Tuesday, January 1, 2013

British & Irish Women Writers of Fiction 1910-1960 (Sn - Sy)

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 544 pages! 


[Current total: 2,391 writers] 

UPDATED 2/29/2024

SNELLING, JOAN K. (7 Mar 1926 - 2004)
Author of three novels. The first, Queen by Proxy (1942), described by one reviewer as "unbelievably nonsensical," was written during the Blitz when she was only 14. The others are The Cruise of the Carrier Dove (1946) and Morning Waits (1947), the latter set during Queen Anne's reign. Reviews of her first book suggest that she was orphaned in the Blitz, but in fact it appears that her mother died in 1929 and her father moved to Australia, leaving her to be raised by her grandparents.

Snow, Lyndon

SOFTLEY, [ISABEL MARJORIE] ANNA (29 Jun 1909 – 1 Feb 1993)
(née Wills)

Author of a single novel, The White Garland (1958), summed up in a blurb as a "dramatic, romantic novel of passionate love, blazing excitement and tragedy … set against a vivid background of Singapore, South Africa and London during the years 1940 to 1950." According to articles, she was living in Singapore at the time the book was published, and an earlier record says she was a private secretary there.

Somers, Jane
          see LESSING, DORIS [MAY]

(pseudonym of Edith Somerville [2 May 1858 – 8 Oct 1949] and Violet Martin [11 Jun 1862- 21 Dec 1915])
1880s – 1930s
Cousins, companions, and authors of eight volumes of fiction and several travel books. They remain most famous for Some Experiences of an Irish RM (1899), humorous tales of an Anglo-Irish "Resident Magistrate" clashing with Irish villagers. Two sequels followed—Further Experiences of an Irish RM (1908) and In Mr Knox's Country (1915)—and later on the stories were made into a television series. Their other fiction together were An Irish Cousin (1889), The Real Charlotte (1894), The Silver Fox (1898), All on the Irish Shore (1903), and Dan Russell the Fox (1911). Their travel writings include Beggars on Horseback (1895), which features a visit to the home of “the ladies of Llangollen". Following Martin's sudden death from a brain tumor, Somerville originally felt she could no longer write. As time passed, however, she began to believe that she was in psychic contact with Martin and that their collaboration was continuing. By this unusual method, she produced six more novels—Mount Music (1919), The Big House at Inver (1925), An Incorruptible Irishman (1932), The Smile and the Tear (1933), The Sweet Cry of Hounds (1936), and Sarah's Youth (1938). The pair's Selected Letters were published in 1989.

Somerville, Edith
          see SOMERVILLE & ROSS

SOMERVILLE, H. B. (17 Apr 1885 – 4 Nov 1950)
(pseudonym of Ina Violet McComas, sometimes MacComas)
1910s – 1930s
Author of six novels, at least some of which are historical in subject. Titles are Ashes of Vengeance (1913), set in France in the 1570s, Some Women and Timothy (1915), The Mark of Vraye (1917), The Man's Story (1919), Raoul the Hunchback (1922), and The Schemes of Men (1931), set during Queen Elizabeth's reign.

SOSKICE, JULIET [CATHERINE EMMA] (28 Nov 1880 – 14 Jun 1943)
(née Hueffer)
1920s – 1930s
Granddaughter of artist Ford Madox-Brown and sister of novelist and editor Ford Madox Ford. Chapters from Childhood (1921) is her acclaimed memoir of her bohemian family life. She also published five novels—A Woman Scorned (1925), Woman at the Wheel (1929), A Gay Rover (1931), No One to Guide Her (1933), and The Woman of Shadows (1937).

SOUTH, MARTHA (12 Nov 1891 – 1 May 1978)
(pseudonym of Grace Ashley Wood)
Author of two novels—Wind-Shaken Timber (1932), which judging by a review is a rural melodrama along the lines of Mary WEBB, and Apology of a Mercenary (1933), which follows one day in the life of an elementary school teacher. She later wrote a History of Hockerill Training College (1938).

SOUTHWART, ELIZABETH (25 Feb 1874 – 30 Sept 1947)
Author of three novels, including The Story of Jenny: A Mill Girl's Diary (1920), Ern Scar (1925), and The Road Beyond (1926), and what appears to be a children's title, The Password to Fairyland (1920). She also published the non-fiction Brontë Moors & Villages (1923).

SPAIN, NANCY [BROOKER] (13 Sept 1917 – 21 Mar 1964)
1940s – 1950s
Pioneering journalist, TV personality, biographer, children's author, and co-founder of the feminist She magazine. She also wrote three memoirs and ten humorous mysteries written in a campy style and containing thinly-veiled gay and lesbian characters and themes (Poison for Teacher, for example, is set at a girls' school called Radcliffe Hall). Mystery titles are Death Before Wicket (1946), Poison in Play (1946), Murder, Bless It! (1948), Death Goes on Skis (1949), Poison for Teacher (1949), Cinderella Goes to the Morgue (1950, aka Minutes to Midnight), R. in the Month (1950), Not Wanted on Voyage (1951), Out, Damned Tot! (1952), and The Kat Strikes (1955). Her first published work, Thank You, Nelson (1945), was a memoir of her own experiences in the war. The paperback edition featured the blurb, "The Irrepressible Nancy Spain's Witty, Vigourous and Inspiring Account of the W.R.N.S. at War." She published two subsequent memoirs, Why I'm Not a Millionaire (1956) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way (1964), as well as biographies of Mrs. Beeton and Eleanor Tennant. Sadly, she and her partner of many years were killed in a plane crash.

SPARK, MURIEL [SARAH] (1 Feb 1918 – 13 Apr 2006)
(née Camberg)
1950s – 2000s
Major novelist whose 22 novels combine dark humor with a Catholic sensibility and rigorous explorations of the complexities of good and evil. In 2008, the Times placed her at #8 on their list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. Her most famous work, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), was included among Modern Library's 100 best English-language novels, and was made into a film for which Maggie Smith won a Best Actress Oscar. The Girls of Slender Means (1963) takes place in a London boarding-house for girls during the final days of World War II. Other acclaimed novels include Memento Mori (1959), The Ballad of Peckham Rye (1960), Loitering With Intent (1981), A Far Cry From Kensington (1988), and Symposium (1991). She was also acclaimed for her short stories, and her Complete Short Stories appeared in 2001.

SPENCE, BETTY [EILEEN] (8 Nov 1915 – 9 Mar 1997)
(married name Tettmar)
Author of three works of children's fiction—Wheels to the West (1953), The Family at the Yellow House (1956), her one school story, and Jen of the Yellow House (1959). I wonder if she could be the Elizabeth Tettmar who published romantic novels in the 1980s-1990s, but haven't been able to establish it for sure.

SPENCER, CLAIRE (20 Apr 1895 – 21 May 1987)
(married names Smith and Evans)

Scottish author of three novels—Gallows’ Orchard (1930), about an unconventional young woman in rural Scotland, which garnered comparisons to Thomas Hardy and Emily Brontë, The Quick and the Dead (1932), set in New York City, and The Island (1935), set in a Scottish fishing village. Spencer was raised in Scotland, but emigrated to the U.S. in 1915.

SPENCER, JILL (27 May 1897 - ????)
(born Hilda Marsden but went by Jill, married names Spencer and Tahourdin, aka Jay Marston, aka Jill Tahourdin)
1930s, 1950s – 1960s
Author of five early novels as "Jay Marston" and "Jill Spencer", including Full Moon (1930), Red Lava (1931), Ship's Magic (1933), A Bow at a Venture (1934), and Fool's Paradise (1934). She stopped publishing, apparently living in Uganda and later South Africa, until 1959, when she returned with several Mills & Boon romances under her second married name Jill Tahourdin.

SPENCER KNOTT, TINA [JUSTINA] (7 Jul 1915 - 1984)
(née Kuipers)
Author of two humorous memoirs—Fools Rush In (1949), about her and her husband's experiences buying a farm in Devon, and Keep It Clean (1958), about her subsequent venture setting up a launderette. She also published a single novel, Nemesis for Norman (1951), about British people working in the oilfields of Venezuela.

Author of two crime novels—Crooks in Cabaret (1935), set in London and France, and The Four Dead Men (1936), a noir-ish thriller about four legally dead men who, having been falsely accused of crimes, set out for vengeance against ne'er-do-wells. She had been working as a shopgirl while writing her first novel, which was accepted when she was only 19. I wrote about her tragic early death here.

SPENDER, BRENDA ELIZABETH (11 Jul 1884 – 24 Mar 1967)
(aka Elizabeth Steward)
1930s – 1940s
Journalist and editor for Country Life, and author of five children’s titles, including Mock Uncle (1932), a series of three pony books about "On’y Tony"—On'y Tony: The Adventures of Three Ponies and a Little Boy (1935), On'y Tony's Circus (1936), and On'y Tony and the Dragon (1938)—and one more later pony book, The Friends of Van (1949). She also published one romantic novel, The Unlikely Wooing (1932), under her pseudonym.

SPENDER, CONSTANCE M[ARY]. (21 Sept 1861 – 11 Jun 1943)
1910s – 1920s
Author of two children's books, The Gilroy Family (1919) and Lion Hearts (1920), the latter a girls' school story. She also published a book about Bath (1922).

SPETTIGUE, JANE H[ELLYAR]. (1851 – 11 Jan 1936)
1870s - 1920
Author of at least seven volumes of fiction for children and adults. Born in Cornwall, she seems to have spent much of her later life in South Africa, as reflected in her fiction. Titles include The Gregors: A Cornish Story (1878), Jephthah's Daughter (1885), An Africander Trio (1897), An Unappreciative Aunt (1898), A Pair of Them (1899), A Trek and a Laager: A Borderland Story (1900), A Housekeeping Start in Johannesburg (1904), and Nero, an African Mongrel (1920).

(born Spier, she apparently added the "s" herself, married name Reed)
1920s – 1930s
Costume designer and screenwriter for silent films and mother of child star Joan Langford Reed. Author, with her husband Herbert Langford Reed, of three novels. Potter's Clay (1923), about bohemian life in and around the Oxford potteries, was made into a film featuring Ellen Terry. Daphne Grows Down (1925) is about a young actress pretending to be a 12-year-old girl to aid her mother's vanity about her age. And The Mantle of Methuselah (1939) is a farce about a middle-aged couple who discover the fountain of youth, with unexpected consequences.

SPOONER, GLENDA [VICTORIA MAUDE] (5 Aug 1897 – 30 May 1981)
(née Graham)
1930s - 1950s
Author of horse-related children’s fiction and a single novel. Victoria Glencairn (1935) is an autobiographical tale, in which the heroine first takes to the stage, then to aviation and writing. Her horse stories include Royal Crusader: The Autobiography of a Horse (1948), The Earth Sings (1950), The Perfect Pest (1951), Minority's Colt (1952), and The Silk Purse (1953)—see here for additional details. She also published non-fiction related to horses. Her sister Winifred was also a well-known woman pilot.

SPRIGGE, ELIZABETH [MIRIAM SQUIRE] (10 Jun 1900 – 9 Dec 1974)
(married name Napier)
1920s – 1940, 1960s
Children's writer, biographer, and author of seven novels, two of them historical. Home Is the Hunter (1930) is set in 19th century Dundee, complete with dialect, while The Raven's Wing (1940) follows the life of Elizabeth of Austria. The Old Man Dies (1933) seems to reflect Sprigge's growing interest in modernist writing, and was called a "brilliant performance" by the London Mercury. On the other hand, of The Son of the House (1937), a psychological novel, an Australian reviewer said, "300-odd pages are devoted to a young man whose every word and action makes one ache to do him violence." The other novels are A Shadowy Third (1927), Faint Amorist (1927), and Castle in Andalusia (1935). She published four works for children—Children Alone (1935), Pony Tracks (1936), Two Lost on Dartmoor (1940), and The Dolphin Bottle (1965). She then turned successfully to writing literary biographies. Alice B. Toklas was famously scathing about her obtuse biography of Gertrude Stein (1957), but she is still known particularly for her biography of Ivy COMPTON-BURNETT (1973). She also published works on August Strindberg (1949), Jean Cocteau (1968), and Sybil Thorndike (1971).

Squire, Mrs. J. C.
          see ANSTRUTHER,

St. Helier, Mary
          see MARSH, EILEEN

(née James? [uncertain identification])
Author of a single novel, The Bride of the Revolution (1924), which the gushing publisher's blurb describes as a "romance of the Terror, in which the heroine, a beautiful daughter of one of the oldest families of the French aristocracy, through her own courageous self-sacrifice, gets drawn into the fiery furnace of the Revolution."

St. John, Christopher [Marie]

ST. VINCENT, ISOBEL (dates unknown)
1940s - 1950s
Untraced author of more than 30 children's books. Many of these are animal stories probably for younger children, but among them are three girls' school stories—A Rebel of the Fourth (1950), Mill School Mystery (1952), and Three in the Fourth (1952). Other titles probably for older children include All a-Growing: The Adventures of Two Young Gardeners (1943), They Came to England (1946), The Moorings Mystery (1948), and The Curse of the Claw (1954). She also published two biographical works for children—Young Marie: The Story of Madame Tussaud (1952) and The Fatal Necklace: The Story of Marie Antoinette of France (1954).

STACPOOLE, MARGARET ANN (c1870 – 8 Jan 1934)
(aka Mrs. H. de Vere Stacpoole, née Robson)
Married to Henry de Vere Stacpoole, author of The Blue Lagoon (1908). Author of three novels of her own—Monte Carlo: A Novel (1913), London, 1913 (1914), and The Battle of Flowers (1916).

Standage, Virginia
          see RANDALL, RONA

STAFFORD, ANN (1901 - 1966)
(pseudonym of Ann Isabel Stafford Pedler, née Branfoot, aka Joan Blair [with Jane Oliver], aka Mrs. Mildred Hawker)
1930s – 1960s
Children's author and author of romance and historical novels, including some written with Jane OLIVER. Titles include Love on Wheels (1935), Green Eyes for Jealousy (1936), Pelican Without Piety (1937), Love and Sister Lorna (1939), Cuckoo Green (1941), Let April Linger (1942), Look Again, Lovers! (1945), Paradise Gate (1948), The Great Mrs. Pennington (1952), Blossoming Rod (1955), Rainbow in December (1960), A Match to Fire the Thames (1961), and The Young Bernadette (1965).

STANFORD, DAPHNE (dates unknown)
Untraced author of one book, June Harcourt (1940), set in a French pensionnat and perhaps, according to Sims and Clare, intended as much for adults as for children.

STANLEY, NORAH SLOANE (dates unknown)
Unidentified author of two novels—Red Wind (1935) and The Earthen Lamp (1937)—about which details are lacking. The former at least, from a brief quotation online, seems to have humorous elements.

STANLEY-WRENCH, MRS. (5 May 1880 – 27 Oct 1966)
(pseudonym of Violet Louise Wrench, née Gibbs, aka Mollie Stanley-Wrench)
1900s – 1930s
Author of cookbooks and almost 20 romantic novels. Titles include Love's Fool: The Confessions of a Magdalen (1908), A Priestess of Humanity (1911), Divorced Love (1927), Green Pleasure (1934), and The Rose Dies Hard (1938).

STANNARD, HENRIETTE ELIZA VAUGHN (13 Jan 1856 – 13 Dec 1911)
(née Palmer, aka John Strange Winter, aka Violet Whyte)
1870s – 1910s
Author of around 80 volumes of fiction, mostly as John Strange Winter. The Ghost of an Old Love (1885), Stranger Woman (1894), The Heart of Maureen (1910), and Miss Peggy: The Story of a Very Modern Girl (1912), one of the first novels about a "flapper."

STANTON, CORALIE (5 Jan 1877 – 27 Jul 1951)
(pseudonym of Alice Cecil Seymour Keay, married name Hosken)
1900s – 1930s
Author, with her husband Heath Hosken, of more than two dozen sensationalistic novels, including Miriam Lemaire, Money Lender (1906) and Raven, V. C. (1913), and on her own of eleven romance novels, including The Cottage Girl (1928) and The Pretty Stewardess (1932). Although Stanton's marriage in 1901 has been traced, her birth and death records remain elusive. If her birth year, which has been reported in other sources, is correct, she was born the year before her father's only known marriage, and was not residing with him and his wife on the 1881 census.

STAPLETON, DOROTHY C[LARE]. (27 Jan 1908 – 14 Mar 1986)
(married name Newman)

Liverpudlian author of three novels—The Village on the Sands (1950), about a secretary whose dreams of a South American village seen in a photograph affect her life in unexpected ways, Song from the West (1952), and Married Young (1954), which seems to deal with the strains that war puts on marriage.

STARFORTH, ASTRAEA (4 Dec 1896 – 25 Nov 1985)
(née Hall)
Author of one girls' school story, The School in Spain (1931), and one adult romantic novel, The Loth Word (1939). John Cowper Powys said of the latter, "the publication of this arresting book will be the first milestone in a remarkable literary career," but the war, which she appears to have spent in Bath, may have interceded.

Starr, Jane
          see JESSE, STELLA MARY

STARR, LEONORA (26 Sept 1902 – 16 Apr 1972)
(pseudonym of Leonora Dorothy Rivers Mackesy, née Cook, later married name Wainwright, aka Dorothy Rivers)
1930s – 1950s
Author of more than 30 romantic novels, including Hear the Bugle (1937), Gallant Heart (1941), The Heart of the Falconer (1942), Bird in the Bush (1945), Arrows at Random (1947), Fantails (1948), Family Story (1949), The Cinderella Sisters (1950), Love in the Wilderness (1954), and Chateau by the River (1958). Colonel's Lady (1937) is her memoir of her time in India. She also published two essay collections, To Please Myself (1948) and To Please Myself Again (1952).

STAWELL, MAUD [MARGARET] (11 Nov 1865 – 27 Mar 1949)
(née Key)
1900s – 1910s
Translator of French literature, author of guidebooks of England for motorists, and author of several books of fairy-themed children's stories, including About Fairies and Other Facts (1902), Fairies I Have Met (1907), The Fairy of Old Spain and Other Important People (1912), and My Days with the Fairies (1913).

STEEL, FLORA ANNIE (2 Apr 1847 – 12 Apr 1929)
(née Webster)
1890s – 1920s
Novelist and folklorist whose work made vivid use of her life in India. Novels include Miss Stuart's Legacy (1893), Red Rowans (1895), Voices in the Night (1900), The Flatterer for Gain (1904), King-Errant (1912), The Law of the Threshold (1924), and The Curse of Eve (1929). The folktales she collected in Tales from the Punjab (1894) are still well-known today.

Steele, V. M.
          see FORTUNE, DION

STEEN, MARGUERITE [ELENA MAY] (12 May 1894 – 4 Aug 1975)
(née Benson, aka Jane Nicholson, aka Lennox Dryden)
1920s – 1970s
Biographer and author of more than 30 novels, several of them bestsellers. Matador (1934), which draws on her time in Spain, was a book club selection, and The Sun Is My Undoing (1941), about the Atlantic slave trade, was a bestseller in the U.S. as well as the U.K. Shelter (1942, as Jane Nicholson) makes effective if sometimes melodramatic use of the Blitz and incorporates modernist techniques. Other titles include The Gilt Cage (1927), Unicorn (1931), Stallion (1940), Rose Timson (1946), One-Eyed Moon (1949), The Swan (1951), Bulls of Parral (1954), The Woman in the Back Seat (1959), Candle in the Sun (1964), and When the Wind Blows (1975). She also published two memoirs of English literary life, Looking Glass (1966) and Pier Glass (1968).

STEPHENSON, MILDRED (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single novel, For One Brief Year (1928), a tragic tale of a girl dying of tuberculosis, and her attempted rescue by a wealthy aunt.

STEPNEY RAWSON, [ALICE] MAUD (13 Aug 1864 – 22 Dec 1945)
(née Fife)
1900s – 1920s
Author of 18 novels, most of them historical romances. Titles include A Lady of the Regency (1901), The Enchanted Garden (1907), The Labourer's Comedy (1910), The Watered Garden (1913), and The Magic Gate (1917).

STERN, G. B. (17 Jun 1890 – 18 Sept 1973)
(pseudonym of Bertha [later changed to Bronwen] Gladys Stern)
1910s – 1960s
Journalist and author of more than 40 novels. Best known for her saga about a German-Jewish family loosely based on Stern's own, which spans several novels—Tents of Israel (1924, published in the U.S. as The Matriarch), A Deputy was King (1926), Mosaic (1930), Shining and Free (1935), and The Young Matriarch (1942).  Several of these were reprinted by Virago in the 1980s.  Among her other novels are Children of No Man's Land (1919), The Dark Gentleman (1927), Little Red Horses (1932), The Woman in the Hall (1939), No Son of Mine (1948), and Dolphin Cottage (1962). Among her several memoirs are All in Good Time (1954), The Way It Worked Out (1956), and One Is Only Human (1960).

Sterne, Julian
          see WEBSTER, NESTA HELEN

STERRY, ALICE [MAY] (3 Mar 1908 – 10 Sept 1994)
(née Mills)
Author of two children's titles—The Moorings Mystery (1955) and The Museum Mystery (1959)—and one novel, Hold My Hand, Sister (1959), which follows the experiences of a widowed mother of two who returns to nursing following a ten year absence.

STEVENS, E[THEL]. S[TEPHANA]. (1 Dec 1879 – 27 Jan 1972)
(married name Drower, aka E. S. Drower)
1900s – 1920s
Noted anthropologist, travel writer, and author of more than a dozen novels. Particularly noted for her works on Mandaean history and culture. Novels include The Veil: A Romance of Tunis (1909), The Mountain of God (1910), The Long Engagement (1912), which one critic compared to Trollope and called "pleasant and restful to read", Allward: A Story of Gypsy Life (1915), Sophy: A Tale of Baghdad (1924), The Losing Game (1926), and Garden of Flames (1927). Among her travel books are My Sudan Year (1912), By Tigris and Euphrates (1923), and Cedars, Saints and Sinners in Syria (1926).

STEVENSON, ALICE MARGARET (26 Dec 1875 – 11 May 1957)
(née Adams)
Scholar and author of several books on Indian culture and language, Stevenson also published a single novel, Hilary: The Story of a College Girl (1920), about a young woman at Oxford who becomes a missionary providing medical attention to Indian women.

STEVENSON, D[OROTHY]. E[MILY]. (18 Nov 1892 – 30 Dec 1973)
(married name Peploe)
1920s - 1970
Author of nearly 50 novels, featuring strong characterization and a kind, thoughtful perspective on humanity. Her debut, Peter West (1923), was not a success, but she found her niche a decade later when a friend borrowed her diary and urged her to publish it. The result was Mrs. Tim of the Regiment (1934), followed by three more Mrs. Tim volumes—Mrs. Tim Carries On (1941), Mrs. Tim Gets a Job (1947), and Mrs. Tim Flies Home (1952)—reminiscent of E. M. Delafield's Provincial Lady novels and often involving Mrs. Tim facilitating one or more romances. Also in 1934, Stevenson published Miss Buncle's Book (1934), her best-known book, a comedy about a woman who writes a novel inspired by her village, then must keep her authorship secret from her outraged neighbors. Two sequels followed—Miss Buncle Married (1936), in which Miss Buncle marries her publisher and relocates to a new village, and The Two Mrs. Abbotts (1943), which presents Miss Buncle (now one of the Mrs. Abbotts of the title) during wartime. A fourth book, The Four Graces (1946), set in the final days of the war, is not properly a sequel but does contain characters from the earlier books. Among her other most popular titles are Miss Bun the Baker's Daughter (1938), The English Air (1940), Spring Magic (1941), Celia's House (1943), Listening Valley (1944), Vittoria Cottage (1949), Five Windows (1953), Amberwell (1955), Still Glides the Stream (1959), and Sarah Morris Remembers (1966). For many years, she was the neighbor of Molly CLAVERING in Moffat, Scotland. In recent years, many of her works have been reprinted by several publishers, and several volumes of previously unpublished work were released by Greyladies. Dean Street Press has reissued a total of 19 of Stevenson's novels, including the three Mrs. Tim sequels, as Furrowed Middlebrow books.

STEVENSON, GEORGE (?1875 - ????)
(pseudonym of unidentified woman writer from Yorkshire)

Author of a single novel, Topham's Folly (1913), compared in a publisher's blurb to Trollope. We know that this was the pseudonym of a Yorkshire woman, apparently born 1875, but no further identification has yet been made.

Steward, Elizabeth

Stewart, Caldwell

STEWART, FLORA (dates unknown)
1950s – 1960s

Unidentified author of three humorous books about a London couple who set up a flower farm in the Natal in South Africa. These were Flowering in the Sun (1956), I Wore My Rabbit (1959), and Bees in Our Bonnet (1961), and although they were purportedly non-fiction, I'm allowing for the usual gentle fictionalization that happens in such books to qualify Stewart for this list. She later published two crime novels, Deadly Nightcap (1966) and Blood Relations (1967).

Stewart, Kaye
          see HOWE, DORIS [KATHLEEN]

STEWART, [LUCY] MADELEINE (25 Jun 1865 – 15 Jul 1946)
(née Atkinson)
Author of two novels. The Singing Bird (1935) is “the story of Stella Novar, who, released from a life of suppression by the death of a grossly egotistical husband, is able to seek some of the enjoyments previously denied her” and makes use of the author’s knowledge of Swiss sport resorts. Wren's Nest (1936) is set in “the West of Scotland, where the heroine of the story builds herself a cedar-wood house.” According to reviews, she had been a member of the F. R. Benson Shakespearean Company before her marriage, had been “a well-known exhibition skater and specialist in winter sports journalism,” and had published her first novel only after celebrating her silver wedding anniversary. She was living in Edinburgh when the books appeared.

Stewart, Marjorie
          see HUXTABLE, MARJORIE

STEWART, MARY [FLORENCE ELINOR] (17 Sept 1916 – 9 May 2014)
(née Rainbow)
1950s – 1990s
Children's author and novelist. Of her 20 novels, most are romantic suspense, often dealing with beautiful young heroines in peril in exotic locales, including such bestsellers as Madam, Will You Talk? (1954), Nine Coaches Waiting (1958), My Brother Michael (1959), The Ivy Tree (1961), The Moon-spinners (1962), This Rough Magic (1964), and Touch Not the Cat (1976). Her most famous works, however, are probably her Merlin trilogy of fantasy novels—comprised of The Crystal Cave (1970), The Hollow Hills (1973), and The Last Enchantment (1979), later supplemented by two more related Arthurian novels, The Wicked Day (1983) and The Prince and the Pilgrim (1995). Her children's titles are The Little Broomstick (1971), Ludo and the Star Horse (1974), and A Walk in Wolf Wood (1980).

STEWART, VEGA (dates unknown)
Translator and author of two children's titles—Fourwinds Island (1951), a holiday adventure with an island setting and an orphaned schoolgirl heroine, and Spies' Highway (1954).

STILES, IRENE [CATHERINE] (24 Feb 1902 – 25 May 1964)
(married name Sheridan, aka Irene Sheridan)
1920s - 1930s, 1960s

Journalist and author of five novels. The High Risk (1926) centers around a secondhand bookshop in London and the romantic difficulties of the owner's granddaughter. The Kopper Kettle (1928, aka Saplings) deals with the art school romance of two idealistic young people, while Seventeen Summers (1931) is about the tragic fate of a troubled young girl. The Willing Prisoner (1932), about the unrequited affections of a young girl, was described by one critic as "a human document of ready interest and real significance. One has to seek far and often to find a novel so rich in the stuff of life."

And Manana: A Summer Chronicle (1933) is about five characters whose paths cross on holiday in Republican Spain. Late in life, the author published two children's titles under her married name, We Go to Germany (1960) and We Go to Norway and Sweden (1965).

STIRLING, [MABEL] ELIZABETH (c1884 – 14 Jan 1983)
(née Sprot)
1910s – 1920s
Author of three novels—Barbara Mary (1919), Sweet Aloes (1920), and A Daughter of Martha (1921). Sweet Aloes, at least, is set in India and focuses on the romances and difficulties of the younger generation. In 1946 she was honoured with a CBE for her voluntary work with the Red Cross.

STIRLING, MONICA (1916 – 15 Nov 1983)
1940s – 1960s
War correspondent, biographer, and author of eight novels. Her debut, Lovers Aren't Company (1949), makes use of her experiences in France and Italy in the final days of World War II. Ladies With a Unicorn (1953), Boy in Blue (1955) and Some Darling Folly (1956) are set amidst European glamour, but also explore the residual traumas of the war, while Sigh for a Strange Land (1958) and A Sniper in the Heart (1960) deal with postwar unrest in other parts of the world. Dress Rehearsal (1951) is a very humorous and somewhat autobiographical tale of a girl from an acting family and her experiences at boarding school and in her attempts at acting herself (as Stirling did as well). Her final novel, The Summer of a Dormouse (1967), perhaps influenced by her research on Hans Christian Anderson for a biography, is set in a posh sanatorium with somewhat fairy tale-like characters. Stirling also published two story collections, Adventurers Please Abstain (1952) and Journeys We Shall Never Make (1957), and two children's titles, The Little Ballet Dancer (1952) and The Cat from Nowhere (1969). She received acclaim for her biographies, including The Fine and the Wicked: The Life and Times of Ouida (1957), The Wild Swan: The Life and Times of Hans Christian Andersen (1965), and A Screen of Time: A Study of Luchino Visconti (1979). I've written about most of her fiction here.

STOKES, ANN (dates unknown)
1920s – 1930s
Unidentified author of five novels. Hungry Lovers (1927), according to a reviewer, "presents a Dickensian prodigality of characters and an immense accumulation of vital detail, developing, as in Ibsen's manner, towards a tragedy which, like some Greek drama, exhibits the pitilessness of fate." In The Second-Best Wife (1929), a 19-year-old novelist marries a commercial artist in his thirties, to face rough waters ahead. The Screen (1930) is about a woman who, as a child, sees her father commit murder, and later must take over his care from her mother—"This is not a 'thriller,' but a study of temperament and the lasting effect of childish impressions." In Jane and the Locusts (1932), a woman who has defined herself by her beauty becomes disfigured in an accident. And The Pink City (1933) examines life in a growing modern town, partly interpreted through a drawn out conflict about a stand of elms deemed by some to be a hazard. An early review (Clarion, 1 Dec 1927) says "Ann Stokes is a novelist who is better known under another name," but a copyright suggests Stokes is her real name, so the more famous name must be a pseudonym. The main clue so far is a letter she wrote to Virginia Woolf for permission to quote from A Room of One's Own, and the reply which was addressed to “Miss A. Stokes, Rowan Tree Cottage, Wilbury Road, Letchworth, Herts.” Someone persistent enough to scan public records for that address might be able to trace her.

STONELEY, ANNIE (ANN) M[CKAY]. (1895 – 1 Aug 1958)
(née Ross)
Scottish author of a single girls' school story, Pat From Kilmara (1949), which is unusual for being Irish, though Sims & Clare found it "unmemorable."

STOOKE, ELEANORA H[EARN]. (5 May 1867 – 26 Jun 1944)
1890s – 1920s
Author of around 30 volumes of children's fiction, including two early girls' school stories—Little Maid Marigold (1902) and Prosperity's Child (1910). Others include Polly's Father (1896), Sir Richard's Grandson, or, A Soldier's Son (1902), Salome's Burden (1904) a girls' adventure set in Cornwall, Cousin Becky's Champions (1909), Little Soldiers All (1916), Whilst Father Was Fighting (1917), and Hurray for Peter Perry! (1924).

(married names Gates and Roe, aka G. N. Mortlake, aka, Erica Fay, aka Marie Carmichael)
Known for her outspoken promotion of birth control and family planning in guides like Married Love (1918) and Radiant Motherhood (1920), she also published two pseudonymous novels, Love Letters of a Japanese (1911, as G. N. Mortlake) and Love's Creation (1928, as Marie Carmichael), and a children's book, The Road to Fairyland (1926, as Erica Fay).

STORM, LESLEY (19 Dec 1898 – 19 Oct 1975)
(pseudonym of Mabel Margaret Doran Clark, née Cowie)
1920s – 1930s
Screenwriter, playwright, and author of nine novels, known for her treatment of gender issues and marriage. Her novels are Lady, What of Life? (1927), Head in the Wind (1928), Small Rain (1929, aka They Loved Too Young), Robin and Robina (1931, aka To Love and To Cherish), Just as I Am (1933), Strange Man's Home (1935), Gallows-Bird (1937), and Parting at Morning (1939). She is largely remembered for her popular plays, including Heart of a City (1942), which takes place during the Blitz, and Great Day (1945), which presents preparations by the Women's Institute of an English village for a unexpected visit from Eleanor Roosevelt. I wrote about the latter here. Both were made into films.

Storm, Virginia

STORR, CATHERINE (21 Jul 1913 – 7 Jan 2001)
(née Cole, later married name Balogh, aka Helen Lourie, aka Irene Adler)
1950s - 1980
Wife of self-help author Anthony Storr. Children's author and novelist, trained as a psychiatrist herself, whose work focuses on the unconscious and dreams. Titles include Marianne Dreams (1958), Lucy (1961), Thursday (1971), Kate and the Island (1972), and Tales from the Psychiatrist's Couch (1977), and Pen Friends (1980).

STOWELL, THORA (20 Sept 1885 – 13 May 1974)
(pseudonym of Alice Mary Dicken, née Ogden)
1920s – 1930s
Author of five or possibly six novels, including The Seller of Perfumes (1923), Strange Wheat (1925), The Crooked Plow (1926), The Black Camel (1927), and Red Candles in Spain (1938). Desert Flower (1928) appeared only in a U.S. edition and may be an American reprint of one of the other novels. She also published a late children's title, The Scarlet Flute (1951).

STRACHEY, [HENRIETTA MARY] AMY ST LOE (5 May 1866 – 22 Oct 1957)
(née Simpson)
Author of a single novel, The Frozen Heart (1935), a historical tale featuring a young heroine who experiences life in an extravagant country house, the 1848 revolution in Paris, and the exhibition in Hyde Park in the course of her adventures. She was married to John St Loe Strachey, longtime editor of The Spectator, and published a memoir, St. Loe Strachey: His Life and His Paper (1930), She also published Borrowed Children (1940), subtitled “a popular account of some evacuation problems and their remedies,” about lessons learned in the early wartime evacuations of children. She was the mother of Amabel WILLIAMS-ELLIS.

STRACHEY, DOROTHY (DOROTHEA) (24 Jul 1865 – 1 May 1960)
(married name Bussy, aka Olivia)
Sibling of historian Lytton Strachey, Freud translater James Strachey, and author Marjorie STRACHEY, sister-in-law of Ray STRACHEY. Her only major fiction is Olivia (written 1933, published 1946), a short novel set in a French girls’ school and detailing the love of a student for the headmistress, now seen as a lesbian classic. She is better known for her translations from French into English, which include most of the works of André Gide.

STRACHEY, ISOBEL [BERTHA] (23 Oct 1907 – 21 May 1987)
(née Leslie)
1940s – 1960s
Artist and author of seven witty, sophisticated novels that were widely enough read for a Guardian critic in 1963 to be able to suggest that Margaret Drabble was "by Elizabeth Bowen out of Isobel Strachey" and assume her readers would understand the reference. The Younger Sister (1951), one of her most acclaimed, is about a prudish young woman, fresh from school, who is horrified to find her married sister contemplating an affair and determines to sabotage the relationship. The Melbourne Age called it "a delightful book with its amused, gently satirical view of youthful idealism." Her other published titles are First Impressions (1945), A Summer in Buenos Aires (1947), Quick Bright Things (1953), Suzanna (1956), For Change of Scene (1959), and The Perfectionists (1961). According to her Observer obituary, she had completed a final novel just before her death, The Dressing Gown, which remains unpublished. She was married to a nephew of Lytton Strachey, and spent much of her childhood in Argentina where her father worked with the railway. I've written about her several times here.

STRACHEY, JULIA (14 Aug 1901 – 19 Oct 1979)
(married names Tomlin & Gowing)
1930s, 1950s
Niece of historian Lytton Strachey, Freud translater James Strachey, and authors Dorothy STRACHEY and Marjorie STRACHEY. Translator from French and author of two novels—the short, surreal Cheerful Weather for the Wedding (1932), reprinted by Persephone, and The Man on the Pier (1951, aka An Integrated Man). She was also the subject of Frances Partridge’s memoir, Julia (1983).

STRACHEY, MARJORIE [COLVILLE] (20 Jul 1882 – 16 Jan 1964)
Sibling of historian Lytton Strachey, Freud translater James Strachey, and author Dorothy STRACHEY, sister-in-law of Ray STRACHEY. Author of one story collection, Savitri and Other Women (1920), and three novels—David the Son of Jesse (1921), The Nightingale (1925), about Chopin, and The Counterfeits (1927), about a woman adapting to peacetime life after nursing in WWI. I wrote a bit about the last here. She later published two theologically-themed non-fiction works about saints and early church fathers.

STRACHEY, RAY (RACHEL) [PEARSALL CONN] (4 Jun 1887 – 16 Jul 1940)
(née Costelloe)
1900s, 1920s
Sister-in-law of historian Lytton Strachey, Freud translater James Strachey, and authors Dorothy STRACHEY and Marjorie STRACHEY. Important early feminist and biographer of suffrage movement leaders, Strachey also wrote three novels—The World at Eighteen (1907), Marching On (1923), and Shaken by the Wind (1927)—the latter two set in the 19th century United States.

Strafford, Mary
          see MAYOR, F[LORA]. M[ACDONALD].

STRANGE, NORA K[ATHLEEN BEGBIE]. (11 Sept 1885 – 22 Mar 1974)
(married name Stanley, aka Melita Noose)
1920s - 1970
Author of around 50 novels, mostly set in Kenya where she lived for many years. According to Jill (1926) may have some crime content. Other titles include Latticed Windows (1924), Her Serenity (1931), Miss Wiston Goes Gay (1938), The Sunflower Scarf (1951), and The Quiet Girl (1967). Under her pseudonym, she wrote Blondes Prefer Gentlemen (1926), a parody of Anita Loos' bestseller.

Strathern, Christine
          see MORRISON, N[ANCY]. BRYSSON

STRATTON, FRANCES [ELIZABETH ANNE] (4 Feb 1873 – 8 Jun 1946)
1890s – 1930s
Author of six volumes of children's fiction spread over quite a number of years. These include one girls' school story listed by Sims & Clare, Lighted Candles, or, The Girls of Barden School (1921). The others are Nan the Circus Girl (1898), Peggy, A Schoolgirl (1901), Branches of the Vine (1903), a sequel to Peggy, In Cap and Apron, or, I Cannot Stand Alone (1916), and A Hero's Daughter: A Story for Girls (1937).

STREATFEILD, [MARY] NOEL (24 Dec 1895 – 11 Sept 1986)
(aka Susan Scarlett)
1930s – 1970s
Prolific children's author and novelist. She began as a dancer and actress (including performing in a Shakespeare troupe with Ralph Richardson and appearing opposite John Gielgud in his debut role), experience which informed many of her books—most famously, her classic children's title, Ballet Shoes (1936). She published 38 books for children in all—other well-known titles include The Circus Is Coming (1938), The Children of Primrose Lane (1941), Curtain Up (1944), The Painted Garden (1949), The Bell Family (1954), The Growing Summer (1966), and When the Sirens Wailed (1974). She published a total of 28 adult novels, which she divided into two categories, her more serious fiction published under her own name, and a series of "romances" under her Susan Scarlett pseudonym. The former include The Whicharts (1931), Parson's Nine (1932), The Winter is Past (1940), about life in a country house in wartime, I Ordered a Table for Six (1942) and Saplings (1945), also both set in wartime, Mothering Sunday (1950), Aunt Clara (1952), and The Silent Speaker (1961). Her 12 pseudonymous novels are Clothes-Pegs (1939), Sally-Ann (1939), Peter and Paul (1940), Ten Way Street (1940), The Man in the Dark (1940), Babbacombe's (1941), Under the Rainbow (1942), Summer Pudding (1943), Murder While You Work (1944), Poppies for England (1948), Pirouette (1948), and Love in a Mist (1951). In the 1960s and 1970s, she published a popular trilogy of "memoirs"—A Vicarage Family (1963), Away from the Vicarage (1965), and Beyond the Vicarage (1971)—though these were fictionalized enough that many critics refer to them as novels. I wrote enthusiastically about The Winter Is Past here, and there's a tremendously informative site dedicated to Streatfeild's life and work here. The 12 Susan Scarlett novels were reprinted by Dean Street Press as Furrowed Middlebrow books in 2022. I've written about them several times here.

STRETTON, ANNE (28 May 1900 – 7 Dec 1969)
(pseudonym of Gioia Vivian [sometimes Vivienne] Mary Elisina Grant Owtram, née Richards)
Author of two novels, Camilla (1934) and Proposal (1935). Of the former, Kirkus said smugly, "Just another of these English country novels, better written than their parallels in American stories, but unimportant. Circulating library appeal only."

Strong, Nigel
          see PETTMAN, GRACE

STRUTHER, JAN (6 Jun 1901 – 20 Jul 1953)
(pseudonym of Joyce Anstruther, married names Graham and Placzek)
1930s – 1940s
Poet and essayist immortalized by her creation of Mrs. Miniver (1939), derived from a series of articles she wrote for The Times about a family’s life in Chelsea just before WWII. Later editions of the book included additionally material dealing with the beginning of war, and its Oscar-winning film adaptation (1942) extended the story further to include the Blitz. Winston Churchill famously said that the book did more for the war effort than a flotilla of battleships. Struther’s other work includes poetry and the essay collections Try Anything Twice (1938) and A Pocketful of Pebbles (1946)—the latter of which contains most of the former, plus additional material. There has long been a story that Struther's run of appearances on the popular American radio show Information Please abruptly ended when she shocked some listeners by answering a question with the racially insensitive original title of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. However, the story would seem to have little basis, since most of her appearances on the show occurred after that incident. Struther's granddaughter is author Ysenda Maxtone Graham.

Stuart, Alex

STUART BROWNE, DOROTHY MARGARET (19 Dec 1889 – 14 Sept 1963)
1910s, 1940s – 1950s
Historian, biographer, poetry anthologist, novelist, and children's author. Non-fiction includes historical surveys such as The Boy Through the Ages (1926) and A Child's Day Through the Ages (1941), and bios of Christina Rossetti, George VI, and others. Early in her career, she published one novel, St. Lô (1912), and in later years she published at least four volumes of children's fiction—The Children's Chronicle (1944), The Young Clavengers (1947), The Five Wishes (1950), and The Mysterious Mamma (1951).

STUART, ESMÉ (1851 – 12 Mar 1934)
(pseudonym of Amelie Claire LeRoy)
1870s – 1910s
Half sister of Mary BRAMSTON. Author of more than 60 volumes of fiction, primarily for children and young girls, some of it historical in subject matter. Titles include The Good Old Days (1876), The Prisoner's Daughter (1884), Miss Fenwick's Failures (1885), The Vicar's Trio (1890), A Woman of Forty (1893), Harum Scarum (1896), The Strength of Straw (1900), Two Troubadours (1912), and The Taming of Tamzin (1920).

Stuart, M. J.
          see AGUTTER, KAY

STUART, MORNA [MARY] (7 Apr 1905 – 10 Nov 1972)
(married names Nicholas and Briscoe)
1930s, 1960s
Screenwriter, playwright, novelist and children's author. Now best known for her children's title Marassa and Midnight (1966), about a pair of boys caught up in the French Revolution. She had earlier written two adult novels, Nightrider (1933), set in the London theatre world, and Till She Stoop (1935). Her Wikipedia page says she also published an earlier children's title, The Children of Aries (1925) as C. J. Campbell, but I can find no independent confirmation.

Stuart, Robyn

STUART, SHEILA (1892 - 1974)
(pseudonym of Mary Gladys Baker, née Westwood)
1920s, 1940s – 1950s
Author of nearly 20 children’s titles, most notably her series of 15 "Alison" adventures, set in northwest Scotland and featuring Alison and her brother Niall. These are Alison’s Highland Holiday (1946), More Adventures of Alison (1947), Alison's Christmas Adventure (1948), Well Done, Alison! (1949), Alison's Easter Adventure (1950), Alison's Poaching Adventure (1951), Alison's Kidnapping Adventure (1952), Alison's Pony Adventure (1953), Alison's Island Adventure (1954), Alison's Spy Adventure (1955), Alison and the Witch's Cave (1956), Alison's Yacht Adventure (1957), Alison's Riding Aventure (1958), Alison's Cliff Adventure (1959), Riddle of Corran Lodge (1959), and Alison's Caravan Adventure (1960). She had already published two earlier children's books, Kitty Comes to Stay (1929) and The Morisons of Cleave (1929).

Stuart, V. A.

Stuart, Vivian

STUCLEY, ELIZABETH [FLORENCE] (9 Feb 1906 – 26 Jul 1974)
(married name Northmore)
1930s - 1970
Author of ten volumes of fiction, though she is best known for her six children's titles, particularly Magnolia Buildings (1960, aka Family Walk-Up), which portrays some of the realities of life in a poorer area of London in its tale of a family of children getting into difficulties while their mother is in hospital. Springfield Home (1961, aka The Contrary Orphans) is about a girl raised by her gypsy grandmother adjusting to life in an orphanage. Her other children's titles are Star in the Hand (1946), The Penfeather Family (1947), The Secret Pony (1950), and Miss Georgie's Gang (1970). She also published four novels for adults, about which little is known—The House Will Come Down (1938), Louisa (1939), Trip No Further (1946), and To End the Storm (1957). Teddy Boy's Picnic (1958) is a memoir of her experiences running a boys' club, while Life Is for Living: The Erratic Life of Elizabeth Stucley (1959) appears to be a broader memoir. She also published The Village Organizer (1935), a handbook for social workers, and Hebridean Journey with Johnson and Boswell (1956), a travel book. Stucley was headmistress of St. Cuthbert's Finishing School in Bathampton for several years, and spent much of her life in social work or other efforts to benefit children.

Sturgeon, Flora
          see WAYNE, HILARY

Sturgis, Barbara
          see SILVER, BARBARA

STURT, MARY (1896 - 1994)
Author of various non-fiction works about education and psychology, Sturt also published at least three novels—Swallows in Springtime (1934), Be Gentle to the Young (1937, discussed in Anna Bogen's Women's University Fiction, 1880–1945), and The Hours of the Night (1938). She later published The Education of the People: A History of Primary Education in England and Wales in the Nineteenth Century (1966).

SULLIVAN, MAY (dates unknown)
1940s – 1950s
Untraced author of five school-related stories, three in the "Pocket Library" series—Sunnydene School, Chums of Sunnydene, and Sunnydene School Again (all 1941)—and two mentioned by Sims & Clare, Molly of Highdene House (1949) and Diana of Cliff End School (1955).

SULLY, KATHLEEN [MAUDE] (14 Apr 1910 – 4 Sept 2001)
(née Coussell)
1950s - 1970
Playwright, children's writer, and author of sixteen novels. Her publishing career began with two short children's books, Stony Stream and Small Creatures, both 1946. Nearly a decade later, she began publishing her adult novels, which were praised for their dark, disturbing, but brilliant portrayals. Of her debut, Canal in Moonlight (1955), set in an impoverished canal-side neighborhood, John Betjeman wrote, "It is no good my going on describing this book or trying to convey its at once hopeful and desolating climax. … Her book will either disgust you or do what it did to me, purge you with pity and frighten you with its sense of loneliness." Of her third, Merrily to the Grave (1958), Elizabeth Bowen wrote of the author's "forceful, bizarre, singular gifts." Skrine (1960) appears to take place in a post-apocalyptic England. Her other novels are Through the Wall (1957), Burden of the Seed (1958), A Man Talking to Seagulls (1959), Shade of Eden (1960), The Undesired (1961), A Man on the Roof (1961), The Fractured Smile (1965), Not Tonight (1966), Dear Wolf (1967), Horizontal Image (1968), A Breeze on a Lonely Road (1969), Island in Moonlight (1970), and A Look at the Tadpoles (1970). Canaille (1956) is a collection of two novellas. Neglected Books has written about most of Sully's books—see here.

SUMMERHAYES, PRUDENCE (20 May 1906 – 22 Feb 1984)
(pseudonym of Violet Prudence Alan Turner, née Summerhayes)
1930s, 1950s
Author of four novels—Cobweb Child (1934), The World's Memory (1935), The Speaking Mirror (1938), and Girls in Green (1949). A capsule bio from an Australian newspaper says she was the daughter of a country doctor and spent time working in a bookshop and on a Rocky Mountain ranch. Girls in Green is "a novel of library life between the two wars." One modern critic seemed to enjoy it, noting that "the librarians' characters are remarkably filled out," while another summed up, "The novel is sufficiently somniferous that the reader's search for stereotypes runs neck-and-neck with the efforts of the Sandman to bring a merciful end to the business."

Surrey, Kathryn

SUTCLIFF, ROSEMARY (14 Dec 1920 – 23 Jul 1992)
1950s – 1990s
Novelist, children's author and memoirist. Best known for her historical fiction for children, which includes The Eagle of the Ninth (1954), set in Roman Britain, Outcast (1955), set in ancient Rome and Britain, The Shield Ring (1956), set among the Vikings, Warrior Scarlet (1958), set during the Bronze Age, and Blood Feud (1976), set during the Anglo-Saxon period. She also published several novels for adults, including Lady in Waiting (1956), The Rider of the White Horse (1959), and Blood and Sand (1987). Her memoir, Blue Remembered Hills (1983), deals with her childhood and her battle with arthritis, which she developed in childhood and which left her in a wheelchair for much of her life.

Suter, Joan
          see WALKER, [WINIFRED] JOAN

SUTHERLAND, JOAN (3 May 1890 – 6 Jun 1947)
(pseudonym of Florence May [sometimes Joan Maisie] Collings, married names Pope and Kelly)
1910s – 1940s
Author of more than 40 novels of romantic adventure, including Beyond the Shadow (1914), Beauty for Ashes (1920), The Circle of the Stars (1924), Onslaught (1927), Secret Places (1930), Silver Mist (1935), Dust Before the Wind (1940), and Wide Horizon (1942).

SUTHERLAND, MAY (dates unknown)
(married name Wilson)
1920s – 1950s
Author of nearly a dozen novels. At least three were historical in subject: A Question of Loyalty (1928) is set in the days of Charles II, with a man’s conflict between his allegiance to the king and a promise made to a dying man; Uneasy Lies the Head (1951) retells the story of Mary, Queen of Scots, from the perspective of her faithful nurse; and Skin Deep (1957) is set just before World War I, about a young American in London, half black, half white—“From the accident of his birth arises drama, its consequences reaching far beyond Luke himself.” Faith March (1940), in which an abandoned infant is adopted by an aristocrat, could be historical as well. Sutherland had an interest in North American ranch life: The Stony Trail (1925) contrasts the London music scene and life on a Canadian ranch, as a long-suffering wife feels the attraction of a “real man.” In One o' the Herd (1926), an English society girl marries a Wild West ranch foreman, with expected adventures. And in Boss o' High Springs (1929), a woman fights for her son’s inheritance of a large cattle ranch. Behind the Curtain (1928) focuses on a great actress and her romantic entanglements, and The Greater Kingdom (1931) is the story of a tragic romance between a Conservative candidate and his opponent’s wife. Out of This Chaos (1935) has a young widow dealing with the aftermath of her husband’s suicide. And The Wild Olive (1954) is “the story of two young people, separated by a religious barrier,” “a novel of country life … [that] will appeal to countless readers, and in particular all Catholics.” According to contemporary reviews, she was a clerk at the People’s Co-operative Building Society in Greenwich when she published her first two novels. According to a 1935 copyright, she had become May Sutherland Wilson, and a search of marriage records leads to the 1928 marriage between May Sutherland and James L. Wilson in Greenwich. Lack of additional details and the commonness of both names make a more complete identification difficult.

(née St. Clair-Erskine, later married names Fitzgerald and Hawes)
1890s – 1900s, 1920s
Society hostess, social reformer, and author of one novel, One Hour and the Next (1899), and two story collections, The Wind in the Tree: Seven Love Stories (1902) and That Fool of a Woman (1924), the latter’s title story apparently a semi-autobiographical look at her three marriages. She was captured by and escaped from the Germans while nursing in France during World War I.

SUTTON, E[MILY]. M[AY]. (dates unknown)
1940s – 1950s
Untraced author of seven children's books, including one girls' school story, Making Trouble for Bryony (1951). The others are The Magic Tree (1943), All That Glitters— (1944), A Blue Pig and Other Stories (1944), The Truant Dolls and Other Stories (1945), The Spell That Went Wrong (1947), and The Lonely Giant (1948).

SWAN, ANNIE SHEPHERD (8 Jul 1859 – 17 Jun 1943)
(aka David Lyall, married name Burnett Smith)
1870s – 1940s
Author of more than 250 works of romantic fiction spanning more than six decades. Titles include Love, The Master Key (1905), Margaret Holroyd (1910), The Ruling Passion (1920), Love the Prodigal (1929), The Witch in Pink (1938), and Rebel Hearts (1940).

SWANWICK, BETTY (22 May 1915 – 22 May 1989)
(full name Ada Elizabeth Edith Swanwick)
1940s – 1950s
Artist, illustrator, and novelist. Before she started writing fiction, Swanwick had already begun working for London Transport, where she created posters until 1954. She apparently turned to writing her humorous, subversive, short novels to provide an outlet for her very charming artworks. The Cross Purposes (1945) is a tale of matrimonial difficulties in the Victorian era. Hoodwinked (1957) features two women attempting to arrange their difficult offspring’s marriage to each other. And in Beauty and the Burglar (1958), a young girl destined for marriage to a social reformer falls instead for a cat burglar. Brad Bigelow at Neglected Books wrote about all three here, and included a number of irresistible illustrations. Swanwick appears as 'Bertha Swan' in a short story, “The Party,” written by her fellow Goldsmiths student Denton Welch (in his posthumous collection A Last Sheaf. Her artworks were included in murals for the Regatta and the Rocket restaurants at the Festival of Britain in 1951, and she also created a mural for Evelina Children's Hospital in 1960.A painting by Swanwick titled “The Dream” was used on an album cover for the rock band Genesis in 1973. Swanwick reportedly tweaked an existing painting to fit the band’s needs, telling them she didn’t have time to make a new one (!).

SWATRIDGE, IRENE MAUDE (6 Dec 1904 – 26 Oct 1988)
(née Mossop, aka Irene Mossop, aka Fay Chandos, aka Theresa Charles, aka Leslie Lance, aka Jan Tempest, aka Virginia Storm)
1930s – 1980s
Author of well over 200 works of fiction under her several pseudonyms, most of it romantic in theme. As Irene Mossop, she also published about 15 girls’ school novels, including Well Played (1928), Feud in the Fifth (1933), The Taming of Pickles (1933), and Gay Adventure (1937). Her romantic fiction includes Stepmother of Five (1936), Gay Knight I Love (1938), Wife for a Wager (1938), The Distant Drum (1940), A Prince for Portia (1943), Made to Marry (1944), The Ugly Prince (1950), Give Her Gardenias (1953), Model Girl's Farm (1958), Farm by the Sea (1967), Nurse by Accident (1974), Surgeon's Sweetheart (1981), and Heiress to the Isle (1987).

Swayne, Martin
          see MILES, [ISA] CONSTANCE

SWINBURNE, DOREEN (30 Oct 1916 - 1976)
(married names Dubner and Smith)
1940s – 1960s
A nurse herself—on the 1939 England & Wales Register, she is at Westminster Hospital—and author of six girls' career stories focused on nursing, including Hospital Nurse (1941), Jean Tours a Hospital (1943), Jean at Jo's Hospital (1959), Jean, S.R.N. (1960), Jean's New Junior (1964), Kit at Kerminster (1965). Oddly, there is apparently an additional "Jean" title, Jean Becomes a Nurse (1947), written by a different author, Yvonne TREWIN.

SYLVANUS, PADDY (20 Dec 1876 – 10 Jan 1967)
(pseudonym of Beatrice Maude Bartlett)
1920s – 1940s
Author of four novels. Ten to One in Sweden (1929) is apparently based on the author's own time as a governess in Sweden. A bookseller blurb describes Too Saucy with the Gods (1931) as a "novel of young English people before the World War, revolving around the romance of a madcap heroine with her cousin, who is in the diplomatic service," while a blurb for Thunder in the Offing (1946) notes that it's about a village “where love, hate, and superstition mingle to strange effect.” The fourth was Tremendous Gain (1930), about which I could find no details.

SYMONS, BERYL (22 Jul 1873 – 30 Jun 1958)
(pseudonym of Beryl Mary Elizabeth Symons, née Goldie Taubman)
1910s – 1940s
Author of 18 novels, beginning with three historical novels published before World War I—A Lady of France (1910), The Roses of Crein (1912), and Prince & Priest (1912)—all set in medieval France. She then fell silent for a time, and returned with a cheerful romance, Daffodil Jane (1928), before turning to thrillers, which included The Leering House (1929), The Opal Murder Case (1932), Haunted Hollow (1934), and Through a Glass Darkly (1938). Her five final novels all feature spinster Jane Carberry, including Jane Carberry Investigates (1940), Jane Carberry: Detective (1940), Magnet for Murder (1941), Jane Carberry and the Laughing Fountain (1943), and Jane Carberry's Week-End (1947).

SYMONS, [DOROTHY] GERALDINE (13 Aug 1909 - 1997)
(aka Georgina Groves)
1950s – 1970s
Author of nearly a dozen works of fiction. Her three adult novels are All Souls (1950), which covers nearly a century in the lives of members of one family, French Windows (1952), and The Suckling (1969), which I wrote about here. The rest of her books were for children, including a series of five books—The Rose Window (1964), The Quarantine Child (1966), The Workhouse Child (1969), Miss Rivers and Miss Bridges (1972), and Mademoiselle (1973)—set 1909-1914 and featuring Pansy and Atalanta, two young girls with a propensity for adventure. Her novel Now and Then (1977, published in the U.S. with the more evocative title Crocuses Were Over, Hitler Was Dead) is a time-slip story of a girl moving with her family to a country estate and occasionally slipping back into World War II, where she befriends a gardener and his dog from those earlier years. Symons's memoir is Children in the Close (1959).

SYMS, GWEN[DOLYN EMILY] (30 Sept 1905 – 16 Jun 1981)
(married name Davies)
1920s – 1930s
Author of five novels—Nightingale in the Forest (1929), The Implacable Hunter (1930), Shannon Lister (1931), Unwilling Trinity (1933), and Along This Road (1937). Of Implacable Hunter, the Yorkshire Post said, "Everyone in the book is vividly done, especially the horrific ex-beauty of a mother, and the dialogue is full of rather cynical humour."

SYRETT, NETTA (JANET) (17 Mar 1865 – 15 Dec 1943)
1890s - 1940
Author of more than 50 volumes of fiction, often with feminist themes and sensational plots. The Victorians (1915, aka Rose Cottingham) is based on her time at the North London Collegiate School for Girls, where she boarded with headmistress and girls' school pioneer Frances Buss, of whom Syrett was not fond. The God of Chance (1920) makes use of her own years working as a teacher. Portrait of a Rebel (1929) deals with the women's suffrage movement, and was made into the film A Woman Rebels, starring Katherine Hepburn, in 1936. Other novels include Nobody's Fault (1896), Women and Circumstance (1906), A Castle of Dreams (1909), Three Women (1912), The Path to the Sun (1923), Strange Marriage (1930), The Farm on the Downs (1936), and Gemini (1940). She also published several children's books, including a girls' school story, A School Year (1902, aka Girls of the Sixth Form).

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