century German Grand Duke, and Angel with Bright Hair (1957), which seems to be about the wife of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. One review states that the first draft of her first novel was written at age 15, while another says that she wrote her novels because she found most historical fiction unsatisfactory. In 1956, she was reportedly married to a schoolmaster and had two small sons.

BATT, ELISABETH [NOEL] (25 Dec 1908 – 27 Apr 1988)
(née Monck)
1950s – 1970s
Author of more than twenty works of Christian-themed children's fiction, including a unique school story set in Jamaica called A Jamaican Schoolgirl (1962). Others include The House with the Blind Window (1955), In Search of Simon (1956), Gillian and the Garden (1958), The Other House (1960), The Smallest Island (1961), The Birthday Plan (1964), The Scarlet Runners (1967), The Secret Tunnel (1970), The Boy Who Broke Things (1974), and The Garden Feast (1976).

BATTEN, JOYCE MORTIMER (21 Nov 1919 - 1999)
(pseudonym of Joyce Kells Mankowska, née Batten)
1930s, 1960s
Author of two books—a children's book, Chang: The Life Story of a Pekingese (1935) and a much later novel, Isle of Mists (1960), about which I've found no information.

BAUMANN, [IRENE SARAH] MARGARET (23 Apr 1905 – 16 Feb 1990)
(married names Gladstone Ogumefu and Lees, aka Marguerite Lees, aka M. L. Ogumefu)
1950s – 1980s
Author of more than 40 works of fiction, including romantic novels and a few story collections. Many of her novels are set in hospitals and were published under her Lees pseudonym. Titles include A Case for Nurse Clare (1955), Secret Star (1956), Ann Carsdaile, Almoner (1958), The Sun and the Sea (1958), Village Nurse (1960), Stevie, Student Nurse (1962), General Hospital (1963), Nurse Barby's Secret Love (1964), Still Waters (1969), The Secret Song (1976), Bridal Flowers (1980), and Rendezvous with a Dream (1981). She also wrote books on Yoruba folk tales as M. L. Ogumefu.

BAWDEN, NINA (19 Jan 1925 – 22 Aug 2012)
(née Mabey)
1950s – 2000s
Author of more than 40 volumes of fiction for children and adults. Her acclaimed novels include Who Calls the Tune (1953), Just Like a Lady (1960, aka Glass Slippers Always Pinch), Tortoise by Candlelight (1963), A Little Love, a Little Learning (1965), A Woman of My Age (1967), The Grain of Truth (1968), The Birds on the Trees (1970), Anna Apparent (1972), The Afternoon of a Good Woman (1976), Familiar Passions (1979), Circles of Deceit (1987, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), Family Money (1991), and A Nice Change (1997)
. Among her children's works, Bawden is best known for Carrie's War (1973), about a young girl's evacuation to a Welsh village during World War II, which has been dramatized for television twice (1974 and 2004) and adapted for the stage (2006). She published a memoir, In My Own Time: Almost an Autobiography, in 1994. Her final published work was Dear Austen (2005), a poignant memoir of her husband, who had been killed in a train derailment in which she was also badly injured.

BAWN, MARY (16 Feb 1917 - 1993)
(pseudonym of Mary Pamela Godwin, married name Wright)
1950s – 1960s
Author of more than a dozen novels, many of which appear to be historical and Scottish-themed. Titles are Son of the Robber Clan (1958), Scarlet for Tartan (1958), Price of Rebellion (1959), Against the Tide (1960), Lady Jean's Father (1960), The Stone of Drumaroo (1960), Pass of the Foxes (1961), Rogue Tide (1962), Galleon's Grave (1963), Thunder of Cavaliers (1964), Brother's Blood (1964), Men of the Bay (1965), and Sword in the Hills (1966).

Baxter, Olive
          see EASTWOOD, HELEN

BAYLEY, VIOLA [CLARE WINGFIELD] (7 Jan 1911 – 11 Jan 1997)
(née Powles)
1930s – 1980s
Author of two dozen children's books, mostly adventure stories set in a variety of international locales. Titles include The Wings of the Morning (1936), The Dark Lantern (1952), White Holiday (1953), Storm on the Marsh (1953), Paris Adventure (1954), Lebanon Adventure (1955), Corsican Adventure (1957), Turkish Adventure (1957), Shadow on the Wall (1958), Swedish Adventure (1959), London Adventure (1962), Italian Adventure (1964), Scottish Adventure (1965), Welsh Adventure (1966), Caribbean Adventure (1971), and Shadows on the Cape (1985).

BAYNE, ISABELLA [FLORENCE] (27 May 1913 – 2001)
(pseudonym of Isabelle Bayne-Powell)
1940s – 1950s
Daughter of Rosamond BAYNE-POWELL. Nurse and author of three mystery novels—Death Enters the Ward (1947), Death and Benedict (1952), and Cruel as the Grave (1956). The first, at least, appears to make use of her nursing experience. Her parents' pre-marriage names were Bayne and Powell, but it seems they both hyphenated the names after they married, as records show both as "Bayne-Powell" thereafter.

BAYNE-POWELL, ROSAMOND [ALICIA] (25 Nov 1879 – 8 May 1960)
(née Bayne, married name Powell)
Mother of Isabella BAYNE. Author of several popular historical works on 18th century England, including Eighteenth-Century London Life (1937) and The English Child in the Eighteenth Century (1939). She later published two crime novels, The Crime at Cloysters (1947) and The Crime at Porches Hill (1950), about which little information is available. She and her husband appear to have been ahead of their time in hyphenating their names after marriage.

BEAMISH, NOEL DE VIC (30 Apr 1883 – 1 Aug 1969)
(pseudonym of Annie O'Meara de Vic Beamish)
1920s – 1970s
Founder and director of European language schools and author of more than two dozen volumes of fiction, many of them historical novels. Titles include Tweet (1925), Miss Perfection (1932), Beatrice in Babel (1933), Fair Fat Lady (1937), Lady Beyond the Walls (1956), Tudor Girl (1960), The Blooming of the Rose (1962), The Wayward Wench (1963), The Peerless Popinjay (1964), A Royal Scandal (1966), The King's Sister (1967), The Queen's Jester (1969), and The Unfortunate Queen Matilda (1971).

BEARNE, CATHERINE MARY (1844 – 9 May 1923)
(née Charlton)
Primarily known for her biographies about prominent women in French court circles, including A Queen of Napoleon's Court: Life-Story of Désirée Bernadotte (1905) and A Sister of Marie Antoinette: The Life-Story of Maria Caroline, Queen of Naples (1907), her final publication was a novel, In Perilous Days: A Tale of the French Revolution (1920).

BEATTY, KATHERINE (13 Feb 1882 – 7 Jan 1937) & HELEN [GILL EDE] (27 Jan 1880 – 1 Sept 1973)
Authors of a single novel, Winter Wind (1946), described as "vivid pen pictures of life in rural Antrim." The authors were sisters, and a review of the book mentions that Katherine died before the books publication—perhaps Helen finished a book the two had begun, or possibly the publication was delayed due to World War II.

BEATTY, MABEL (1879 – 13 Jan 1932)
(full name Rose Mabel Beatty, née Chappell)
Author of mystical works, including one subtitled "Being a Series of Teachings Sent by the White Brotherhood Through the Hand of Mabel Beatty", and a single novel, The Resurrection of Merion Lloyd (1929), in which an "[i]mprisoned murderer practices astral projection, possesses body of suicide and finds redemption in new life."

BEATY, BETTY [JOAN CAMPBELL] (16 Jul 1919 – 22 Jul 2014)
(née Smith, aka Karen Campbell, aka Catherine Ross)
1950s – 1990s
Author of more than thirty romantic novels (and perhaps, judging from titles, one or more mysteries) under her own name and her two pseudonyms. Titles include Maiden Flight (1956), The Atlantic Sky (1957), The Butternut Tree (1958), The Colours of Night (1962), The Path of the Moonfish (1964), The Trysting Tower (1964), Miss Miranda's Walk (1967), Suddenly in the Air (1969), The Swallows of San Fedora (1974), Love and the Kentish Maid (1975), Death Descending (1976), The Bells of St. Martin (1979), The Missionary's Daughter (1983), and The Shadow of the Peak (1985).

BEAUCHAMP, BARBARA [PROCTOR] (25 Jan 1909 – 25 Aug 1974)
1930s – 1950s
Partner of novelist Norah C. JAMES for many years and author of seven novels herself. She and James published a cookbook together, Greenfingers and the Gourmet (1949). Her novels are Fair Exchange (1939), Without Comment (1939), The Paragons (1940), Wine of Honour (1946), Ride the Wind (1947), Virtue in the Sun (1949), and The Girl in the Fog (1958). I reviewed Wine of Honour
here, and it was reprinted in 2019 as a Furrowed Middlebrow book from Dean Street Press.

BEAUCLERK, HELEN [DE VERE] (20 Sept 1892 – 8 Jul 1969)
(pseudonym of Helen Mary Dorothea Bellingham)
1920s – 1940s
Translator from French (including works by Colette) and author of seven novels. Her early works have elements of fantasy combined with philosophy. The Green Lacquer Pavilion (1926) is about an Oriental screen that transports an entire dinner party into a fantasy realm. The Love of the Foolish Angel (1929) and The Mountain and the Tree (1935) deal with Christian and Greek mythology respectively. Her remaining four novels—So Frail a Thing (1940), Shadows on the Wall (1941), Where the Treasure Is (1944), and There Were Three Men (1949)—are described by the Orlando Project as "depicting the lives of men and women as they intertwine during World War II."

Beaufort, Jane
          see POLLOCK, IDA [JULIE]

Beaumont, Isabel

Becket, Lavinia
          see MANSBRIDGE, PAMELA

BECKWITH, LILLIAN (25 Apri 1916 – 3 Jan 2004)
(pseudonym of Lillian Comber, née Lloyd)
1950s – 2000s
Author of more than a dozen novels. Seven of these are semi-autobiographical humorous tales of her relocation to an isolated community in the Hebrides. In order, these are The Hills is Lonely (1959), The Sea for Breakfast (1961), The Loud Halo (1964), A Rope - In Case (1968), Lightly Poached (1973), Beautiful Just! (1976), and Bruach Blend (1978). Her other novels include Green Hand (1967), The Spuddy (1974), A Shine of Rainbows (1984, made into a film), A Proper Woman (1986), The Small Party (1989), An Island Apart (1992), and A Breath of Autumn (2002). She also published a Hebridean Cookbook (1976).

BEDFORD, H[ANNAH]. LOUISA (26 Dec 1847 – 29 Jul 1942)
1890s – 1910s
Author of more than two dozen novels and children's works, including several in collaboration with Evelyn EVERETT-GREEN. Titles include His Choice—and Hers (1895), Miss Chilcott's Legacy (1896), Prue the Poetess (1897), The Twins that Did Not Pair (1898), The Village by the River (1900), Robin the Rebel (1903), Under One Standard (1906), The Deerhurst Girls (1907), Love and a Will o' the Wisp (1908), Drusilla the Second (1910), Maids in Many Moods (1912), A Home in the Bush (1913), The Ventures of Hope (1914), and The Siege of Mr Johnson (1915).

Bedford, John
          see HASTINGS, PHYLLIS [DORA]

BEHRENS, MARGARET [ELIZABETH] (4 Oct 1885 – 12 Jan 1968)
(née Davidson)
Author of five novels—In Masquerade (1930), Puck in Petticoats (1931), Miss Mackay (1932), House of Dreams (1932), and Half a Loaf (1933)—about which information is scarce, as well as a later children's title, Monkey Behave (1958). She appears to have been a neighbor of T. S. Eliot in Surrey around the beginning of World War II.

BEITH, [EVELYN BEATRICE] JANET (17 Jul 1906 – 10 Nov 1995)
(married name Melland)
1930s, 1950s
Author of three novels, including a highly praised debut, No Second Spring (1933), described as a tragic love story set on a Scottish manse, a well-received second novel, Sand Castle (1936), about "two young Highlanders, striving to adapt themselves to Manchester and the world of trade," and a belated third novel, The Corbies (1955), about which little information is available.

BELL, EVA MARY (16 Oct 1877 - 11 Feb 1959)
(née Hamilton, aka Mrs. G. H. Bell, aka John Travers)
1910s – 1930s
Author of just over a dozen novels, including five under her Travers pseudonym. Titles are Sahib-Log (1910), In the World of Bewilderment (1912), Second Nature (1914), Happiness (1916), A Servant When He Reigneth (1921), The Mortimers (1922), Those Young Married People (1924), In the Long Run (1925), Jean, a Halo, and Some Circles (1926), Safe Conduct (1927), The Foreigner (1928), Hot Water (1929), and Taking a Liberty (1931). She was also the editor of The Hamwood Papers of the Ladies of Llangollen (1930), featuring diaries and papers of Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler.

BELL, MRS. HUGH (9 Sept 1851 – 16 May 1930)
(pseudonym of Florence Eveleen Eleanore Olliffe Bell, née Olliffe)
1890s – 1920s
Stepmother of archaeologist and author Gertrude Bell, whose letters she edited. Author of fiction for adults and children, as well as readers, songbooks, French language guides, and how-to books about making conversation in society. Novels include the New Woman tale The Story of Ursula (1895), Miss Tod and the Prophets (1898), about a spinster taken in by doomsday prophets, The Arbiter (1901), about an invalid who becomes the force behind her husband's career, Down with the Tariff! A Tale of Free Trade (1908), and The Good Ship Brompton Castle (1915). She is also remembered for At the Works (1907), her study of her husband's workforce in Middlesborough, which was reprinted by Virago in 1985. Reportedly, the two main characters in Henry James's story "Nona Vincent" (1891) are based on Bell and her close friend, American novelist Elizabeth Robins.

Bell, Jean
          see SHAW, JANE

BELL, JOSEPHINE (8 Dec 1897 – 24 Apr 1987)
(pseudonym of Doris Bell Ball, née Collier)
1930s – 1980s
Author of more than 40 mysteries, often reflecting her own experiences as a doctor for more than 30 years, including at the University College Hospital in London. Her mysteries are known for leisurely pacing, realistic characters, and clever puzzles, though she remains less well known than contemporaries like Agatha CHRISTIE, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy L. SAYERS. Mystery titles include Murder in Hospital (1937), The Port of London Murders (1938), Death at Half-Term (1938), Trouble at Wrekin Farm (1942), Death at the Medical Board (1944), The Summer School Mystery (1950), Fiasco in Fulham (1963), The Upfold Witch (1964), A Hydra with Six Heads (1970), and The Innocent (1982, aka A Deadly Place to Live). Catholic World called another of her titles, Death in Retirement (1956), a "remarkably ingenious and suspenseful mystery story, one rich in character and atmosphere," and Shirley Neilson discussed New People at the Hollies (1961) in the first issue of The Scribbler. Bell also published nearly 20 non-mystery novels, many of them historical in subject. Titles include The Bottom of the Well (1940), Martin Croft (1941), Compassionate Adventure (1946), Total War at Haverington (1947), The Convalescent (1960), Tudor Pilgrimage (1967), and In the King's Absence (1973).

Bell, Marguerite
          see POLLOCK, IDA [JULIE]

BELL, [EMMA] MARY (17 Jan 1913 – 26 Sept 1994)
(married names MacDonald and Arbuthnot)
Author of Summer’s Day (1951), a novel for adults set in a girls’ school, which was reprinted by Greyladies and which I discussed here. An earlier short romance called Broken Bonds (1946) may be by the same author. She suffered personal tragedy shortly after publication of Summer's Day, which may be part of the reason she stopped writing.

BELL, MARY HAYLEY (22 Jan 1911 – 1 Dec 2005)
(married name Mills)
Wife of actor Sir John Mills and mother of actress Hayley Mills. Actress, playwright and novelist best known for her first two stage hits Men in Shadow (1942), about the French Resistance, and Duet for Two Hands (1945), about a surgeon who transplants a murderer's hands onto an unsuspecting patient. Later plays, including Angel (1947) and The Uninvited Guest (1953), were less successful, and she turned to fiction with the novels Avolena (1957) and Whistle Down the Wind (1958). The latter, about three children who come across an escaped murderer and believe he's Jesus, was made into a film in 1961, and has the dubious distinction of having been made, in 1996, into one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's less successful musicals. Bell's memoir, What Shall We Do Tomorrow?, appeared in 1968.

Bell, Ramsay

Bellairs, Pearl
          see JEPSON, MARGARET

BELLAMY, KATHLEEN S[OMERS]. (21 Feb 1912 – 2002)
(married names Tomkinson and White)
Author of two novels, Jacaranda (1940) and The Cage (1942), the latter of which takes place at least partially during World War II—an Observer review summarizes it: "a futile young woman, a poet, who lives with her sister, knows a number of other drifters, and picks up a lover whom she marries. … She leaves him, knocks about in air raids, and at last can stand separation no longer. So she goes to Scotland, where his unit of the R.A.F. is stationed, and there is a half-hearted reconciliation." Bellamy was latterly married to Sir Dick Goldsmith White, senior British Intelligence officer. She may have been born in Argentina, where her father had business.

Bellasis, Margaret
          see MARTON, FRANCESCA

BELLERBY, FRANCES (29 Aug 1899 – 30 Jul 1975)
(née Parker)
1930s – 1940s
Poet whose work appeared regularly on the BBC in the 1950s, and author of two novels. Shadowy Bricks (1932), according to the Orlando Project, "might be better described as an educational tract. … The idealistic young heroine of this text is a teacher at a progressive school in the Dorset countryside." Somewhat better known was Hath the Rain a Father? (1946), a novel about mourning the losses of World War I, in which her brother was killed. She published five collections of poems and three collections of stories—Come to an End (1939), The Acorn and the Cup (1948), and A Breathless Child (1952). Two different volumes of selected poems appeared in 1970 and 1986, and her Selected Stories was published in 1986.

BELLHOUSE, LUCY W[ILFRED]. (1 Apr 1900 – 9 Jun 1961)
(née Allan)
1930s - 1960
Author of ten volumes of fiction for children, including a series about a family living in a caravan. Titles include The Caravan Children (1935), The Coming of George (1937), The Queen's Crown (1938), Strange Places of the Bible (1939), The Caravan Again (1943), The Caravan Goes West (1948), The Caravan Comes Home (1951), The Christmas Caravan (1955), The Helicopter Children (1956), The Helicopter Flies Again (1957), and The Winter Caravan (1960). The British Library shows her unusual middle name as Wilered, but various records, including a customs card she completed for a trip to the U.S., clearly show Wilfred. She was born in Edinburgh.

Benedict, Peter
          see PARGETER, EDITH

BENNETT, DOROTHY (2 Jul 1919 – 1976)
(née Barnes)
1940s - 1970s
Author of six crime novels—The Curious Were Killed (1947), The Carrion Crows (1950), Stranger in His Grave (1966), The Chaos Makers (1968), State Puppet (1971), and Game Without Winners (1972). She is not to be confused with no fewer than three American authors with similar names—children's author Dorothy A[gnes]. Bennett (1909-1999), crime writer Dorothy [Evelyn] Bennett (1902-1992), and playwright Dorothy Bennett (1907-1988).

BENNETT, [ELIZA] TERTIA (17 Oct 1872 – 27 Dec 1949)
(married name Kennerley)
1890s – 1920s
Sister of novelist Arnold Bennett and apparently the author of only three books scattered across a quarter century: Tiptail: The Adventures of a Black Kitten (1899) and Gentleman Dash (1912) are definitely children's books, but The Mysterious Uncle (1924) could be for older readers. The Bennett papers at Keele University include manuscripts of something called "The Peggy Stories" by Tertia Bennett, but it's unclear whether these became one or more of the published titles or are unpublished works.

BENNETT, FREDERICA J[ANE]. E[DITH]. (29 Mar 1880 – 4 Nov 1936)
(née Turle)
1920s – 1940s
Author of more than a dozen works for children, including two girls' school stories—Gillian the Dauntless (1937) and Harum-Scarum Jill (1937). Her other titles include Eight Weeks in the "Saucy Sue" (1927), The Boy Over the Way (1927), Kidnapped by Smugglers (1931), The Mystery of the Sinclairs (1932), The Nabob's Garden (1933, reprinted 1960), The Prince Passes (1935), Plain Jane (1936), Fire and Hall (1937), Open Windows (1938), Augusta and the Boys (1939), and Glen Robin: A Story for Girls (1941).

Bennett, Maisie
          see MAYER-NIXSON,

BENNETT, MARGOT (19 Jan 1912 – 6 Dec 1980)
1940s – 1960s
Author of nine novels, six of them mysteries or thrillers which may be ripe for rediscovery—in particular, The Widow of Bath (1952) and The Man Who Didn't Fly (1955) have received acclaim, the former from the likes of Julian Symons. Her others in the genre were Time to Change Hats (1946), Away Went the Little Fish (1946), Someone from the Past (1958), and Farewell Crown and Goodbye King (1961). Intriguingly, she also tried her hand at science-fiction, with The Long Way Back (1954), about an England colonized by Africa. Her final novel, The Furious Masters (1968), also flirts with sci-fi, though its subject—a possible UFO landing and the tourism and media mayhem it inspires—sounds more like a satire than an alien invasion tale. Her remaining novel was That Summer's Earthquake (1964), set on a New Zealand sheep farm. Her only other publication appears to have been the unusually titled The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Atomic Radiation (1964). For a time, she wrote for television, including several episodes of the Maigret mystery series. It's not known why she, like Dorothy L. SAYERS and despite success in the genre, stopped publishing mysteries for the last two decades of her life.

BENSON, STELLA (6 Jan 1892 – 6 Dec 1933)
(married name Anderson)
1910s – 1930s
Niece of Mary CHOLMONDELEY and author of nine novels, many known for their use of fantasy elements to comment on war, women's rights, and other issues. I Pose (1915) concerns the marriage of a suffragette to a gardener. This Is the End (1917) is about a young woman who runs away from her upper-crust family to work as a bus conductor during World War I. Living Alone (1919) incorporates witches, fairies, and dragons in "an examination of human isolation." The Poor Man (1922) features a deaf character (Benson herself was at least hearing-impaired) and a harsh condemnation of Americans. Of Pipers and a Dancer (1924), Naomi MITCHISON said "it is so infinitely more intelligent than the James Joyce method." Goodbye Stranger (1926) features three female performers and a male changeling in a Chinese town (utilizing Benson's own experiences of living in China). The Far-Away Bride (1930, aka Tobit Transplanted) deals with White Russians in Manchuria, Pull Devil, Pull Baker (1933) is about the love life of a Knight of Malta, and Mundos (1935), left incomplete at Benson's premature death, sounds like an unusual mystery: "The narrative ends with a kidnapping and leaves a murder victim undiscovered, a murderer at large, and a dwarf marooned on a cliff." She published several volumes of short stories, and a Collected Stories appeared in 1936. She also published poetry and two volumes of travel writings—The Little World (1925) and Worlds Within Worlds (1928). Benson contracted pneumonia during a trip to French Indochina (now Vietnam) and died at the age of 41.

BENSON, [ELEANOR] THEODORA [ROBY] (21 Aug 1906 – 25 Dec 1968)
1920s – 1950s
Humorist, travel writer and author of ten novels, including two with collaborator Betty ASKWITH, which, according to the Orlando Project, "present a cynical world of failed romance, lost ideals, social foibles, and ruthless self-seeking." These are Salad Days (1928), Glass Houses (1929), Lobster Quadrille (1930, with Askwith), Which Way? (1931), Shallow Water (1931), Seven Basketfuls (1932, with Askwith), Façade (1933), Concert Pitch (1934), The Undertaker's Wife (1947), and Rehearsal for Death (1954). Of The Undertaker's Wife, her most ambitious novel, John Betjeman said it was "[f]ull of acute feminine observation, drinks, jokes, talk in keeping with its varied characters, atmosphere and mature wisdom." Rehearsal for Death was Benson's only foray into mysteries, and took place among actors, with frequent Shakespearean quotations. Benson and Askwith collaborated on three popular books of humorous sketches—Foreigners, or, The World in a Nutshell (1935), Muddling Through, or, Britain in a Nutshell (1936), and How to Be Famous, or, The Great in a Nutshell (1937). In addition, Benson wrote three travel books—Chip, Chip, My Little Horse: The Story of an Air-Holiday (1934), about her travels in Europe, The Unambitious Journey (1935), about Greece, Yugoslavia, and Albania, and In the East My Pleasure Lies (1938), about her travels in Asia—and numerous short stories, many of them, perhaps surprisingly, horror, and only some of them collected in Best Stories of Theodora Benson (1940) and The Man from the Tunnel and Other Stories (1950). During World War II, she published Sweethearts and Wives: Their Part in War (1942), a short book illustrated with home front photographs, encouraging women to take up war work in support of the men who were fighting.

BENTINCK, NORAH [IDA EMILY] (4 Jan 1881 – 23 May 1939)
(née Noel)
Author of a biographical work, The Ex-Kaiser in Exile (1921), a memoir, My Wanderings and Memories (1924), and two novels, The Ring of Straw (1925) and The Puzzled Wife (1926), about which information is sparse.

BENTLEY, PHYLLIS [ELEANOR] (19 Nov 1894 – 27 Jun 1977)
1910s – 1970s
Biographer, novelist and children's author whose works are primarily set in her native Yorkshire. She published 18 adult novels in all, many of them historical, and she considered her trilogy—Inheritance (1932), The Rise of Henry Morcar (1946), and A Man of His Time (1966), which trace several generations of three different families, all working in the cloth trades, from the early 1800s to the postwar period—to be her finest work. Other novels include Environment (1922) and its sequel Cat-in-the-Manger (1923), The Spinner of the Years (1928), A Modern Tragedy (1934), Freedom, Farewell! (1936), which attacked the rise of the Nazis in the guise of a tale of ancient Rome, The Power and the Glory (1940), set during the American Civil War, Life Story (1948), based on her mother's life, Noble in Reason (1955), her most autobiographical novel, and The House of Moreys (1953), described as a gothic mystery/romance. Bentley also published several biographical and scholarly works about the Brontës, and The English Regional Novel (1941), an important critical work. Late in her career, she published five tales of historical adventure for younger readers, including The Adventures of Tom Leigh (1964), Ned Carver in Danger (1967), Gold Pieces (1968, aka Forgery), Sheep May Safely Graze (1972), and The New Venturers (1973).

BERESFORD, ELISABETH (6 Aug 1926 – 24 Dec 2010)
(married name Robertson)
1950s – 1990s
Best known as the creator of the Wombles series of books and television shows, she also wrote numerous other children's books, including The Flying Doctor Mystery (1958), The Hidden Mill (1965), Dangerous Magic (1972), and The Ghosts of Lupus Street School (1986). She also published more than a dozen romantic novels for adults, including Paradise Island (1963), Escape to Happiness (1964), Roses Round the Door (1965), Saturday's Child (1968, aka Echoes of Love), Love and the S.S. Beatrice (1972, aka Thunder of Her Heart), Pandora (1974), The Steadfast Lover (1980), and Flight to Happiness (1983).

BERG, LEILA [RITA] (12 Nov 1917 – 17 Apr 2012)
(née Goller)
1940s – 1990s
Author of nearly 50 children's titles, as well as several works of non-fiction and translation. Best known for editing and contributing to the "Nippers" series for early readers, books innovative at the time for attempting to represent the lives of working class and immigrant children and families. Of that series, Berg's Guardian obit said: "Family life involving such mundane yet never before represented activities as eating fish and chips and doing the pools, or details such as an unemployed father, was incorporated into chatty, playful narratives with repetitive cadences and unexpected, humorous twists." Some critics, however, found the works too realistic for young readers, or too stereotyped. Her children's titles include The Adventures of Chunky (1948), Little Pete Stories (1952), The Hidden Road (1958), A Box for Benny (1958), Three Men Went to Work (1960), Fish and Chips for Supper (1968), Doing the Pools (1971), Hospital Day (1972), Plenty of Room (1975), and The Knee-high Man (1990). Notable among her non-fiction is Risinghill: Death of a Comprehensive School (1968), about a progressive school closed down only five years after opening, despite its considerable successes, because education authorities disapproved of the headmaster's liberal approach.

BERRIDGE, ELIZABETH [EILEEN] (3 Dec 1919 – 2 Dec 2009)
(married name Graham)
1940s – 1990s
Longtime book critic for the Daily Telegraph and author of nine novels. The Story of Stanley Brent (1945) was compared to Flaubert's Un Coeur Simple. The House of Defence (1945), set in the 1880s, is about a Welsh girl who comes to London as a kitchen maid. Be Clean, Be Tidy (1947, aka It Won't Be Flowers) makes use of Berridge's time working at the Bank of England, while Upon Several Occasions (1953) deals with village life and Rose Under Glass (1961) is about a widow rebuilding her life among the artists and writers of London. Across the Common (1964), which I wrote about
here, and Sing Me Who You Are (1967) are both about young women uncovering disturbing family histories. People at Play (1982) is set in the 1960s and deals again with fractured family life, while her final novel, Touch and Go (1995), which was adapted for BBC Radio, is about a middle-aged divorcée who inherits a house in her Welsh hometown and decides to make a new start there. Berridge's early Selected Stories (1947) was reprinted by Persephone Books as Tell It to a Stranger and includes several powerful wartime stories. Another collection, Family Matters, had appeared in 1980. Several of Berridge's novels have been reissued by Faber Finds.

(married name Lewis, aka Amanda Hope)
1940s – 1980s
Author of more than 50 children's titles, especially pony and other animal stories, such as Taff the Sheepdog (1949), The Ponies Next Door (1954), Ponies All Summer (1956), A Pony in the Family (1959), and others to the 1980s, as well as three romantic novels under her Hope pseudonym—The Pengelly Face (1977), Lord of Glenjerrick (1979), and Mistress of Eden (1979). She also published a variety of gardening books.

Beresford, Max
          see HOLDSWORTH, ANNIE E.

BERRY, FLORA E[LIZA]. (14 Feb 1873 – 7 Jun 1949)
1890s – 1930s
Author of one school story, Monica's Choice (1904), and three other titles about which information is sparse—In Small Corners (1899), Neta Lyall (1903), and Lettice Martyn's Crusade (1930).

Bertram, Rosamond

          see BARLTROP, MABEL

BEST, ANNA (dates unknown)
Untraced author of two girls' school stories—School Rivals (1925), in which the heroine mostly rescues others from dangerous situations, and Madge's Victory (1926), which Sims and Clare describe as "unintentionally amusing" because of its bewildering plot.

BETHAM-EDWARDS, MATILDA (4 Mar 1836 – 4 Jan 1919)
1850s – 1910s
Victorian poet, memoirist, travel writer, and novelist, whose 1916 work Hearts of Alsace appears to be a novel and thus to qualify her for this list. Her debut,
The White House by the Sea (1857), was an international bestseller, and some later works dealt with French life, based on her frequent travels in that country.

BETHUNE, MARY (13 Dec 1901 – 5 Nov 1987)
(pseudonym of Liliane Mary Catherine Clopet)
Practicing doctor and lifelong companion of mystery writer Kathleen FREEMAN (aka Mary Fitt), Bethune published a single novel, Doctor Dear (1954), which appears to be about a woman doctor, perhaps inspired by her own experiences.

BETTANY, [MARY] JEANNIE (JANE) [HICKLING] (25 Jan 1857 – 16 Feb 1941)
(née Gwynne, aka Mrs. Coulson Kernahan or J. G. Kernahan)
1880s – 1940s
Prolific author of more than 40 popular—if often implausible, judging from reviews—romantic adventure and suspense novels. Titles include Two Legacies (1886), Trewinnot of Guy's (1898), The Avenging of Ruthanna (1900), An Unwise Virgin (1903), The Sinnings of Seraphine (1906), The Mystery of Magdalen (1906), Ashes of Passion (1909), The House of Blight (1911), The Mystery of Mere Hall (1912), The Stolen Man (1915), The Trap (1917), The Temptation of Gideon Holt (1923), The Whip of the Will (1927), The Blue Diamond (1932), A Village Mystery (1934), The Woman Who Understood (1935), and The Affair of Maltravers (1949). Interestingly, she attended University College London for four years after she was married. She was also the mother of George Kernahan Gwynne Bettany, who published mysteries in the 1930s and 1940s.

BETTS, P[HYLLIS]. Y[VONNE]. (21 Apr 1909 - 2005)
Best known now for her late memoir People Who Say Goodbye (1989), which was reprinted in recent years by Slightly Foxed and was her first book in over five decades, following a single novel, French Polish, in 1933. That novel was described by
Flavorwire as "a funny and sharply observed novel about a girls’ finishing school."

BEVAN, [KATHLEEN ELEANOR] MARJORIE (11 Feb 1900 – 8 Sept 1966)
(married name Bennetton)
1920s – 1940s
Author of nearly a dozen volumes of children's fiction, including nine girls' school stories—Five of the Fourth (1926), The Priory League (1928), The Formidable Fifth (193?), Anne of the Veld (1934), The Fifth at Foley's (1936), Mystery Term at Moorleigh (1937), The Luck of the Veritys (1938), Merely Belinda (1939), and Madcaps of Manor School (1948). Sims and Clare say that the first of these "can be charitably described as weak," but note that the later books like Anne of the Veld and The Luck of the Veritys are considerable improvements.

Bevel, Nicholas
          see HINE, MURIEL

BEVERLY, ANN (18 Apr 1904 – 6 Sept 1994)
(pseudonym of Gretchen [sometimes Gertrude?] Edith Breary)
Children's author who published around 10 titles for younger children, as well as one, The Runaway Four (1944), which seems to be for older children.

Bhatia, June
          see FORRESTER, HELEN

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