Tuesday, January 1, 2013

British & Irish Women Writers of Fiction 1910-1960 (Sa - Sm)

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


Co-author (with Frederick Evelyn Burkitt) of four novels about which little seems to be known. Titles are The Co-Respondent (1912), The Terror by Night (1912), Born of a Woman (1913), and The Sorcerer (1918).

SACKVILLE-WEST, VITA (VICTORIA) [MARY] (9 Mar 1892 – 2 Jun 1962)
(married name Nicolson)
1910s – 1960s
Poet, travel writer, novelist, and the inspiration behind Virginia WOOLF's Orlando. Author of 14 novels, most famously The Edwardians (1930), about the lavish country house life she recalled from her childhood at Knole, and All Passion Spent (1931), about a widow who declares independence from her family to live in a little house in Hampstead. Both of these have been adapted for television. She also experimented with science-fiction in Grand Canyon (1941), which imagined the outcome of a German victory in World War II, and with mystery in Devil at Westease (1947). Challenge (1923) was about her relationship with Violet TREFUSIS, and was apparently co-written with her, despite being published only under Sackville-West's name. Other novels are Heritage (1919), The Dragon in Shallow Waters (1921), The Heir (1922), Grey Wethers (1923), Seducers in Ecuador (1924), Family History (1932), The Dark Island (1934), The Easter Party (1953), and No Signposts in the Sea (1960). She was also a popular poet, especially for her two book-length poems, The Land (1926) and The Garden (1946), and a successful travel writer with Passenger to Teheran (1926) and Twelve Days: An Account of a Journey Across the Bakhtiari Mountains in Southwestern Persia (1928). Country Notes (1939) and Country Notes in Wartime (1941) are collections of her magazine pieces about rural life. Details of her unconventional marriage to Harold Nicolson came to light with their son Nigel Nicolson's Portrait of a Marriage (1973), which was later filmed for television.

          see SMITH, AUGUSTA A[NN].

SAINT, DORA [JESSIE] (17 Apr 1913 – 7 Apr 2012)
(née Shafe, aka Miss Read)
1950s – 1990s
Author of nearly 50 volumes of fiction, most famously the Fairacre series and Thrush Green series—quiet, affectionate novels of village life—which begin with Village School (1955) and Thrush Green (1959), respectively, and continue into the 1990s. A review of one of her books in the New York Times sums up the tone: "it is difficult to convey the charm and grace of this book. Seemingly slight in subject matter and disarmingly simple in its manner of writing, it yet lingers in one's mind as something true, rare and lovely." She published several volumes of children's fiction, as well as non-fiction works related to the series, as well as two memoirs, A Fortunate Grandchild (1982) and Time Remembered (1986). She published a handful of novels not part of the two series: Fresh from the Country (1960) is about a young woman taking her first teaching job in a city, and two novels, The Market Square (1966) and The Howards of Caxley (1967), focus on the town of Caxley, located down the road from Fairacre. More recently, Mrs Griffin Sends Her Love (2013) includes miscellaneous writings about Saint's own teaching experiences, the background of her work, letter excerpts, and reflections by her daughter. I reviewed Fresh from the Country here, and it was released as a Furrowed Middlebrow book from Dean Street Press in 2020.

SAINT LEGER, EVELYN (20 Jun 1861 – 29 Jun 1944)
(pseudonym of Evelyn Saint Leger Savile, married name Randolph)
1900s – 1910s
Author of five romantic novels which, according to OCEF, emphasize self-sacrifice. Titles are Diaries of Three Women of the Last Century (1907), Dapper (1908), The Blackberry Pickers (1912), The Shape of the World (1912), and The Tollhouse (1915).

SALT, SARAH (21 Jan 1891 – 4 Dec 1946)
(pseudonym of Coralie Jeyes von Werner, married name Hobson, aka Coralie Hobson)
1910s – 1930s
Author of eight novels and two story collections. Her first three novels—The Revolt of Youth (1919), In Our Town (1924), published by Leonard and Virginia WOOLF, and Bed and Breakfast (1926), appeared under her real married name. Her five subsequent novels as Sarah Salt—Sense and Sensuality (1929), Joy Is My Name (1929), Strange Combat (1930), The Wife (1932), and Change Partners (1934)—received acclaim in their time. Her two collections are A Tiny Seed of Love and Other Stories (1928) and Murder for Love: Two Tales (1937). She may have begun her career as an actress.

SALTER, OLIVE [MARY] (4 Sept 1897 - 1976)
1920s – 1930s
Singer and stage performer, editor of Motor Cycling magazine in the 1910s, and author of four novels—Martha and Mary (1921), God's Wages (1922), Out of Bondage (1923), and Magda Korda (1934).

SALTMARSH, MAX (13 Oct 1893 - 1975)
(pseudonym of Marian Winifred Saltmarsh, née Maxwell)
Author of at four thrillers—Highly Unsafe (1936), Highly Inflammable (1936), The Clouded Moon (1937), and Indigo Death (1938). Kirkus summed up Highly Inflammable as follows: "International intrigue—a deep-laid plot to foil the disrupting oil markets and stabilize the home market. The chief actors become deeply involved in counter-plots dealing with the drug traffic. Good melodrama." The Clouded Moon seems to have been serialized in periodicals before it appeared in book form.

SANCIER, DULCIE [KATE IRENE] (5 Dec 1904 – 19 Jan 1942)
(née Jaekel, aka Nina Rexford)
1930s – 1940s
Journalist and author of three novels. A short blurb about her debut, We Things Called Women (1938, published in the U.S. as Take Heed of Loving) calls it "[a]n exceptionally good first novel full of cleverness and power" but gives no clue what it's about. The others are Love in a Mist (1939, as Nina Rexford) and The Night Is Blind (1941).

SANDERSON, AVERIL D[OROTHY]. (16 Apr 1873 – 21 Nov 1962)
(née Nicholl, married name Furniss, but husband took title Lord Sanderson in 1931, after which she took that name)
Author of a single mystery/thriller, Long Shadows (1935), about which information is sparse.

Sandison, Janet
          see DUNCAN, JANE

SANDSTROM, FLORA (30 Mar 1904 - 1979)
(married names Cochrane and Wainwright, aka Sylvia Sark)
1930s – 1970s
Author of more than three dozen romantic novels, under her real name as well as her pseudonym, including many for Mills & Boon. Titles include Let Me Go (1932), Still She Smiles (1934), Call Me Back (1935), Love Goes Travelling (1936), Take Me! Break Me! (1938), The Waiting Heart (1940), The Madness of the Heart (1941), The Milk-White Unicorn (1946), They Have Their Dreams (1948), The Seeking Heart (1951), Wild Narcissus (1952), The Midwife of Pont Clery (1954), The Glass Castle (1955), Wild Is the Wind (1956), and Thunder in the Valley (1968).

SANDYS, OLIVER (7 Oct 1886 – 10 Mar 1964)
(pseudonym of Marguerite Florence Laura Jervis, married names Barclay or Barcynsky and Evans, aka Countess Hélène Barcynska)
1910s – 1950s
Author of more than 100 titles, often sentimental tales, romantic melodramas, or mild adventures with plucky heroines. Titles include The Woman in the Firelight (1911), Chicane (1912), The Honey Pot (1916), The Pleasure Garden (1923, filmed by Alfred Hitchcock), Vista, the Dancer (1928), the wartime Black-Out Symphony (1942), and Miss Venus of Aberdovey (1956). Her memoirs include Full and Frank: The Private Life of a Woman Novelist (1941) and Unbroken Thread: An Intimate Jounal (1948). Her second husband was novelist Caradoc Evans, of whom she wrote a biography in 1946. Some sources suggest she used other pseudonyms as well, so her total number of titles might be even larger.

Santos, Helen
          see GRIFFITHS, HELEN

SARASIN, J. G. (19 Jan 1897 – 21 Aug 1976)
(pseudonym of Geraldine Gordon Salmon)
1920s – 1960s
Author of more than 40 novels, mostly historical in nature, including The Black Glove (1925), set during the Restoration, Corsican Justice (1926), set in Napoleon's time, Market of Women (1932), set during the Thirty Years' War, The State Torch (1944), about Elizabeth and Essex, and The Eighth Wonder (1952), set in Renaissance Venice.

Sark, Sylvia
          see SANDSTROM, FLORA

SARSFIELD, MAUREEN (21 Jul 1899 – 12 Nov 1961)
(pseudonym of Maureen Kate Heard, married name Pretyman, aka Maureen Pretyman)
Author of two humorous mysteries—Green December Fills the Graveyard (1945, reprinted as Murder at Shots Hall), which I reviewed
here, set in a partially-bombed out manor house in the late years of the war, and A Dinner for None (1948, reprinted as A Party for Lawty and Murder at Beechlands). She also published one non-mystery novel, Gloriana (1946)—about the eccentric wartime inhabitants of a Chelsea boarding-house in 1943)—and four children's titles under her real married name—They Knew Too Much (1943), Dreaming Mountain: A Fairy Story of County Kerry (1944), Queen Victoria Lost Her Crown (1946), and Stars in Danger (1946). She was untraced when Rue Morgue was reprinting her work, but thanks to John Herrington we now have her details.

SAUNDERS, ANNE (dates unknown)
1940s – 1950s
Untraced author of three children's books, including the rare and far-fetched but well-liked girls' school story St Brenda's 'Headache' (1951). The others are a story collection, Happiest Ending (1945) and The Prisoner in the Tower (1948).    

SAUNDERS, EDITH [ALICE] (dates unknown)
1930s – 1950s

Unidentified historian, biographer, and author of at least two novels—The Passing Hours (1935), about the residents of a London suburb, including a girls' school, and The Gods in Conflict (1949), about a young girl's stay with a German family in 1939. The Mystery of Mary Lafarge (1951), a retelling of a famous 1840 murder case, is sometimes referred to as a novel and sometimes as non-fiction. Among her historical works are A Distant Summer (1946), about Queen Victoria's state visit to Paris in 1855, The Prodigal Father (1951), about Alexandre Dumas both father and son, The Age of Worth (1954), about the couturier to the Empress Eugénie, Napoleon and Mademoiselle George (1958), and The Hundred Days (1964), about Napoleon's 1815 campaign. Her first publication was a children's title, Fanny Penquite (1932), described as an "exquisite", "vivid", "delightful" tale of a little girl's death and ascent to heaven.

SAUNDERS, MARGARET BAILLIE (21 Sept 1873 – 24 Apr 1949)
(sometimes written Baillie-Saunders, née Crowther)
1900s – 1940s
novelist whose light fiction frequently contains Catholic themes. Titles include Saints in Society (1902), The Mayoress's Wooing (1908), The Bride's Mirror (1910), The Belfry (1914), Young Madam at Clapp's (1917), Dimity Hall (1926), The Lighted Caravan (1929), Upstarts (1930), Answer That Bell! (1935), Stained Glass Wives (1939), Dear Devotee (1940), Lost Landladies (1947), and Quality Fair (1949).

SAUNDERS, MARJORIE (dates unknown)
1940s – 1950s
Untraced author of three girls' school stories Sims & Clare describe as "competent"—Bel's Dragons (1947), Madge's Sister (1949), and Leave It to Madge (1953).

SAVAGE, JUANITA (dates unknown)
1920s – 1930s
Unidentified author of eight romantic novels—Spanish Love (1924), Don Luis (1925), The City of Desire (1926), Passion Island (1927), Golden Passion (1929), Bandit Love (1931), Spanish Rapture (1934), and Southern Glamour (1936). The City of Desire incorporates elements of sci-fi as it's heroine discovers a lost civilization (as well as true love). John Herrington was unable to trace her in public records, though there is just a slight possibility that Savage could have been a pseudonym of Amy GILMOUR, whose work was similar in style and whom one source suggested was more prolific and successful than her one known title.

SAVERY, CONSTANCE [WINIFRED] (31 Oct 1897 – 2 Mar 1999)
1920s – 1970s
Biographer and author of more than 40 volumes of fiction, including children's books and adult novels. These include two with a school component—Redhead at School (1951) and The Golden Cap (1966). Enemy Brothers (1943) is about a British airman who believes that a young German prisoner is actually his brother, who had been kidnapped many years before. It was reprinted by American religious publisher Bethlehem Books in 2001. Other titles include Pippin's House (1931), Moonshine in Candle Street (1937), Blue Fields (1947), Scarlet Plume (1953), and Breton Holiday (1963).

SAVI, ETHEL [WINIFRED] (22 Dec 1865 – 6 Oct 1954)
(née Bryning, aka E. W. Savi)
1910s – 1950s
Born and raised in India, Savi returned to England in 1909 and published more than eighty romances making use of her time in India. Titles include The Reproof of Chance (1910), Sinners All (1915), Mock Majesty (1923), The Acid Test (1926), The Great Gamble (1928), The Door Between (1930), At Close Quarters (1933), A Fresh Deal (1936), The Devils' Playground (1941), The Fragrance Lingers (1947), The Quality of Mercy (1950), and The Ewe Lamb (1955). She also published a memoir, My Own Story (1947).

Saville, Shirley
                   see COOPER, GWALDYS DOROTHY

SAYERS, DOROTHY L[EIGH]. (13 Jun 1893 – 18 Dec 1957)
(married name Fleming)
1920s – 1930s
Scholar, playwright, and author of 12 highly acclaimed mystery novels, all but one featuring series detective Peter Wimsey. Although the early mysteries, such as Whose Body? (1923), Clouds of Witness (1926), Unnatural Death (1927), and The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1928), are fairly straightforward, if well executed, some of the later novels, such The Nine Tailors (1934), Gaudy Night (1935), and Busman's Honeymoon (1937) could, as ODNB put it, "stand on their own against more manifestly serious fiction of their day." Gaudy Night, in which Harriet Vane returns to her Oxford alma mater and uncovers mystery and moral dilemma, is widely considered her best work, though The Nine Tailors, with its meticulous focus on a group of bell-ringers in a snowbound English village and its meditations on mortality and time, is also a contender. The other novels are Strong Poison (1930), The Documents in the Case (1930, written with Robert Eustace), Five Red Herrings (1931), Have His Carcase (1932), and Murder Must Advertise (1933). Sayers published several collections of short stories, including Lord Peter Views the Body (1928), Hangman's Holiday (1933), and In the Teeth of the Evidence (1939), as well as collaborating on several novels with the Detection Club, in which each member contributed a chapter. After the 1930s, Sayers wrote no more novels, but did make two brief returns to her main characters. "The Wimsey Papers" were a series of articles Sayers wrote for the Spectator just after the beginning of World War II, consisting of letters back and forth between various characters known from the mysteries, and including some of Sayer's opinions and advice regarding wartime concerns. She also wrote one short story featuring Lord Peter, "Tallboys" (1942), which did not appear in book form until 1971, in the collection Striding Folly. In later years, Sayers focused on philosophical and theological writings and on an acclaimed translation of Dante. In 1998, an unfinished Lord Peter novel, Thrones, Dominations, was completed and published by Jill Paton Walsh, who has since written several more titles in the series.

SCALES, CATHERINE (c1910 - ????)
Author of two children's titles—Gay Company (1938), about a cat and his friend, and Nugger Nonsense (1939), about dachsunds travelling in Europe.

SCARLETT, CLARE (13 Nov 1889 – 1 Jun 1940)
(pseudonym of Clara Thursby, married name Aspinall)
1920s – 1930s

Mother of Ruth ASPINALL. Author of two novels—Fairyhood (1927) and Iron Blue (1932), which are described in ads as "fresh" and "charming" but with no details of plot. The Very Young Life of Clara Thursby (1976) was published by her daughter, based on a memoir of childreen written by the author.

Scarlett, Susan
          see STREATFEILD, NOEL

SCHÜTZE, GLADYS HENRIETTA (1884 – 19 Jul 1946)
(née Raphael, earlier married name Mendl, aka Henrietta Leslie, aka Gladys Mendl)
1910s – 1930s
Journalist, outspoken pacifist, and author of more than 20 novels, most under her Leslie pseudonym. A Mouse with Wings (1920) wrestles with feminine pacifism versus masculine idealism in the Great War. Mrs. Fischer's War (1930), her best-known work, was based on her own misfortunes in World War I as a result of her German name and husband. Other fiction includes The Straight Road (1911), Where Runs the River (1916), Belsavage (1921), Who Are You? (1929), Naomi's Child (1932), and Mother of Five (1934). Where East is West (1933) is an account of her travels in Bulgaria to provide aid after a major earthquake. Her memoir is More Ha'pence than Kicks (1943). With her second husband, she worked for women's suffrage, and Emmeline Pankhurst once spoke from the balcony of her house.

Scot, Neil

Scott, Agnes Neill
          see MUIR, WILLA

SCOTT, Aimée (AMY) Byng (14 Jul 1868 – 5 Aug 1953)
(née Hall, aka Alex Holmes)
1900s – 1930s
Poet and author of about 10 novels. Two early titles, Anglo-India (1904) and The Emporium (1912) were published under her pseudonym. Later titles under her own name include The Song of the Stars (1917), The Blue Vase (1922), Another Man's Wife (1925), The Unknown Path (1925), The Sealed Envelope (1927), A Prince in Chains (1928), The Painted Window (1934), and The Open Prison (1936). Her play, The Munition Worker (1917), dealt with war and women's suffrage.

Scott, Mrs. Cyril
          see ALLATINI, ROSE

SCOTT, ELEANOR (11 Jul 1892 – 15 Mar 1965)
(pseudonym of Helen Madeline Leys)
1920s – 1930s
Author of five novels and one story collection. War Among Ladies (1928) is set among the teachers at a girl's high school. The other novels are The Forgotten Image (1930), Swings and Roundabouts (1933), Beggars Would Ride (1933), and Puss in the Corner (1934). Her acclaimed collection of ghost stories, Randalls Round (1929), has been reprinted in recent years. A review of Puss in the Corner described the author as "a witty and discerning observer of female character, and more especially of the reactions of women to one another."

Scott, Janey
          see LEWIN, RITA

SCOTT, [EDITH] MARGERIE (7 May 1897 – 22 Mar 1974)
(née Waite)
1930s, 1950s – 1970s
Stage actress and author of five novels. Life Begins for Father (1939) was humorous in theme, but other details are lacking. Mine Own Content (1952) and The Darling Illusion (1955) both utilize flashbacks to tell women's lives—in the latter case, an actress who has been shot and killed as the novel opens, whom we then see growing up in Canada and in in London during the Blitz. Return to Today (1961) dealt with a rekindled romance from wartime. Her final novel was Mrs Tenterden, published posthumously in 1975. Scott lived in Canada for a time both before and after World War II but returned to England to organize a first aid post in Chelsea and remained for the duration of the war. Brian Busby at The Dusty Bookcase reviewed The Darling Illusion

SCOTT-JAMES, ANNE (5 Apr 1913 – 13 May 2009)
(married names Verschoyle, Hastings, and Lancaster)
Best known for her books about gardening, including Sissinghurst: The Making of a Garden (1975), about the garden created by Vita SACKVILLE-WEST, Scott-James began as a journalist for Vogue and Picture Post, which experience forms the background for her one novel, In the Mink (1952). Her third husband was well-known cartoonist Osbert Lancaster. Her memoir is Sketches from a Life (1993).

SCOTT-MONCRIEFF, ANN (1914 – Mar 1943)
(née Shearer)
1930s – 1940s
Author of three children's titles, most famously
Auntie Robbo (1940), a much-loved tale of a boy and his eccentric aunt, which has been reprinted in recent years. The others are Aboard the Bulger (1935) and The White Drake and Other Tales (1936). She was married to novelist George Scott-Moncrieff, whose novel Death's Bright Shadow (1948) is reportedly based on his own grief at Ann's early death. Notices of her tragic death at age 29 are nonspecific as to its cause, referring vaguely to failing health and the stresses of wartime life. Edwin Muir said, in an article in The Scotsman, that "if she had lived might have been one of the best Scottish writers of her time." There is an article about her, written by her son Gavin and including several photos, here.

SCRYMSOUR, ELLA M[ARY]. (25 Dec 1888 – 26 May 1962)
(full name Ella Scrymsour-Nichol, née Campbell Robertson, aka C. M. Scrymsour)
1920s – 1930s
Actress, playwright, and author of ten novels. Best known for the supernatural/sci-fi thriller The Perfect World (1922), some of her later books appear to be romantic in theme. Titles include 'Neath Burmese Bells (1925), Bungalow Love (1928), The Girl Who Came Between (1933), and Gay—A Good Time Girl (1934). Some of her stories with supernatural themes were collected in Shiela Crerar, Psychic Investigator (2006). See
here for details about her life.

SCUTT, MARGARET [ALICE] (21 Oct 1905 – 1988)
Schoolteacher and author of two novels early in her career—I Do But Follow (1947) and And Some There Be (1950), the latter of which at least is historical in theme—and apparently several more unpublished novels. The first of these, Corpse Path Cottage, a mystery set in a Dorset village, was written in the 1960s but only published in 2018.

SEALE, SARA (26 Aug 1903 – 11 Mar 1974)
(pseudonym of Mary/Molly MacPherson, née McDowell, later married name Lindsay)
1930s – 1970s
Author of more than 40 Mills & Boon romances, including Beggars May Sing (1932), Grace Before Meat (1938), Barn Dance (1941), The Reluctant Orphan (1947), Then She Fled Me (1950), The Truant Spirit (1954), Child Friday (1956), Cloud Castle (1960), To Catch a Unicorn (1964), and The Young Amanda (1969).

SEATON, KAY (4 Feb 1915 – 12 Apr 1999)
(pseudonym of Denice Jeanette Bradley Ryan, married name Medhurst, aka several as-yet-unknown pseudonyms?)
Daughter of thriller writer R. R. Ryan and author of four novels that also appear to fit that genre. Titles are Tyranny Within (1946), Pawns of Destiny (1947), Phantom Fear (1948), and Dark Sanctuary (1948). There has been some speculation that she may have written some or all of her father's novels as well (see here). Some sources suggest she may also have had other pseudonyms not yet associated with her.

SEDGWICK, MODWENA [MARGARET] (2 Jan 1916 – 1995)
(married name Glover)
1950s – 1970s
Author of more than a dozen volumes of children's fiction. Her most famous work appears to be The Children in the Painting (1969), which the Spectator called "a case history, told from the eye-level of a seven year old, about loneliness, unwantedness and the sense of loss." She also had success with several books about a ragdoll named Galldora and several volumes of tales about a harvest mouse named Jan Perry. Other titles include Over the Stile (1951), A Tale of Pebblings Village (1960), and The Owl of Little Vetching (1966).

SELBY-LOWNDES, JOAN [MONICA] (29 Sept 1916 - 1997)
1940s – 1960s
Author of around a dozen works of children's fiction focused on horses, the circus, and the ballet, as well as non-fiction for children. She published two pony stories—Mail Coach (1945) and Family Star (1961). Other titles include The Story of Firebrand (1940), Canterbury Gallop (1945), Tudor Star (1949), On Stage Please (1952), and Circus Train (1956). The Blue Train (1958) is a biographical work about ballet dancer Anton Dolin.

SETH-SMITH, ELSIE KATHLEEN (22 May 1883 – 13 Mar 1969)
(married name Murrell)
1900s – 1960s
Biographer, historical novelist, and children's author. She published six early historical novels—Friedhelm: A Story of the Fourth Crusade (1905), A Son of Odin: A Tale of East Anglia (1909), The Way of Little Gidding (1914), Don Raimon (1919), Sir Ranulf: A Story of St. Hugh of Lincoln (1920), and The Firebrand of the Indies: A Romance of Francis Xavier (1922). She wrote several biographies in the three decades that followed, before turning to children's fiction. These titles include At the Sign of the Gilded Shoe (1955), The Black Tower (1956), The Coal-Scuttle Bonnet (1958), The Fortune of Virginia (1960), The Fen Frog (1964), Selina (1965), and Jonah and the Cat (1967).

SETH-SMITH, JANE (1909 - ???????)
1950s – 1960s

Author of four light-hearted romantic novels—Three Suitors for Cassandra (1955), Suite in Four Flats (1957), about the entanglements of three generations of a family in one house, Love Thy Neighbours (1959), and The Laird and the Loch (1960). The birth year above is from the Library of Congress—I haven't yet been able to trace her in public records. I reviewed her second novel here.

SEVERN, DOROTHY (18 Sept 1892 – 15 Feb 1950)
A relative of artist Joseph Severn and headmistress for many years at the Norton Church of England School in Letchworth, Severn published one book of poems, Beggar's Garden (1935), and one children's historical novel, Kerin the Watcher:
An Ancient Tale of the Chiltern Borderland (1947).

SEWELL, [MARGARET] ELIZABETH (9 Mar 1919 – 12 Jan 2001)
(married name Sirignano)
1950s – 1960s
Critic, poet, and author of three novels—The Dividing of Time (1951), The Singular Hope (1955), and Now Bless Thyself (1963), the last set in academia. She was called by Nicola Beauman one of the most neglected of formerly-acclaimed postwar writers. Her critical work, The Field of Nonsense (1952), has been reprinted by the Dalkey Archive.

SEYMOUR, AMY E[LIZABETH]. (5 Feb 1899 – 1 Feb 1988)
(married name Webster)
1920s – 1940s
Author of six children's books, including three girls' school stories—A Schoolgirl's Secret (1929), Two New Girls (1931), and The Fourth Form Crusaders (1932)—which, according to Sims & Clare, contain an element of social awareness. Her other titles are Taking the Plunge and Other Stories (1934), The Cottage in the Wood and Other Stories (1935), and Carry On, Cumberledge! (1937).

SEYMOUR, BEATRICE [MARY KEAN] (1 Sept 1886 – 31 Oct 1955)
(née Stapleton)
1910s – 1950s
Author of more than two dozen novels, most famously her debut, Invisible Tides (1919), which, as she described it in her memoir, was "a study of the war years seen by a young woman who hated them and stayed at home." The most common criticism of her novels seems to be their length—Rebecca West called one of her novels "immensely and incompetently long," and her ODNB entry says her novels were "almost entirely rather aimless upper middle-class family sagas." However, several of them were successful enough to warrant reprinting in early Penguin editions. Her other titles include The Hopeful Journey (1923), False Spring (1929), Maids and Mistresses (1932), Daughter to Philip (1933), Frost at Morning (1935), Fool of Time (1940), Buds of May (1947), The Second Mrs. Conford (1951), and The Painted Lath (1955).

Seymour, Molly

SHAKESPEAR, O[LIVIA]. (17 Mar 1863 - 3 Oct 1938)
(née Tucker)
1890s - 1910
Author of six novels described by OCEF as "of the marriage problem class." Titles are Love on a Mortal Lease (1894), The Journey of High Honour (1895), The False Laurel (1896), Rupert Armstrong (1898), The Devotees (1904), and Uncle Hilary (1910). OCEF also reports that she and poet William Butler Yeats had an affair in 1896 and considered eloping together.

SHANN, RENÉE (3 Sept 1901 - 1979)
(pseudonym of Violet Irene Shann, née Garde, aka Carol Gaye)
1930s – 1970s
Author of nearly 200 romance novels. Titles include Pound Foolish (1933), The Fond Fool (1936), Off the Main Road (1942), Third Party Risk (1947), and The Hasty Marriage (1953).

SHARP, EVELYN [JANE] (4 Aug 1869 – 17 Jun 1955)
(married name Nevinson)
1890s – 1920s
Suffragette, children's author and novelist. Her story collection Rebel Women (1910) makes humorous use of suffragism and women's rights, based on her own experiences, and her memoir, Unfinished Adventure (1933), has been reissued by Faber. She wrote two girls' school stories, The Making of a Schoolgirl (1897) and The Youngest Girl in the School (1901), which Sims & Clare describe as "exceptionally well-written, realistic and full of a delicious irony which few writers in this genre can match." Other fiction includes At the Relton Arms (1896), The Making of a Prig (1897), The Other Boy (1902), The Story of the Weathercock (1907), The War of All the Ages (1915), Young James (1926), and The London Child (1927).

SHARP, [CLARA] MARGERY [MELITA] (25 Jan 1905 – 14 Mar 1991)
(married name Castle)
1930s – 1970s
Author of about 40 volumes of fiction for children and adults. Particularly known for her "Miss Bianca" series of children's books, beginning with The Rescuers (1959). Her cheerful, funny novels for adults include six published by Dean Street Press as Furrowed Middlebrow books—Rhododendron Pie (1930), Fanfare for Tin Trumpets (1932), Four Gardens (1935), Harlequin House (1939), The Stone of Chastity (1940), and The Foolish Gentlewoman (1948), the last following the inhabitants and neighbors of a country estate as they return home after the war. Sharp's own experiences living through the bombing of London show up in Britannia Mews (1946). Other titles include The Flowering Thorn (1934), The Nutmeg Tree (1937), Cluny Brown (1944, filmed with Jennifer Jones in 1946), The Gipsy in the Parlour (1954), Something Light (1960), The Sun in Scorpio (1965), and her late trilogy, comprised of The Eye of Love (1957), Martha in Paris (1962), and Martha, Eric and George (1964). She also wrote many short stories for periodicals, only a fraction of which appeared in her one story collection, The Lost Chapel Picnic and Other Stories (1972). I've written about Sharp several times (see

SHAW, FELICITY [ANNE MORICE] (18 Feb 1916 – 12 May 1989)
(née Worthington, aka Anne Morice)
1950s – 1970s – 1980s
Best known for her 25 pseudonymous mystery novels, most featuring her actress sleuth Tessa Crichton, which have been reprinted by Dean Street Press, Shaw had earlier published two satirical novels under her own name. The Happy Exiles (1956) and Sun Trap (1958) were undoubtedly inspired in part by her experiences as the wife of a filmmaker who worked with UNESCO. Of the first, the Philadelphia Inquirer said, "For all its sting, Mrs. Shaw's way of telling a story is witty, her eye for detail devastatingly observant, her commentary on the social aspects of British colonial policy shrewdly apt. The Happy Exiles is wondrous summer entertainment." I wrote about both of these
here. Her mystery titles include Death in the Grand Manor (1970), Murder on French Leave (1972), Nursery Tea and Poison (1975), Scared to Death (1977), Death in the Round (1980), Murder Post-Dated (1983), Treble Exposure (1987), and Planning for Murder (1990). Passing Tramp wrote about her family history here and discussed her mysteries here. Her sister Angela was an actress and, having married actor and agent Robin Fox, produced a line of successful actors, including Laurence Fox of Lewis fame.

SHAW, JANE (3 Dec 1910 – 19 Nov 2000)
(pseudonym of Jean Bell Shaw Patrick, married name Evans, aka Jean Bell)
1930s – 1960s
Author of more than three dozen children's books, including family and adventure tales as well as the Susan series of school-related stories. Her work is known for its humor and strong characterization. I wrote about Anything Can Happen (1964)
here. Other titles include Breton Holiday (1939), Highland Holiday (1942), House of the Glimmering Light (1943), a wartime spy adventure, The Moochers (1950), Susan Pulls the Strings (1952), Fourpenny Fair (1956), Crooked Sixpence (1958), Susan Muddles Through (1960), Crooks Tour (1962), Nothing Happened After All (1965), and Paddy Turns Detective (1967).

SHAYNE, ELENA (8 Sept 1909 – 1984)

(pseudonym of Louise Crawshay Parker, married names Kerkin and Barel)


Author of a single novel, Everyday (1935), a sort of poetic Provincial Lady diary about a young woman's life in rural England and, later, abroad with her aunt. I reviewed the book here and speculated about the author's life, but scholar Elizabeth Crawford went further and thoroughly (and fascinatingly) researched her—see here—even speaking with her daughter and identifying the village in Devon in which the novel is set and many of the real-life figures on which Shayne may have based her characters. My thanks to Elizabeth for identifying her.

Shayne, Nina
          see BRADLEY,

Shearing, Joseph
          see BOWEN, MARJORIE

Shelbourne, Cecily
          see GOODWIN,

SHEPHERD, [HERBERT] HESTER (13 Jul 1871 – 21 Mar 1944)
Author of two novels, the first of which, A Secret Life (1938), was the winner of a competition judged by Sir Philip Gibbs, but few details about her life have been uncovered. The other novel was Worlds Not Realized (1939).

SHEPHERD, NAN (ANNA) (11 Feb 1893 – 27 Feb 1981)
1920s – 1930s
Teacher, poet and author of three novels focusing on women challenging tradition. Titles are The Quarry Wood (1928), The Weatherhouse (1930), and A Pass in the Grampians (1933). Of the last, the Spectator said: "The village of Boggiewalls is somewhat startled by the intrusion of Dorabel Cassidy, once Bella Cassie, and now a famous singer with a knack of making the adjectives fly. Miss Shepherd's story is exceedingly pleasant, and written with humour and enjoyment." The Living Mountain, a non-fiction work about the Cairngorn Mountains, was written in the 1940s but not published until 1977.

SHEPPARD, HILARY (dates unknown)
1940s – 1950s
Unidentified author of 10 romantic novels—So Lovely the Dawn (1942), Spring Breaks Through (1942), Knight Without Honour (1943), Love Came Barefoot (1944), Deep Flows the Stream (1950), But Love Can Hope (1951), Tell Me, My Heart (1952), Some Day I'll Find You (1952), Lovers' Meeting (1953), and Till It Be Morrow (1954). The same author published a 1956 biographical sketch of one Robert Ian Fitzgerald Sheppard, so there's likely a connection there, but that has no far not been enough for a definite identification.

Sheridan, Christopher

Sheridan, Irene
                   see STILES, IRENE [CATHERINE]

SHILL, JOAN CAREW (4 Apr 1908 – 23 Dec 1978)
(née Hocking)
From a family of novelists—daughter of Joseph Hocking and sister of Anne HOCKING and Elizabeth NISOT—Shill published a single novel, Murder in Paradise (1946), a mystery written (and perhaps set?) in Mauritius where her husband was a government minister. The book seems to have virtually ceased to exist—it doesn't even appear to be held by the British Library.

SHIPLEY, MARY E[LIZABETH]. (1843 – 1 Nov 1914)
1870s – 1910s
Author of Christian-themed novels and children's fiction, including Christmas at Annesley, or How the Grahams Spent Their Holidays (1875), Gabrielle Vaughan (1876), Beside the Guns (1897), The Mystery of a Pink Stud (1909), and The Adversity Plant: A Tale of the Chiltern Hills (1915).

SHOLTO, ANNE (15 Mar 1906 – 21 Nov 1996)
(pseudonym of Jane Eyers, née Sime)
Author of seven novels, probably romantic in theme. Titles are Prescription for Love (1946), Return Again (1947), Dear Godmother (1948), The Christmas Ring (1949), Evening Primrose (1952), The House with the Blue Door (1952), and A Gate by the Shore (1954).

Shore, Juliet
          see VINTON,

(married name Bidgood, aka Marleon Shrager [with sister Léonie SHRAGER])
Co-author of two pseudonymous novels—Beloved Stranger (1933) and The Dancers (1934)—with her sister Léonie SHRAGER. A blurb for the latter reads: "The story of Nathalia and Vladimir is full of human interest. As dancers they captured and held Europe in the silken web of their art." On the 1911 census Isabella and Léonie are living in Folkestones, ages 3 and 2, and Isabella married in 1942, but other details are so far lacking. A copyright entry suggests they lived for some time in Lausanne, Switzerland. The possible death date comes from an Ancestry family tree with no supporting documents.

SHRAGER, LÉONIE (c1909 - ????)
(aka Marleon Shrager [with sister Isabella Marjorie SHRAGER])
Co-author of two pseudonymous novels—Beloved Stranger (1933) and The Dancers (1934)—with her sister Isabella Marjorie SHRAGER. She also published three novels of her own—Blue Coast (1932), Toy Tree (1933), and Crazy Pedestal (1934)—about which details are also lacking.

Shrager, Marleon

SHREWSBURY, MARY (dates unknown)
1920s – 1930s
Untraced author of at least five children's books, including the school story Mop Goes to School (1937). The others are Adventure House (1924), The Secret of the Sea (1928), Betty of the Brownies (1929), and All Aboard the 'Bundy': A Sea-Ranger Story (1934).

SHUTE, AMY [BERTHA ERNESTINE] (22 Jul 1878 – 5 Nov 1958)
(née Pepper-Staveley, other married names Brass, Breene, Sellers, White, and Sparrow, aka A. B. E. Shute)
Mother of journalist Nerina SHUTE, as well-known for her wild personal life (including six husbands) as for her two novels—The Unconscious Bigamist (1911), described as a "rip-roaring Edwardian novel," and The Cross Roads (1917).

SHUTE, NERINA (17 Jul 1908 – 10 Oct 2004)
(married names Day and Marshall)
1930s, 1950s
Film critic, memoirist, novelist, and daughter of scandalous Edwardian novelist Amy SHUTE, whom she recalled in her memoir Come Into the Sunlight (1958). Her first novel, Another Man's Poison (1931), was partly based on her mother's life, and shocked with its portrayal of an "ambisextrous" woman. Rebecca West said of it: “Miss Shute writes, not so much badly as barbarously, as if she had never read anything but a magazine, never seen a picture but a moving one, never heard any music except at restaurants. Yet she is full of talent.” She didn't return to fiction until three biographical novels—Poet Pursued (1951), about Shelley, Victorian Love Story (1954), about Rossetti, and Georgian Lady (1958), about Fanny Burney. She published four memoirs in all. Her last, Passionate Friendships (1992), finally made explicit her bisexuality and her many affairs with women between (and during) her two marriages.

SIDGWICK, MRS. ALFRED (10 Aug 1854 - 1934)
(pseudonym of Cecily Wilhelmine Sidgwick, née Ullmann, aka Mrs. Alfred Dean)
1880s – 1930s
Author of more than 40 volumes of fiction, mostly light social comedies. Below Stairs (1912), according to OCEF, is "a lightweight comedy about a servant girl with an impossible mistress which includes one or two unusual characters, including a gentleman cook, and a German Fraulein." About the main character of Sack and Sugar (1927), the Bookman wrote: "Madame Colmar is one of the most truly entertaining characters that I have happened upon in recent fiction, and whether she is at home in Paris, rescuing her temporarily infatuated Gerda from Munich, visiting her sister in Cornwall, holiday-making in Italy, or making the acquaintance of 'the family Watkins' into which Victor is to marry, she is always her wonderful, easygoing and thoroughly amusing self." Other titles include Salt and Savour (1916), Victorian (1922), London Mixture (1924), Storms and Tea-Cups (1931), and Maid and Minx (1932).

SIDGWICK, BLANCHE THEODORA (5 Sept 1874 – 24 Apr 1943)
1920s – 1930s
Playwright and author of three novels—Unwelcome Visitors (1926), The Wrong Wife: A Novel of the Twenties (1932), and The Turn of the Wheel (1938).

SIDGWICK, ETHEL (20 Dec 1877 – 29 Apr 1970)
1910 – 1930s
Author of 15 novels which earned comparisons to Henry James and Rose MACAULAY. Many of her works have English country house settings. Promise (1910) and its sequel Succession: A Comedy of the Generations (1913) are about the life of a child musical prodigy. A Lady of Leisure (1914), Duke Jones (1914), and The Accolade (1915) all focus on members of the same family, as do Hatchways (1916) and Jamesie (1918), the latter an epistolary novel about the impacts of World War I on an upper class English family. Her last novel, Dorothy's Wedding (1931), is described as being about the minutiae of daily life in two competing villages. The others are Le Gentleman: An Idyll of the Quarter (1911), Herself (1912), Madam (1921), Restoration: The Fairy-Tale of a Farm (1923), Laura: A Cautionary Story (1924), When I Grow Rich (1927), and The Bells of Shoreditch (1928).

SILBERRAD, UNA [LUCY] (8 May 1872 – 1 Sept 1955)
1890s – 1940s
Author of 40 works of fiction, most of them novels, which often mix popular genres such as Gothic, melodrama, or "new woman" themes. Titles include The Enchanter (1899), Petronilla Heroven (1903), The Good Comrade (1907), Success (1912), Green Pastures (1919), Rachel and her Relations (1921), The Letters of Jean Armiter (1923), The Book of Sanchia Stapleton (1927), Saunders (1935), and The Escape of Andrew Cole (1941).

SILVER, BARBARA (dates unknown)
(pseudonym of Barbara Sturgis)
Author of only one novel, Our Young Barbarians, or, Letters from Oxford (1935), an epistolary novel discussed in Anna Bogen's Women's University Fiction, 1880–1945. A contemporary review describes the novel's "faithful chronicling of a fairly ordinary routine."

SIM, KATHARINE [PHYLLIS] (28 Jun 1913 - ????)
(née Thomasset)
Biographer, travel writer and author of four novels. Known for her advanced knowledge of Malaya and extensive travel to other regions, also reflected in some of her fiction. Her novels are Malacca Boy (1957), The Moon at My Feet (1958), Black Rice (1959), and The Jungle Ends Here (1960). We know her husband died in Wales in 1989, but haven't found any trace of her own later years.

SIME, [JESSIE] GEORGINA (12 Feb 1868 – 13 Sept 1958)
(aka J. G. Sime)

1910s – 1950s

Scottish by birth but emigrating to Canada in 1907, Sime was a journalist, scholar, and author or co-author of seven works of fiction, often focusing on the place of women in society, in particular working women. Early titles, published as "J. G. Sime", include The Mistress of All Work (1916), Canada Chaps (1917), Sister Woman (1919), Our Little Life (1921), and In a Canadian Shack (1937). Her final two novels, as "Georgina Sime" and co-written with Frank Nicholson, were A Tale of Two Worlds (1953), which follows an Austrian family beginning just before WWII, one branch remaining in Austria and one emigrating to Canada, and Inez and Her Angel (1954), about the mystical experiences of an unhappy woman. Her non-fiction includes Thomas Hardy of the Wessex Novels (1928), The Land of Dreams (1940), an analysis of her dreams over the course of seven years, Orpheus in Quebec (1942), about the potential for art in Canada, and Brave Spirits (1952, with Nicholson), comprised of "studies of famous men."

SIMMS, [FRANCIS] EVELYN [MARY] (8 Oct 1883 – 10 May 1968)
1920s – 1930s
Poet and author of four girls' school stories—Her Freshman Year: An American Story for Girls (1924), Stella Wins the School (1929), The School on Castle Hill (1935), and Mystery at Rossdale School (1937). According to Sims and Clare, she was music mistress at Roedean for more than two decades.

SIMMS, KATHARINE LOUISA (18 Nov 1896 - ????)
(née Gillespie)
Travel writer and author of two novels, all focused on South Africa, to which she moved following her marriage (according to an advertisement for one of her books). The novels are Lightning on the Veld (1948) and Under the Kopje (1950). The travel books are Springbok in Sunshine (1946) and The Sun-Drenched Veld (1949). After World War II, she seems to have lived in Belfast, and was alive in 1976, but there the trail goes cold.

SIMPSON, VIOLET A[DELAIDE]. (22 Jun 1871 – 3 Aug 1954)
1900s – 1910s

Author of at least eight novels, some historical in themes. The Bonnet Conspirators: A Story of 1815 (1903) deals with smugglers in Sussex in the year of Waterloo, and The Sovereign Power (1904) also takes place in Napoleonic times, while Occasion's Forelock (1906) is at least partly set in a women's college at Oxford. Other titles are The Parson's Wood (1905), In Fancy's Mirror (1911), Flower of the Golden Heart (1913), The Beacon-Watchers (1913), and The Keys of My Heart (1915). The 1939 English and Wales register has her born 1873, but she was shaving a couple of years off as her birth is clearly registered in 1871.

Simson, Stella
          see JESSE, STELLA MARY

SINCLAIR, FIONA M[AUD]. (9 Apr 1919 - 1961)
(pseudonym of Fiona Peters, née Blaines)
Author of five mystery novels, most published after her suicide at age 42. Some of the works feature Inspector Paul Grainger, a deceptively frumpy-looking, Oxford-educated detective. Titles are
Scandalize My Name (1960), Dead of a Physician (1961), Meddle with the Mafia (1963), Three Slips to a Noose (1964), and Most Unnatural Murder (1965).

SINCLAIR, MAY (MARY) [AMELIA ST. CLAIR] (24 Aug 1863 – 14 Nov 1946)
(aka Julian Sinclair)
1890s – 1930s
Journalist, novelist, and the critic who coined the term "stream of consciousness" before using the technique herself in her novel Mary Olivier (1919). That title and The Life and Death of Harriet Frean (1922) have been reprinted in recent years, but most of her 19 other novels remain out of print despite considerable acclaim in their day. Her first novel, Audrey Craven, appeared in 1897, but it wasn’t until The Divine Fire (1904) that she achieved commercial success. The Three Sisters (1914), based on the lives of the Brontës, was the first to make use of her growing interest in psychoanalysis, and her interest in the paranormal and psychic phenomena is reflected in her collections Uncanny Stories (1923) and The Intercessor and Other Stories (1931). Other novels include The Helpmate (1907), The Creators (1910), the World War I novels Tasker Jevons (1916, aka The Belfry), The Tree of Heaven (1917) and The Romantic (1920), Anne Severn and the Fieldings (1922), and The Rector of Wyck (1925). She detailed her own experiences in war-torn Belgium in A Journal of Impressions in Belgium (1915), in which she strongly critiqued the pacifist movement. Her family life was somewhat tragic, with all four of her brothers dying young from heart disease. She took over caring for the children of two of them. Her circle of friends included H. G. Wells, Ford Madox Ford, Wyndham Lewis, William Butler Yeats, and Thomas Hardy. She was apparently not a talkative woman, however—Mark Twain sat next to her at a dinner party once and thanked her for her "remarkably interesting silence". Her pseudonym was used only for her first book of poetry.

Sinclair, Julian
          see SINCLAIR, MAY

SINDALL, MARJORIE A[YLWYNN]. (20 Jul 1903 – 11 Aug 1998)
(née Withers)
1950s – 1970
Author of more than a dozen children's titles, most apparently family stories and several in a series about "the Warren." Titles are Young Solario (1953), The Children of the Warren (1953), The Budds of Paragon Row (1954), Strangers in the Warren (1954), Holidays at the Warren (1955), The Larks of Jubilee Flats (1956), Penny and Tuppenny (1957), If Wishes Were Poodles (1958), Surprises for the Warren (1960), Matey (1960), Caravan at the Warren (1961), Help from the Warren (1963), Three Cheers for Charlie (1966), Puffin Cove (1967), and Down Came the Houses (1970).

SITWELL, EDITH [LOUISA] (7 Sept 1886 – 9 Dec 1964)
A major
modernist poet and international celebrity, in part because of her eccentric and entertaining personality and performance style. She published a single novel, I Live under a Black Sun (1937), which mixes events in the life of Jonathan Swift with autobiographical elements, including her relationship with artist Pavel Tchelitchew. Her most famous poetic work was Façade (1923), which caused a scandal when she gave a reading of it in London, her back to the audience and partly obscured by a curtain. Her later poem "Still Falls the Rain," about the Blitz, also became famous and was later set to music by Benjamin Britten. In addition to her poetry, gathered in her Collected Poems (1954), she published criticism, humorous non-fiction such as The English Eccentrics (1933), and successful biographies, including The Queens and the Hive (1962), focused on Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. Her memoir was Taken Care Of (1965).

SKAE, HILDA T[RAILL]. (31 Mar 1867 – 14 Dec 1954)
1900s – 1910s, 1930
Author of three children's tales, including The Adventure League (1907), a mystery about Scottish children trying to clear a working class friend of a crime, The Campbells of Argyll (1913), and The Haunted House (1930). She also published a biography, Mary, Queen of Scots (1912).

SKELTON, BARBARA (26 Jun 1918 – 27 Jan 1996)
(married names Connolly, Weidenfeld, and Jackson)
1950s – 1960s
of two novels—A Young Girl's Touch (1956) and A Love Match (1969)—and one story collection, Born Losers (1965). A Love Match is a darkly humorous tale about a woman desperately trying to have children, while her two friends have accidental pregnancies. Skelton is best known for her memoirs Tears Before Bedtime (1987) and Weep No More (1989), the former of which includes her experiences in World War II. Her first two husbands were novelist Cyril Connolly and publisher George Weidenfeld.

SKELTON, MARGARET (dates unknown)
Untraced author of two novels—The Book of Youth (1920), which "plunges into the broth of modern London life," and Below the Watchtowers (1926), about two German children brought up in England in the years before and during World War I.

(née Grant)
1890s - 1920
Scottish novelist, author of Marget Pow, a trilogy of novels about a domestic servant with decided opinions about everything, comprised of Marget Pow in Foreign Parts (1912), Marget Pow Comes Home (1914), and Marget Pow Looks Back (1920). The three were collected into one volume in 1925. She also wrote two earlier novels—A Friendly Girl (1896) and A Goodly Child (1901).

SLEIGH, BARBARA [GRACE DE RIEMER] (9 Jan 1906 – 13 Feb 1982)
(married name Davis)
1950s – 1970s
of nearly 20 children's books, including some for very young children. Among her work for older children are the Carbonel series—comprised of Carbonel: The King of the Cats (1955), The Kingdom of Carbonel (1960), and Carbonel and Calidor (1978)—as well as The Patchwork Quilt (1956), No One Must Know (1962), and a well-received travel story Jessamy (1967). Her memoir is The Smell of Privet (1971).

Sloane, Sara
          see BLOOM, URSULA

SMEDLEY, [ANNIE] CONSTANCE (20 Jun 1876 – 9 Mar 1941)
(married name Armfield, aka "X")
1900s – 1930s
Playwright, children's author, and author of more than 20 novels. According to OCEF, her works fall into two categories—"ponderous social-problem novels and mildly cynical studies of the position of women." Titles include An April Princess (1903), Conflict (1907), about the lives of working women, Service (1910, subtitled "A Domestic Novel", Mothers and Fathers (1911), Una and the Lions (1914), Redwing (1916), the anti-war Justice Walk (1924), and The Magnolia Lady (1932). She also published a memoir, Crusaders (1929), which, in the words of her ODNB entry, "unabashedly promotes herself and her work." Smedley was confined to a wheelchair as a result of childhood polio, and her husband was a gay man, but their relationship was nevertheless a happy one, and they collaborated on theatrical productions. Her pseudonym was used for an early feminist tract, Woman: A Few Shrieks (1907).

SMEDLEY, [MARY] ELISABETH (19 Dec 1909 - 2009)
(possible married name Gordon [uncertain but probable identification], middle name "Elizabeth" on birth record, but used "Elisabeth" for her books)
1940s – 1950s
Author of three children's books about "the Jays"—The Jays (1940), set at school, The Jays Write a Book (1941), and A Job for the Jays. The date of the last is uncertain—there was a "new edition" published in 1951, but I can locate no trace of an original edition.

SMILES, AILEEN (15 Oct 1879 – 9 Jun 1967)

Irish author of a single novel, Indian Tea (1936), about the governess of a tea-planter's children who has a troubled relationship with his assistant and apparently finds considerable adventure along the way. The author was the granddaughter of author and reformer Samuel Smiles, and her only other publication was a biography, Samuel Smiles and His Surroundings (1956).

(née Stannard, earlier married name Damon, aka Nomad)
1880s – 1910s
Poet and novelist who, according to OCEF, always thought of herself as a Victorian. Her six novels include Owlscroft (1882), Holly (1890), Concerning a Marriage (1904), The Woman Decides (1912), about family life in the country, Reminiscences of a Prima Donna (1912), and A Strange Will and Its Consequences (1913).

SMITH, AUDREY TEMPLE (23 Jun 1900 – 1975)
(married names Sington and Wheal)
Author of two novels—French Salad (1940) and Vacant Possession (1941). An advertisement for the latter reads: "This is the story of a girl who married, very young, a man she grew to detest. She might have achieved calm at the expense of excitement, security instead of turbulence, but would she have been happy?"

SMITH, AUGUSTA A[NN]. (1849 – 30 Jun 1941)
(sometimes went by Varty-Smith, aka Säimath)
1880s – 1890s, 1930s
Author of three novels—The Fawcetts and Garods (1886, under her pseudonym), Matthew Tindale (1891), and the much later She Was His Wife (1936). The last was reviewed

SMITH, C[ICELY]. FOX (1 Feb 1882 – 8 Apr 1954)
1910s – 1950s
Sister of Madge Scott SMITH. Poet, children's author, and novelist, Smith also compiled a collection of traditional sea shanties and wrote poetry which has often been set to music. Fiction includes The City of Hope (1914), Singing Sands (1918), Peregrine in Love (1920), Three Girls in a Boat (1938), The Ship Aground (1940), Knave-Go-By (1951), and Seldom Seen (1954).

SMITH, CONSTANCE ISABEL (2 Mar 1894 – 4 Sept 1972)
(aka Eleanor Reid, aka Isabel Beaumont)
1920s – 1930s
Author of more than a dozen novels under her own name as well as her pseudonyms. Marrying Madeleine (1922) and The Fortunate Woman (1922) appear to be witty romantic novels, and Smokeless Burning (1922) won the Melrose Prize. The others are Adam's First Wife (1920), Intensity: A Simple Story (1921), Secret Drama (1922), The Fallen (1923), The Escaped Wife (1924), Storm Dust (1925), Just Impediment? (1925), Through the Curtains (1925), The Barrington Scandal (1925), Mackerel Sky (1926), Lotus Lane (1927), The Tenth of March (1929), Last Will and Testament (1930), and A Wife and Child (1932).

SMITH, CYNTHIA M[AY]. (dates unknown)

Unidentified author of a single romantic novel, Allyson's Daughter (1960). The middle name comes from the British Library and may be either incorrect or a nickname. Robert Hale's information said she was living in Grindon, Sunderland when the book appeared, and there was a Cynthia Margaret Smith (c1938-2018) living in Sunderland. However, there's just too few details about her to be certain.

SMITH, DODIE (DOROTHY) [GLADYS] (3 May 1896 – 24 Nov 1990)
(married name Beesley)
1940s – 1970s
Playwright, children's writer, memoirist, and author of six novels. Remembered for her classic children's book The Hundred and One Dalmations (1956) and her much-loved debut novel I Capture the Castle (1948), perhaps the classic "eccentric family" novel. Smith spent the 1930s writing successful light comedies for the London stage, before leaving for the U.S. in 1939, where she became a close friend of Christopher Isherwood and lived mostly in Hollywood as an in-demand screenwriter until 1953. In later years, she published five more "increasingly fanciful" (in the words of her ODNB entry) novels—The New Moon with the Old (1963), The Town in Bloom (1965), It Ends with Revelations (1967), A Tale of Two Families (1970), which I wrote about here, and The Girl from the Candle-Lit Bath (1970). Smith also published two more children's books, The Starlight Barking (1967) and The Midnight Kittens (1978), as well as four memoirs, Look Back with Love (1974), about her childhood, Look Back with Mixed Feelings (1978), about her twenties, Look Back with Astonishment (1979), about her theatrical success in the 1930s, and Look Back with Gratitude (1985), about her years in the U.S.

SMITH, D[ORA]. M[ANSFIELD]. PERCY (20 Jul 1888 – 12 Mar 1975)
(Sims & Clare say "Doreen," but British Library gives "Dora")
1910s – 1930s
Author of eight children's titles, including both boys' and girls' school stories. Titles are Stolen Feathers (1914), The Lamb House Plot (1926), The Perilous Album (1928), The Vicarage Twins (1930), A Knight in Petticoats (1931), The Amber Hunters (1934), The Two Elizabeths (1935), and A Wagon-Load of Monkeys (1936).

SMITH, DOREEN [LUCY] (1901 - ????)
(birth name Dorothy Lucie Smith, married name Roach-Jackson?)
Author of four novels—Quest (1930), Lonely Traveller (1931), East Wind (1931), and The Gates Are Open (1933). Smith and her husband were apparently imprisoned for fraud and other charges shortly after their marriage. Doubts about her married name (possibly De La Feld or Shafto Jackson) stem from this shadiness.

SMITH, DOROTHY (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single girls' school story, Those Greylands Girls (1944), set in an orphanage school. I reviewed it
here. Sims & Clare bemoan the fact that Smith never published a sequel.

SMITH, DOROTHY EVELYN (7 Feb 1893 – 31 May 1969)
(née Jones)
1940s – 1960s
Author of eleven novels. Her greatest success seems to have been her debut, O the Brave Music (1943), about a rebellious girl and her love for an older boy. It has now been reprinted in the British Library Women's Classics series. He Went for a Walk (1954) is about a boy made homeless by the Blitz, who must find his way across wartime England. Miss Plum and Miss Penny (1959) is a dark comedy about a (possibly) suicidal woman and the disruption she causes among the staid residents of an English village—in 2020 Dean Street Press reprinted it as a Furrowed Middlebrow book. Her other novels are Huffley Fair (1944), Proud Citadel (1947), My Lamp Is Bright (1948), The Lovely Day (1949), Lost Hill (1952), Beyond the Gates (1956), The Blue Dress (1962), and Brief Flower (1966). I've written about her

SMITH, ELEANOR [FURNEAUX] (7 Aug 1902 – 20 Oct 1945)
1930s – 1940s
Author of eleven novels and two story collections, often focused on the theatre, ballet, the circus, or gypsy life. Harold Nicholson called Flamenco (1931) "an unforgettable book ... it pulsates with passion ... It rouses the emotions of pity and terror and solves them in a burst of lyrical beauty." Ballerina (1932) was inspired in part by Anna Pavlova, whom Smith saw rehearsing for Diaghilev. The other novels are Red Wagon: A Story of the Tober (1930), Tzigane (1935, aka Romany), Portrait of a Lady (1936), The Spanish House (1938), Lovers' Meeting (1940), A Dark and Splendid Passion (1941), The Man in Grey: A Regency Romance (1942), Caravan (1943), and Magic Lantern (1944). She is also remembered for her collection Satan's Circus and Other Stories (1932), which contains fantasy and horror stories. Her memoir is Life's a Circus (1939).

1950s – 1960s
of three children’s books—The Discovery of Mr. Nobody (1957), The Hidden Way (1961), and Roger at Ravenscrag (1968)—the last of which, at least, is set in a boys’ school.

SMITH, EMMA (21 Aug 1923 – 24 Aug 2018)
(pseudonym of Elspeth Hallsmith, married name Stewart-Jones)
1940s - 1970s
Children's author, memoirist, and author of two novels. Best known for The Far Cry (1949, reprinted by Persephone), inspired by her own time in India, which Elizabeth BOWEN described as a "savage comedy". The Spectator reviewer added, "I can think of no writer, British or Indian, who has captured so vividly, with such intensity, the many intangibles of the Indian kaleidoscope." It was nearly three decades before she published her second novel. The Opportunity of a Lifetime (1978), about a woman recalling 10 turmoil-filled days from her childhood, was described by Kirkus as "a sad, splendid novel that—like William Trevor's work, though more muted—keenly probes the large postures of petty, small-framed lives." Smith published four children's books—Emily: The Story of a Traveller (1959), Out of Hand (1963), Emily's Voyage (1966), and No Way of Telling (1972), the last a page-turner which I reviewed here. Her first publication was actually Maidens' Trip (1948, reprinted by Bloomsbury), a memoir of working on the canals of England during World War II. Following Persephone's successful reprinting of The Far Cry in 2002, Smith was inspired to publish two more memoirs, The Great Western Beach (2008), about her childhood in Cornwall, and As Green as Grass (2013), which covers her later childhood until her marriage.

SMITH, ESSEX (3 Apr 1880 – 17 Sept 1964)
(pseudonym of Frances Essex Theodora Smith, married name Hope)
1910s – 1920s
Author of seven novels. Shepherdless Sheep (1914) is, according to a bookseller blurb, about "a charismatic preacher who despite his lack of belief and acknowledged hypocrisy manages to inspire a growing band of followers." The others are Wind on the Heath (1912), The Revolving Fates (1922), If Ye Break Faith (1923), In All Time of Our Wealth (1924), The Wind's in the South (1926), and The Wye Valley Mystery (1929). The last is presumably a mystery, but information is scarce.

SMITH, EVANGELINE F[RANCES]. (27 Feb 1853 – 14 Jan 1945)
1880s, 1920s
Author of three novels—A Cruel Necessity (1880s—exact date unknown), In a Vain Shadow (1883), and A Bid for a Soul (1924)—about which little information is available.

SMITH, [CONSTANCE] EVELYN (27 Dec 1885 – 23 Mar 1928)
Author of well over a dozen children's titles, as well as a single adult novel. She is best known by far for her girls' school stories—Sims and Clare conclude their entry on her by noting, "If the English girls' school story in its classical period ever attained the distinction of literature, it did so in the works of Evelyn Smith." They also suggest that if not for her tragic death of pneumonia at age 42, she would likely have ranked with Elinor BRENT-DYER and Dorita Fairlie BRUCE. Her main school stories are Nicky of the Lower Fourth (1922), Binkie of IIIB (1922), Seven Sisters at Queen Anne's (1923), The Little Betty Wilkinson (1923), Biddy and Quilla (1924), Val Forrest in the Fifth (1925), Septima at School (1925), The First Fifth Form (1926), Terry's Best Term (1926), The Small Sixth Form (1927), The Twins at School (1927), Phyllida in Form III (1927), and Milly in the Fifth (1928). The Children of the Betrayer (1926) was her adult novel, set in Scotland and by all accounts less successful than her school stories. Many of Smith's books have been reprinted by Books to Treasure.

Smith, Helen Zinna
          see PRICE, EVADNE

SMITH, IRENE (1900 - ????)
1950s – 1960s
Author of two girls' school stories, The Imp at Westcombe (1956) and Chester House Wins Through (1967).

SMITH, MADGE (MARGARET) S[COTT]. (9 Mar 1880 – Feb 1974)
1930s – 1940s
Sister of Cicely Fox SMITH. Author of about 10 children's books, including school and Guide stories. Titles include Guide Margery (1931), Secretary Susan (1933), Winning Her Spurs (1935), Three Girls in a Boat (1938), The Hopeful Journey (1939), and Peggy Speeds the Plough (1941).

SMITH, NORA KERMODE (5 Feb 1889 – 10 Dec 1961)
Teacher and eventually headmistress of a girls' school near Manchester, and author of two novels. The first—A Stranger and a Sojourner (1937)—won a £1,000 competition held by publishers Hodder & Stoughton. Her second novel, Louise, appeared in 1940. On the 1939 England & Wales Register, she is listed as "Teacher retired on breakdown pen[sion?]".

SMITH, SHELLEY (12 Jul 1912 – 15 Apr 1998)
(pseudonym of Nancy Hermione Bodington, née Courlander)
1940s – 1970s
Author of more than a dozen psychological mysteries, as well as two story collections. Beginning with relatively traditional whodunits, Smith moved on to more psychological novels about crime and criminals. She seems to have had a particular interest in characters who are isolated from society, and the St. James Guide to Crime & Mystery Writers notes that: "A great many of these mysteries are set at the end of World War II, when the age of the extended family was over forever and the new society of casual living conditions and transient renters started to take over many communities." Smith's titles include Background for Murder (1942), Death Stalks a Lady (1945), Come and Be Killed! (1946), He Died of Murder! (1947), Man Alone (1952, aka The Crooked Man), The Party at No. 5 (1954), The Lord Have Mercy (1956, aka The Shrew Is Dead), and A Grave Affair (1971). Smith's sister, Barbara RUBIEN, also wrote two mystery novels under the name Elizabeth Anthony.

SMITH, STEVIE (20 Sept 1902 – 7 Mar 1971)
(full name Florence Margaret Smith)
1930s – 1940s
Best known in her lifetime for her quirky poetry—most famously the much-anthologized poem “Not Waving but Drowning”—Smith also published three highly autobiographical novels, which stirred controversy among real-life friends and enemies who were portrayed in them. The most famous is Novel on Yellow Paper (1936), in which Smith’s alter-ego, a secretary named Pompey, is introduced. This was followed by Over the Frontier (1938) and The Holiday (1949). The latter was written in the final years of the war, but when it was published a few years later the publisher asked Smith to remove or veil references to wartime conditions. It retains an oddly claustrophobic feel, however, which may stem from the pervasive fatigue and resignation to fate that characterize other fiction of the final years of the war. Smith’s remaining fiction and other writings were published in Me Again: Uncollected Writings of Stevie Smith (1984).

Smith, Winifred Percy
          see PARES, WINIFRED [PERCY]

SMYTHE, PAT (22 Nov 1928 – 27 Feb 1996)
(full name Patricia Rosemary Smythe, married name Koechlin)
1950s – 1970s
Herself a champion showjumper, Smythe began her writing career with memoirs of her showjumping adventures, beginning with Jump for Joy (1954) and One Jump Ahead (1956), the latter of which includes her experiences in the 1956 Stockholm Olympics. In 1957, she initiated her "Three Jays" series of children's horse stories, in which she portrayed a semi-autobiographical version of herself alongside fictional characters and in fictional adventures. Titles are Jacqueline Rides for a Fall (1957), Three Jays on Holiday (1958), Three Jays Against the Clock (1958), The Jays Go to Town (1959), Three Jays Over the Border (1960), Three Jays Go to Rome (1960), and Three Jays Lend a Hand (1961). She later published three more children's books—A Swiss Adventure (1970), A Spanish Adventure (1971), and A Cotswold Adventure (1973). Leaping Life's Fences (1992) is her autobiography.

No comments:

Post a Comment

NOTE: The comment function on Blogger is notoriously cranky. If you're having problems, try selecting "Name/URL" or "Anonymous" from the "Comment as" drop-down (be sure to "sign" your comment, though, so I know who dropped by). Some people also find it easier using a browser like Firefox or Chrome instead of Internet Explorer.

But it can still be a pain, and if you can't get any of that to work, please email me at furrowed.middlebrow@gmail.com. I do want to hear from you!