Tuesday, January 1, 2013

British & Irish Women Writers of Fiction 1910-1960 (Cle - Cu)

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


CLEAR, GWEN (GWENDOLINE) [FRANCES] (6 Apr 1905 – 17 Sept 1978)
(married name Twitchett)
Unidentified poet and author of two novels. The Bookman called her first novel, The Years That Crown (1930), "a slender bit of work which betrays a sensitive mind, hovering delicately over the lives of a group of people, but never quite encompassing them." Information about her second novel, The Undisciplined Heart (1938), is even more sparse. In Reggie Oliver's bio of Stella Gibbons, she is mentioned as a friend of Gibbons.

CLEEVE, CLAUDIA (2 Dec 1883 – 4 Jul 1944)
(pseudonym of Maud Kate Connor, née Tymms)
Author of a single children's book, Oak Apple Inn at Thistledown Bottom (1942).

CLELAND, MARY (31 Jul 1872 – 1 Apr 1937)
(pseudonym of Margaret/Margot Barbour Wells)
Scottish author of four novels. The Two Windows (1922) was described by the Queenslander as "something fragrant, delicate, and altogether charming," and The Sure Traveller (1923) appears to be a sequel. Her other two novels are The Silver Whistle (1920) and The Forsaken Way (1927). One source called her a "prolific" author, which makes one wonder if she wrote additional fiction under other so-far-unknown pseudonyms.

CLEMENTS, EILEEN HELEN (20 Apr 1905 – 23 Mar 1993)
(married name Hunter)
1930s – 1960s
Author of nearly two dozen mysteries, some with thriller elements and many featuring series detective Alister Woodhead, an agent for the "Ministry of Scientific Research." Three have WWII elements.
Cherry Harvest (1943) is set at an evacuated girls' school during a half-term break. I reviewed it here. According to a contemporary review, in Berry Green (1945) "[t]he pastoral village of Berry Green is abuzz with excitement over the visit by a famour actor who says he is doing research but might actually be a German spy looking for a lost bomb." And in Weathercock (1949), Woodhead and his wife return to the home they lent to refugees during the war, to find a "library book with interesting sketches inside." Other titles are Let Him Die (1939), Make Fame a Monster (1940), Bright Intervals (1940), Rain Every Day (1941), Perhaps a Little Danger (1942), Sea-Change (1951), Over and Done With (1952), Parcel of Fortune (1954), Chair-Lift (1954), Discord in the Air (1955), The Other Island (1956), Back in Daylight (1957), Uncommon Cold (1958), High Tension (1959), Honey for the Marshall (1960), A Note of Enchantment (1961), and Let or Hindrance (1963).

CLEMOW, [IVY MAY] VALENTINE (14 May 1894 - 1989)
(married name Matthews)
1930s - 1940s
Silent film and stage actress and author of eight romantic novels—Quetta Love Song: A Story of Modern India (1936), Brother of the Dark (1937), Shanghai Lullaby (1937), Chinese Chanty (1938), African Rhapsody (1939), Play in the Sun (1940), My Candle Burns at Both Ends (1947), and Love Goes Lightly (1948).

CLEUGH, SOPHIA [OLIVIA] (17 Sept 1876 - 1958)
(née Sadler, aka George Oleson)
1920s – 1930s
Author of 16 novels which seem to have been particularly popular in the U.S., where she lived for many years (and was for a time a screenwriter at Universal Pictures). Under her own name, she published Matilda, Governess of the English (1924), Ernestine Sophie (1925), Jeanne Margot (1927), A Common Cheat (1928), Spring (1929), Enchanting Clementina (1930), Song Bird (1930), The Daisy Boy (1931, aka Young Jonathan), Loyal Lady (1932, aka Anne Marguerite), The Hazards of Belinda (1933), Lindy Lou (1934), The Angel Who Couldn't Sing (1935), and Wind Which Moved a Ship (1936). As George Oleson, she also published Violin (1932), The Greater Gifts (1934), and Modern Girl (1935). Some sources mention an additional pseudonym, Ursula Keene, but no books in either the British Library or the Library of Congress are credited to such a name—perhaps she used it for periodical fiction or articles?

CLEVES, [IVY] MARJORIE [DOREEN] (26 Sept 1904 – 28 Jul 1994)
1930s - 1960
Author of 10 works of children's fiction, including several school stories. Sims and Clare note her tendency toward unrealistic "thriller plots". Titles are A Term at Crossways (1939), Chums at Pinewood (1943), A School Goes to Scotland (1944), Christmas at the Priory (1946), Holly House School (1947), Houseboat Holiday (1948), The School in the Dell (1948), The Lilac Grange Ghost (1949), The Secret of Cheswood (1949), and The Merryfield Mystery (1960).

CLEWES, DOROTHY M[ARY]. (6 Jul 1907 – 8 Feb 2003)
(née Parkin, aka Dorothy Parkin)
1920s, 1940s – 1970s
Prolific author of fiction for children, as well as several novels for adults. Her first book, a school story called The Rivals of Maidenhurst (1925), which Sims and Clare describe as "an extraordinarily bad book" for living up to all the stereotypes of school stories, was published when she was only 17. She returned in the 1940s and published around 40 more volumes of fiction, including a popular series of mysteries featuring the Hadley family. Titles include She Married a Doctor (1943), The Cottage in the Wild Wood (1945), The Blossom on the Bough (1949), Summer Cloud (1951), I Came to a Wood (1956), The Jade Green Cadillac (1958), All the Fun of the Fair (1961), A Bit of Magic (1967), Storm Over Innish (1972), and The Testing Year (1977). I've written about her

Clifford, Lilian
          see FITZGERALD, EILEEN

CLIFFORD, LUCY JANE (2 Aug 1846 – 21 Apr 1929)
(née Lane, aka John Inglis, aka Mrs. W. K. Clifford)
1880s – 1910s
Playwright, children's author, and novelist whose salons included the likes of Leslie Stephen, Henry James, and Vernon Lee. She began publishing serial fiction in the early 1880s, but her first success was the scandalous Mrs. Keith's Crime (1885), published anonymously, which has all the hallmarks of the potboiling melodrama. Others include Love Letters from a Worldly Woman (1891), Aunt Anne (1892), Sir George's Objection (1910) and George Wendern Gave a Party (1912). Two of her short stories, "The New Mother" and "Wooden Tony," have frequently been reprinted in anthologies of children's stories.

CLIFFORD, SUSAN (dates unknown)
Author of a single girls' school story, The Mugwump (1930). Apparently her only other published work was an activity book called Plans: A Book for Holidays and a Cure for "What-Shall-We-Do-Next?" (1929), which had either a sequel or a reprint called What Shall We Do Next? (1931).

CLIVE, MARY [KATHERINE] (23 Aug 1907 – 19 Mar 2010)
(née Pakenham, aka Hans Duffy)
1930s, 1950s
Sister of Pansy PAKENHAM and biographer Violet Powell, Clive published four pseudonymous novels in the 1930s—In England Now (1932), Seven by Seven (1933), Lucasta's Wedding (1936), and Under the Sugar-Plum Tree (1937)—now vanishingly rare, but I was able to review the second here. Clive is best known now for her acclaimed, humorously autobiographical novel, Christmas with the Savages (1955). She wrote two other more straightforward memoirs, Brought Up and Brought Out (1938) and The Day of Reckoning (1964), as well as biographies of John Donne (1966) and Edward IV (1973).

1910s – 1920s
Author of ten novels—The Harvest (1911), The Roll of Honour (1915), The Tide at Night (1918), Cherry Isle (1920), Adam and Eve and the Lonely Lady (1922), A Human Heart (1924), When Aloes Bloom (1925), Wild Roses: A Story of the Sussex Hills (1927), What Shall It Profit? (1927), and Through the Lattice (1929). Forum described the last as "wrought out of the mists and fog and loneliness of England's north country."

CLOSS, HANNAH [MARGARET MARY] (6 Dec 1905 – 8 Oct 1953)
(née Priebsch)
1940s – 1950s
Author of four historical novels which received acclaim in their time. Tristan (1940) is a retelling of the medieval legend, and the Tarn Trilogy—which includes High Are the Mountains (1945), And Sombre the Valleys (1949, aka Deep Are the Valleys), and The Silent Tarn (1955)—is set in southern France in the 13th century. She also published a memoir, Art and Life (1936).

CLOUD, YVONNE (17 Apr 1903 – 30 Jun 1999)
(pseudonym of Yvonne Helene Kapp, née Mayer)
Journalist, activist, biographer, and author of four novels, which seem to have inspired some acclaim and considerable outrage. Of her first, Nobody Asked You (1932), Gerald Gould ranted at considerable length in the Observer, summing up the book as "a vaguely sad, wretched, drab, hopeless picture of nincompoops and ne'er-do-wells" and bemoans its "depravity" (though by the following year, Gould was ready to praise her third novel, Mediterranean Blues (1933), set in the south of France, as "deliciously and almost consistently funny"). Her other two novels were Short Lease (1932) and The Houses in Between (1938).

Clynder, Monica
          see MUIR,

COALES, K[ATHLEEN]. WALLIS (10 Jan 1893 – 20 Sept 1982)
1920s – 1930s
Illustrator and author of nine works of children's fiction, some with scouting and/or mystery themes. Titles are The Dodo's Egg (1923), The Wharfbury Watch-Dogs (1930), The Pennyfound Puzzle (1931), The Monkey Patrol (1932), The Golden Horse (1934), The Secret of the Fens (1935), The Mascot at No. 7 (1936), Up with the Falcon! (1936), and Patricia at the Wheel (1937). Her father was Herbert George Coales, who also published scouting fiction under the pseudonym Mark Harborough.

COATS, VICTORIA T[AYLOR]. (16 Apr 1885 – 4 Jan 1940)
Scottish poet and author of three novels—A Maid in Armour (1923), Discovery (1926), and The Clock Tower (1926). A critical blurb about the first sums it up as: "The heroine and her mother, in turn, have to reconcile their public crusade with the claims of love." From a second blurb, it appears that their crusade is women's rights.

COATTS, RITA (MARGUERITE) [HARCOURT] (2 Feb 1883 – 22 Mar 1955)
(née Burrage)
1930s – 1950s
From a family of boys' authors including father Edwin Harcourt Burrage, brother A. H. Burrage, and cousin A. M. Burrage. Coatts wrote more than a dozen girls' school stories and about fifteen children's thrillers, often quite implausible. I wrote about School on an Island (1938)
here. Other titles include The Taming of Patricia (1934), Facing It Out (1937), Jane of Cherry Barn (1938), Ghosts at Stark Hall, or, "Pip,' the Sleuth!" (1938), Schoolgirl Pluck (1947), The House with Dark Corners (1948), The Wrong School (1949), Room for One More (1950), Breaking Bounds (1951), Peggy Means Luck (1953), and The Forbidden Garden (1954).

COBB, JOYCE (12 Jul 1890 – 16 Jul 1970)
(married name Gow)
After her first book of stories from Dickens adapted for children (1910), Cobb published a single novel, Jane and Herself (1922), which Bookman praised for its "delicate grace and understanding and humor."

COBBETT, ALICE [MARY VIOLET] (1872 – 29 Jan 1942)
Daughter of Victorian sports journalist Martin Cobbett. Author of two novels— Somehow Lengthened (1932), which freely adapts Jane Austen's unfinished novel Sanditon, and A Tale of Treasons (1937), about which information is lacking. Blogger Deborah Yaffe wrote about the former
here, noting that Cobbett's version of Austen's story includes "a Caribbean love potion, a kidnapping, a near race riot, a blindfold nighttime journey over rough terrain, a smuggling gang, a dying prostitute, and a filthy-rich countess with a philanthropic bent" but also concluding that it's "quite a lot of fun."

COBDEN, ELLEN [MELICENT] (c1848 – 4 Sept 1914)
(married name Sickert, aka Miles Amber)
1900s – 1910s
Wife of painter Walter Sickert and sister of publisher T. Fisher Unwin, Cobden seems to have begun writing late in life. She published two novels—The Wistons (1902), about "the tragic experiences in society of two daughters of a Sussex farmer and a gypsy," and Sylvia Saxon: Episodes in a Life (1914), about "a spoilt heiress struggling with marital difficulties and social questions" (OCEF).

COCKIN, JOAN (23 Nov 1919 – 28 May 2014)
(pseudonym of Edith Joan Macintosh)
1940s – 1950s
Trail-blazing diplomat, educational writer, and author of three well-received detective novels—Curiosity Killed the Cat (1947), Villainy at Vespers (1949), and Deadly Earnest (1952)—all featuring series character Inspector Cam. The first, according to classiccrimefiction.com, is set in a Cotswold village still haunted by the war in the form of the Ministry of Scientific Research, set up in wartime but lingering into peacetime. Cockin did propaganda work in Washington for the British government during World War II, and was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. John at Pretty Sinister reviewed her second novel

CODD, MARY FRANCES (25 Apr 1893 – 8 Feb 1970)
Author of four novels—Sisters' Children (1933), Nephew-in-Law (1934), Lover's Random (1935), and A Faery's Child (1936).

COGGIN, JOAN (22 Jul 1898 – 11 Aug 1980)
(aka Joanna Lloyd)
1920s – 1940s
Author of four humorous mysteries, a series of six pseudonymous girls' school stories, and one early novel, And Why Not Knowing? (1929), which follows three girls from the end of their school days through their first years of adulthood. I wrote about it
here. The four mysteries, Who Killed the Curate? (1944), Penelope Passes, or Why Did She Die? (1946), The Mystery at Orchard House (1946), and Dancing with Death (1947), all feature Lady Lupin, "the scatterbrained wife of the vicar of Glanville." Rue Morgue reprinted all four, and I wrote about the first here. Of Coggin's school stories as Joanna Lloyd, Sims and Clare single out Audrey, a New Girl (1948) as a "masterpiece" of the genre. The others are Betty of Turner House (1935), Catherine Goes to School (1945), Jane Runs Away from School (1946), Catherine, Head of the House (1947), and Three New Girls (1949).

COLE, MARGARET [ISABEL] (6 May 1893 – 7 May 1980)
(née Postgate, aka M. I. Cole)
1920s – 1940s
Politician, education advocate, and author of more than 30 mystery novels with her husband George (G. D. H.) Cole. The Coles' novels are known for strong characterization and clever methods of murder (see the informative discussion at
GA Detection). Their titles include The Death of a Millionaire (1925), The Murder at Crome House (1927), Poison in the Garden Suburb (1929), Corpse in Canonicals (1930), Death of a Star (1932), Scandal at School (1935), Disgrace to the College (1937), Mrs Warrender's Profession (1938), Murder at the Munition Works (1940), Knife in the Dark (1941), Toper's End (1942), and Birthday Gifts (1946)

COLE, MARGARET ALICE (15 Apr 1890 – 20 Jun 1967)
(real name Alice Margaret Maria Cole)
1940s – 1960s
Broadcaster, teacher, pianist, founding member of the Romantic Novelists Association, and author of about two dozen works of fiction. Children's books include Holiday Camp Mystery (1959), Anothing Thrilling Holiday (1964), and Another Holiday Camp Mystery (1967). Romantic novels include Starlight and Love (1946), Thoroughbred: A Romance (1949), Passport to Paradise (1959), Love in Venice (1962), Romance in the Tyrol (1964), Love on Tour (1965), Scottish Rhapsody (1966), and Flying to Happiness (1967).

COLE, SOPHIE (SOPHIA) (15 Nov 1862 – 11 Feb 1947)
1900s – 1940s
Author of the first book published by Mills & Boon, Arrows from the Dark (1909), Cole went on to publish more than 60 romances in all, becoming one of the publisher's bestselling authors. Titles include A Plain Woman's Portrait (1912), Skirts of Straw (1915), A London Posy (1917), Passing Footsteps (1922), Mirage House (1925), Paying the Piper (1927), Witchery (1930), Sixpence in Her Shoe (1932), Cobbler's Corner (1935), The Joyous Pedlar (1937), The Valiant Spinster (1940), Lilac Time in Westminster (1941), M for Maria (1944), and Queer Neighbours (1946).

COLEBROOKE, HELEN [EMMA] (1860 – 21 Jan 1916)
1900s – 1910s
Author of two novels—Winged Dreams (1908), about women's suffrage and apparently based on Colebrooke's own experiences, and Fetters of the Past (1914), which appears to also have feminist themes and which the Spectator called conventional but amusing.

COLEGATE, ISABEL [DIANA] (10 Sept 1931 -           )
(married name Briggs)
1950s – 2000s
Author of a dozen novels, most famously The Shooting Party (1981), set at an aristocratic weekend shooting party just before the outbreak of World War I, which was filmed in 1985 and adapted for BBC radio in 2010. Her other fiction is The Blackmailer (1958), A Man of Power (1960), The Great Occasion (1962), Statues in a Garden (1964), her Orlando Trilogy—comprised of Orlando King (1968), Orlando at the Brazen Threshold (1971), and Agatha (1973)—News from the City of the Sun (1979), Deceits of Time (1988), The Summer of the Royal Visit (1991), and Winter Journey (1995). She also published one collection of stories, A Glimpse of Sion's Glory (1985).

COLERIDGE, CHRISTABEL R[OSE]. (25 May 1843 – 14 Nov 1921)
1870s - 1910
Granddaughter of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Author of more than 40 volumes of fiction for children and adults, and editor of Christian-themed periodicals for girls. Titles include Lady Betty (1870), An English Squire (1881), A Plunge into Troubled Waters (1888), The Green Girls of Greythorpe (1890), A Colt from the Heather (1896), The Thought-Rope (1898), The Winds of Cathrigg (1901), Miss Lucy (1908), and a final collection of stories that qualifies her for this list, Up-To-Date, and, A Lucky Sixpence (1910). She also published a biography of her friend Charlotte Yonge (1903).

Coles, Manning

COLES, P[HOEBE]. CATHERINE (14 Mar 1917 – 4 Mar 2003)
(aka Peter Fraser)
1940s – 1970s
Author of numerous children's books which Sims & Clare describe as "evangelistic," including girls' school stories and, under her pseudonym, boys' school stories, as well as other tales. Titles include Tea with the Tennysons (1949), Junior Housekeepers (1950), Wendy of Glendorran (1951), Chubby's First Term (1952), The Rivals of Broadacres (1953), Penelope's Secret (1953), At the King's Command (1953), Grandfather Greenfingers (1955), The Fighting Fifth (1957), The Trio from Dormitory Five (1957), The Cardinals of Cobleigh Manor (1958), Gillian Joy (1962), The Calders of Cairn Farm (1973), and My Friend Sue (1976).

Colin, Ann
          see URE, JEAN [ANN]

COLLAS, CLARE (28 Jun 1885 – 1 Aug 1969)
(née Waters)
Author of four children's titles—Four's Company: A Children's Fantasy (1942), The Flying Village: An Improbable Story (1943), The Blue-Coated Heron (1944), and A Penny for the Guy: A Real Story (1945). Of the last, the Spectator said: "If Real means true, this tale of a little cockney girl, whose genius (backed by a generous patroness) carried her swiftly to prizes, fame, the Academy, a holiday in South Africa, dinner at Government House, and the love of a charming and wealthy young man, is indeed most striking, and one would like to see her pictures."

COLLIER, MADELEINE (?1897-?1965)
(married name Holloway, tentative but probable dates—see here)
Children’s author who published mainly for younger children, but several of her works, such as The Noddles, The Noddles Again, and Beryl's Wonderful Week (all 1944, according to the British Library catalogue), seem to be longer tales for older children.

COLLIN-SMITH, JOYCE [YVONNE] (11 Jan 1919 – 9 Nov 2011)
(née Hartley, earlier married name Brooks)
Journalist and author of four novels—Locusts and Wild Honey (1953), The Scorpion on the Stone (1954), Jeremy Craven (1958), and A Wreath of Chains (1960). Thereafter, she focused on spiritual pursuits and consciousness-raising, including studying with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in his pre-Beatles days. One later title, Of Fire and Music (2005), may also be fiction.

COLLINS, BERTHA [COLIN] (dates unknown)
1920s – 1930s
Untraced author of more than a dozen romantic novels, including The Deceptions of Sue (1923), The Girl in Mauve (1923), Lady Frivol (1924), Miss Go-Ahead (1925), An Heiress by Chance (1925), Too Clever Clara (1926), Odd Girl Out (1931), The Risk She Ran (1931), and The Charmer (1932).

COLLINS, FREDA (15 May 1904 – 18 Feb 1992)
(pseudonym of Frederica Joan Hale Collins)
1930s – 1960s
Playwright, lecturer, and children's author. Most of her plays and stories were religious in theme, but she also published a series of books about Brownies, including The Brownies at No. 9 (1936), The Pack That Ran Itself (1956), The Woodland Pack (1957), The Brownie Year (1957), The Good Turn Hunters (1963), and The Patchwork Pack (1968). On the 1939 England & Wales Register, she is identified as an air raid warden.

COLLINS, [MINNA] MABEL (9 Sept 1851 – 31 Mar 1927)
(married name Cook)
1870s – 1910s
Author of more than two dozen novels, perhaps best remembered for Outlawed: A Novel on the Woman Suffrage Question (1908). Other works include The Prettiest Woman In Warsaw (1885), Builders (1910), Transparent Jewel (1913), and Crucible (1914).

Collinson, Nana [Selina]
          see ABBOTT, NINA

COLLIS, LOUISE [EDITH] (29 Jul 1925 - c2009)
Daughter of diplomat and author Maurice Collis. Biographer, historian, and author of four novels—Without a Voice (1951), about a troubled boy retreating into fantasy, A Year Passed (1952), After the Holiday (1954), and The Angels' Name (1955). Subjects of her biographies include Margery Kempe and Ethel Smyth.

Collyer, Doric
          see HUNT, DOROTHY A[LICE].

COLMER, [EVELYN] JOYCE (1889 – 20 Dec 1955)
(née Elliott)
A schoolteacher before she became a journalist and editor, she published a single girls' school story, Rosemary to the Rescue (1925), notable—according to Sims and Clare—primarily for its virulent anti-Semitism.

COLMORE, GERTRUDE (8 Jun 1860 – 26 Nov 1926)
(pseudonym of Gertrude Renton, married names Dunn and Baillie-Weaver)
1880s – 1920s
Poet, novelist, and early feminist. The Crimson Gate (1910), Suffragette Sally (1911, reprinted 1984 as The Suffragettes), and Mr Jones and the Governess and Other Stories (1913) all have suffrage themes, while several later works passionately promoted her anti-vivisection views. Other titles include Concerning Oliver Knox (1888), A Living Epitaph (1890), A Daughter of Music (1894), The Strange Story of Hester Wynne (1899), A Ladder of Tears (1904), The Guest (1917), The Thunderbolt (1919), and A Brother of the Shadow (1926).

Colpitts, Cicely

COLVILL, H[ELEN]. H[ESTER]. (8 Mar 1854 – 5 Nov 1941)
(aka Katharine Wylde)
1880s – 1920s
Author of five early novels under her pseudonym, followed later by several more under her real name. Titles include A Dreamer (1880), Mr Bryant's Mistake (1890), Our Wills and Fates (1897), The Stepping Stone (1905), Lady Julia's Emerald (1908), The Incubus (1910), and The Lily of Lombardy (1928). She also translated at least two works by Italian Nobel Prize winner Grazia Deledda.

COMBE, MRS. KENNETH (15 Jun 1870 – 25 May 1933)
(pseudonym of Theodora Combe, née Williamson)
1900s – 1920s
Author of six novels which explore romantic and family relations. Her first, Cecilia Kirkham's Son (1909), is partly set in India, and a review of her last, Dilemma (1923) refers to "her usual marked skill in realistic characterisation." The others are Seekers All (1910), Chief of the Staff (1914), The Upward Flight (1919), and In Full Payment (1920).

Compton, Clare
          see HEWETT, HILDA [MARIAN]

COMPTON-BURNETT, IVY (5 Jun 1884 – 27 Aug 1969)
1910s – 1970s
Author of 20 eccentric and funny novels that unfold almost entirely in formal, unrealistic dialogue—"claustrophobic in mood and concerned with the tyranny of family life," according to ODNB. Although her books have been out of print off and on for the fifty years since her death, she has consistently been taken seriously by critics and scholars, and most of her books have now been released in e-book format. A House and Its Head (1935) and Manservant and Maidservant (1947) are often considered to be among her best. She disowned her first, more traditional and autobiographical novel, Dolores (1911). More Women Than Men (1933) takes place in a girls' school. The other titles are Pastors and Masters (1925), Brothers and Sisters (1929), Men and Wives (1931), Daughters and Sons (1937), A Family and a Fortune (1939), Parents and Children (1941), Elders and Betters (1944), Two Worlds and Their Ways (1949), Darkness and Day (1951), The Present and the Past (1953), Mother and Son (1955), A Father and His Fate (1957), A Heritage and Its History (1959), The Mighty and Their Fall (1961), A God and His Gifts (1963), and The Last and the First (1971). I've written about Dame Ivy
here, and Simon at Stuck in a Book has also written about her on several occasions. Compton-Burnett once quipped about the difficulty of her work, "My books are hard not to put down."

COMSTOCK, CAROLINE (dates unknown)
Unidentified author of a single mystery novel, The Bandar-Log Murder (1956), subtitled "A Museum Street Thriller." The Observer said it was a "[c]hattily readable little London mystery set among the futilitarian, un-dead, neo-delinquent, mews-dwelling, contemporary youth."

COMYNS, BARBARA (27 Dec 1907 – 14 Jul 1992)
(pseudonym of Barbara Irene Veronica Comyns Carr, née Bayley, first married name Pemberton)
1940s – 1980s
Author of ten novels known for their dark humor and morbid perspectives on childhood. Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead (1955), for example, is set in a Warwickshire village which faces first a major flood and then an outbreak of madness, all told hilariously from the perspective of a child. Her debut, Sisters by a River (1947), began as a memoir of her own childhood, written to entertain her children. Spelling was not Comyns' strong suit, and her publisher chose to leave her quirky spellings intact, a decision that reportedly irritated her but ensured the book's notoriety. Her late novel Mr. Fox (1987) is set during World War II and is based on her time, following the breakup of her first marriage, sharing a home with a disreputable man who inspired the title character. Her other novels are Our Spoons Came from Woolworth's (1950), The Vet's Daughter (1959), The Skin Chairs (1962), Birds in Tiny Cages (1964), A Touch of Mistletoe (1967), The Juniper Tree (1985), and The House of Dolls (1989). Comyns and her husband lived for 18 years in Spain, and her memoir Out of the Red and Into the Blue (1960), deals with this period. I've written about her work

Connor, Elizabeth
          see TROY, UNA

CONNOCK, MARION [TERESA] (4 Feb 1905 – 25 Mar 1994)
(née Mogg)
1950s – 1960s
Author of two children's titles—Treasure in the Dark (1957), described by a bookseller as about "a family come to live in a centuries-old manor house on the Cornish coast with their soldier father & French Resistance heroine mother", and The Boy from Spain (1963), about the young son of a Spanish Civil War hero. In the 1970s, she also published biographies of Precious McKenzie and Nadia Comaneci.

CONQUEST, JOAN (15 Sept 1876 – 23 Oct 1941)
(pseudonym of Mary Eliza [later Louise] Gripper, married names Martin-Nicholson and Cooke, aka Sister Martin-Nicholson)
1920s – 1940s
Author of more than two dozen romantic novels, generally set in exotic locales or featuring racial difference as their scandalous element. Some feature supernatural themes of curses, spirits, etc. Titles include Desert Love (1920) and its sequel Hawk of Egypt (1922), The Street of Many Arches (1924), Crumbling Walls (1927), Chastity (1929), Harem Love (1930), Love Triumphant (1933), Jewels in the Dust (1937), Simoom (1939), and Us Lonely Fellers! (1941). She had earlier published a WWI memoir, My Experiences on Three Fronts (1916) under her Sister Martin-Nicholson pseudonym.

CONSTANDUROS, MABEL (29 Mar 1880 – 8 Feb 1957)
(née Tilling)
1920s – 1940s
Actress best known for voicing multiple members of the Buggins family in radio broadcasts spanning 1928-1948. Constanduros was also an enormously prolific playwright and author of several novels, including The Bugginses (1928), The Sweep and the Daffodil (1930), Mrs. Buggins Calls (1936), Poison Flower (1937), Down Mangel Street (1938), A Nice Fire in the Drawing Room: A Story About Ordinary People (1939), Grandma (1939), 'Anging Round Pubs (1940), So They Were Married (1942), and On the Run (1943). Her memoir is Shreds & Patches: An Autobiography (1940).

Constantine, Murray

Conway, Celine
          see WARREN, LILLIAN

Conway, Laura

CONYERS, [MINNIE] DOROTHEA [SPAIGHT] (18 Nov 1869 – 25 May 1949)
(née Blood-Smyth, later married name White)
1900s – 1940s
Author of more than 50 works of fiction described by OCEF as "cheerful romances, in which the subjects of Ireland and hunting recur." Her many titles include The Thorn Bit (1900), The Boy, Some Horses, and a Girl: A Tale of an Irish Trip (1903), Aunt Jane and Uncle James (1908), The Arrival of Antony (1912), The Financing of Fiona (1916), Uncle Pierce's Legacy (1920), The Two Maureens (1924), Managing Ariadne (1931), The Elf (1936), Gulls at Rossnacorey (1939), A Kiss for a Whip (1948), and The Witch's Samples (1950). Her memoir is Sporting Reminiscences (1920).

COOKE, JEAN [HESTER] (18 Jul 1905 – 18 Aug 1980)
(married name Buggs)
Author of two novels, Now Rests that Unquiet Heart (1933) and Song Without Music (1935), about which little information is available. In 1939 she was working in London as an editorial assistant.

COOKE, SHIRLEY (27 Aug 1903 – 18 Dec 1991)
(pseudonym of Constance Irene Poppy Bacon, married names Richard and Sartoris)
1920s – 1930s
Author of three adult novels about which details are scarce—Grape Fruit (1927), Mottled Marble (1928), and The Sedgwicks (1929)—and one additional title, Woolly Bear (1934), which appears to be for small children. Mottled Marble, according to a publisher blurb, deals with a woman whose disappointment in love "transforms her into a subtle malevolent woman who causes incredible trouble."

COOKSON, CATHERINE [ANN] (20 Jun 1906 – 11 Jun 1998)
(née Davies, aka Catherine Marchant)
1950s – 1990s
The bestselling author in England for many years, Cookson published more than seventy works of fiction in all, including historical romances, children's books, and memoirs. In the 1990s, many of her books were adapted for British TV, beginning with The Fifteen Streets (1952). Other novels include Kate Hannigan (1950), Maggie Rowan (1954), Slinky Jane (1959), Heritage of Folly (1963), Hannah Massey (1964), Evil at Roger's Cross (1965), The Nice Bloke (1969), The Mallen Streak (1973), Go Tell It to Mrs. Golightly (1977), The Black Velvet Gown (1984), The Wingless Bird (1990), and Justice Is a Woman (1994). Her memoir is Our Kate: An Autobiography (1969).

COOPER, AGNES ROSEMARY (25 Nov 1911 – 7 Oct 1989)
(married name Gould, aka Ramsay Bell [with Mary WELLER])
Co-author, with Mary WELLER, of four pseudonymous novels—Dragon Under Ground (1937), described as "a pleasantly told yet thrilling tale of Christmas adventure," To Joanna (1938), Dangerous Promise (1939), and The Lake of Ghosts (1940), set in the Apennines with an archaeologist heroine.

COOPER, BARBARA [TAMAR] (15 Sept 1905 – 19 May 1981)
Sister of novelists Lettice COOPER and Leonard Cooper. Reviewer and author of three novels—Sweet Chariot (1931), subtitled "The Story of a Coward" and apparently set during the American Civil War, Two Walk Together (1935), about which details are lacking except that the publisher described it as about "the clask between sophistication and an open-air country life", and The Light of Other Days (1939), in which an elderly man reminisces about his youth during the Regency, including cameos from Lord Byron, Caroline Lamb, and John Keats. The latter seems to have been the most widely and positively reviewed. Barbara and her sister lived together in London for much of their adult lives.

COOPER, GWLADYS DOROTHY (27 Jun 1912 - 1981)
(aka Shirley Saville, Jill Newland, Margaret Mason, Diana Carter, Carmen Castillo, Irene Dickens, Carol Grant, Linda Green)
1930s, 1960s – 1970s
Author of romantic novels under a number of pseudonyms. Presumably Betty's Mistake (1937), as Margaret Mason, was her first, but she seems not to have published again (or perhaps published under unknown pseudonyms) until 1960, when no fewer than five novels appeared under various pseudonyms. Other titles include Moon Over Morocco (1960), Fabric Pictures (1961), Love's Horizon (1961), Malice in the Sun (1962), Quest for Love (1968), and Moroccan Magic (1972).

COOPER, LETTICE [ULPHA] (3 Sept 1897 – 24 Jul 1994)
1920s – 1980s
Sister of Barbara COOPER and Leonard Cooper, also novelists. Author of 20 novels spanning more than 60 years. The first four—The Lighted Room (1925), The Old Fox (1927), Good Venture (1928), and Likewise the Lyon (1928)—were historical in subject. The ninth, The New House (1936), a poignant tale of a family moving house, was reprinted by Persephone in 2004, at which time it was compared to the work of Anita Brookner. National Provincial (1938) is a South Riding-esque bestseller about a fictional town that might be Leeds or Sheffield. It was compared by another reviewer to George Eliot's Middlemarch. Black Bethlehem (1947), Cooper's first post-WWII fiction, is comprised of three stories, two with the backdrop of was—one about an injured war hero adapting to home life, the other about a woman who takes in a shady refugee. Fenny (1953), set before and after the war in Florence, follows a young girl from her arrival in Italy as a governess through turbulent events both personal and political. Three of Cooper's novels belong to some extent to the mystery/thriller genre—A Certain Compass (1960), in which a young wife investigates her husband's supposed suicide in Italy, Tea on Sunday (1973), apparently a more straightforward detective novel, and Unusual Behavior (1986), about police surveilling a London suburb to find reported IRA radicals. Her other novels are The Ship of Truth (1930), Private Enterprise (1931), Hark to Rover! (1933), We Have Come to a Country (1935), Three Lives (1957), The Double Heart (1962), Late in the Afternoon (1971), Snow and Roses (1976), and Desirable Residence (1980). Cooper also wrote several books for children, mostly in the 1960s, as well as biographies for young readers.

COOPER, [MARY] WENDY (WENDALINE) (6 Dec 1919 - 2004)
(née Lowe, full married name Jack Cooper)
Journalist, writer for television and radio, and children's author. Her four children's titles—The Laughing Lady (1957), about the disappearance of a famous painting, Alibi Children (1958), The Cat Strikes at Night (1959), and Disappearing Diamonds (1960)—were mystery and adventure stories. The first two at least seem to have been novelizations of BBC television productions. She contributed articles to numerous major periodicals, and published several books about women and science.

CORBETT, MRS. GEORGE (1846 - 1930)
(pseudonym of Elizabeth Burgoyne Corbett)
1880s – 1920s
Novelist and crime writer, many of whose works appeared in periodicals and have not been fully documented. Known works include The Missing Note (1881), the utopic New Amazonia: A Foretaste of the Future (1890), A Mere Masquerader (1895), The Marriage Market (1905), In Society's Whirlpool (1920), The Lucy Talisman (1921), and An Unwilling Husband (1922). Although several sources mention that she wrote crime or mystery novels, the only one I can positively identify as such is When the Sea Gives Up Its Dead: A Thrilling Detective Story (1894).

CORBOULD, DOROTHEA MARY (27 Sept 1849 – 15 Dec 1928)
(real name apparently Dorathea)
1880s – 1920s
Author of three novels—Loyal Hearts (1883), When Love Speaks (1909), and From Dark to Dawn (1928)—and one children's title, The Complete Tale of Humpty Dumpty (1914).

CORDEUX, KATE MARION (21 Nov 1862 – 6 Oct 1962)
(aka Daniel Dormer)
1880s – 1930
Author of three early pseudonymous novels—Out of the Mists (1886), The Mesmerist's Secret (1888), and Steven Vigil (1891)—and three later works under her own name—The King's Tryst (1920), The Romance of Mary the Blessed (1927), and A Garland for Ashes (1930).

CORELLI, MARIE (1 May 1855 – 21 Apr 1924)
(pseudonym of Mary Mackay)
1880s – 1920s
Massively successful popular novelist whose 30+ novels sometimes featured mystical or religious themes. ODNB notes that two of her most successful works, Thelma (1887) and The Sorrows of Satan (1895), had, by the time of her death, gone through 56 and 60 editions respectively. Other famous works are A Romance of Two Worlds (1886), Wormwood (1890), about absinthe addiction, My Wonderful Wife (1890), which satirized the "New Woman" phenomenon, The Soul of Lilith (1892), a retelling of Frankenstein, Barabbas: a Dream of the World's Tragedy (1893), a melodramatic retelling of the crucifixion, and The Devil's Motor (1910), which also utilized Christian mythology. She continued to publish fiction, including Innocent: Her Fancy and His Fact (1914), The Young Diana: An Experience of the Future (1918), and The Secret Power (1921), until just before her death.

CORKE, HELEN (26 Jan 1882 – 16 May 1978)
Biographer, historian, memoirist, and author of one novel, Neutral Ground (1933). Part of the novel was based on her much earlier diary of a tragic love affair, written 1910-1912, which was apparently also the inspiration for D. H. Lawrence's The Trespasser. She later published memoirs of Lawrence and his lover Jessie Chambers, as well as an autobiography, In Our Infancy (1975).

CORNER, ANNE [ELIZABETH] (1886 – 17 Nov 1930)
(née Squire)
Suffragist, politician, and author of at least one novel—Deeper Yet (1929), about a woman trying to help her husband fight drug addiction resulting from his WWI experiences. A children's title, Broomstick Nights (1930), expanded on the stories behind well-known nursery rhymes. Her obituary said she was the author of two novels in addition to the children's book, but I can find no trace of a second title. Corner died unexpectedly following a surgery. She was the sister of author J. C. Squire.

Cornewall, Lewis

CORNISH, DOROTHY HELEN (18 Dec 1894 – 20 Nov 1995)
Author of a single novel, These Were the Brontës (1940), heavily advertised in the early days of World War II, which focused on Charlotte's life but also "dwells fully and charmingly … upon life in the Haworth home."

CORNISH, HEATHER (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single girls' school story, Dumps Takes Charge (1948).

CORNISH, THEODORA (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single girls' school story, One Term: A Tale of Manor House School (1910). She may have been in the medical profession. Alternatively, the name could be a pseudonym of Theodore Cornish, a male author of the time.

CORNWALLIS, KAY (17 Apr 1888 – 2 Aug 1969)
(pseudonym of Irene Wallis, married name Jones)
Author of two novels—Jeopardy Incurred (1933) and Travel Stained (1934). The latter is about an English family relocating to Boston, and the nearly-disastrous flirtation of the young wife.

Cory, Caroline

COSENS, MONICA (26 Mar 1888 – 18 Aug 1973)
1910s – 1920s
Author of a story collection, The Elfin Cobbler and Other Stories of Connaught (1914), and a gung-ho World War I memoir, Lloyd George's Munition Girls (1916), which paints a humorous but significant portrait of one area of women's war experience. She also wrote several plays and two children's titles—The Dancing Child (1913) and Wee Men (1923)—in collaboration with Brenda GIRVIN. Early in World War II, she published Evacuation: A Social Revolution (1940).

COST, MARCH (19 Apr 1897 – 7 Feb 1973)
(pseudonym of Margaret Mackie Morrison, aka Peggy Morrison, aka Margaret Morrison)
1920s – 1970s
Author of more than three dozen works of fiction, including several children's titles. Best known for A Man Called Luke (1932), about a physician who may be reincarnated, and for The Hour Awaits (1952), which traces 24 hours spent in London by a princess from a Tyrolean kingdom, and its sequel, Invitation from Minerva (1954). Other novels under the Cost pseudonym include The Dark Glass (1935), The Dark Star (1939), Rachel: An Interpretation (1947), The Bespoken Mile (1950), By the Angel, Islington (1955), A Woman of Letters (1959), The Year of the Yield (1965), and A Key to Laurels (1972). Under her real name, she appears to have written lighter fiction, such as Flying High (1943) and Wider Horizons (1952), about an air hostess who finds love, and, in collaboration with Pamela TULK-HART, Paid To Be Safe (1948), about the World War II Air Transport Auxiliary. Others under her own name include Written for Elizabeth (1934), Sally Strange (1937), Angles (1939), The Mavis Hut (1942), Circles (1945), Bring Me a Sword (1951), and The Undaunted (1956). I've mentioned Cost in passing
here and here.

COSTIE, CHRISTINA MCKAY (6 Aug 1902 – 23 Jun 1967)
Scottish author of dialect tales. Although she apparently published only one book, Benjie's Bodle and Other Orkney Dialect Tales (1956), in her lifetime, two more collections appeared after her death—The Collected Orkney Dialect Tales of C.M. Costie (1976) and Wullie o' Skipigoe, or, The True Story of the Harray Crab and Other Orkney Dialect Poems (1997)—and she has recently received some critical attention.

Cotman, D. J.
          see BOWES-LYON, LILIAN

COTTERELL, CONSTANCE [ANNIE MARY] (12 Sept 1864 – 3 Mar 1947)
1880s – 1930s
Author of eight novels—Strange Gods (1889), Tempe (1893), An Impossible Person (1896), "Love Is Not So Light" (1898), The Virgin and the Scales (1905), The Honest Trespass (1911), The Perpetual Choice (1915), and Chain the Unicorn (1933). In The Honest Trespass, a young woman whose husband is in a mental hospital is lured into a relationship with another man.

COTTON, CATHERINE [MARY] (1 Apr 1880 – 23 Feb 1973)
(née Cotton)
Untraced author of three novels—Experience (1922), The Polite Paupers (1929), and Water Into Wine (1930)—as well as a distressing-sounding text called Your Sacred Body (1933), published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. She may have married a cousin, as it appears that her maiden and married names were the same.

COUCH, GRACE (dates unknown)
Untraced co-author, with Deirdre O'BRIEN, of a single girls' school story, New Girls at Lowmead (1945), and author of several books for younger children, some of which she also illustrated.

Courtney, Christine

COURTNEY, GWENDOLINE (23 Sept 1911 – 12 Mar 1996)
1930s – 1950s
Cousin of Phyllis Irene NORRIS and author of at least fourteen children's tales, including school and family stories. Thirteen books were published in her lifetime—Torley Grange (1935), The Grenville Garrison (1940), The Denehurst Secret Service (1940), Well Done, Denehurst! (1941), Sally's Family (1946), Stepmother (1948, aka Those Verney Girls, aka Elizabeth of the Garret Theatre), A Coronet for Cathie (1950), Long Barrow (1950, aka The Farm on the Downs), At School with the Stanhopes (1951), The Girls of Friar's Rise (1952), The Chiltons (1953), The Wild Lorings at School (1954), and The Wild Lorings—Detectives! (1956). In 2011, Girls Gone By Publishers released Mermaid House (1953), an additional novel only previously published in serial form. I've discussed her work several times—see here—and Barbara at Call Me Madam discussed Courtney here.

COWDROY, JOAN A[LICE]. (16 Sept 1884 – 14 Aug 1946)
1920s – 1940s
Author of at least 20 novels, some or all of them mysteries. Titles include Brothers-In-Love (1922), The Inscrutable Secretary (1924), The Immortal (1927), The Mystery of Sett (1930), Watch Mr Moh! (1931), Murder of Lydia (1933), Murder Unsuspected (1936), Framed Evidence (1936), Our Miss Flower (1937), Death Has No Tongue (1938), Merry-Go-Round (1940), Murder Out of Court (1944), and Morris Dance (1946).

COWEN, FRANCES [GERTRUDE] (27 Dec 1901 - 1992)
(married name Munthe, aka Eleanor Hyde)
1920s – 1980s
Author of more than a dozen children’s titles early in her career, followed by around 40 adult novels beginning in the 1960s. Most of her books include an element of suspense. Among her children's titles are In the Clutch of the Green Hand (1929), The Milhurst Mystery (1933), The Perilous Adventure (1936), The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1940), Mystery at the Walled House (1951), Clover Cottage (1958), The Secret of Grange Farm (1961), and The Secret of the Loch (1963). Adult titles include thrillers under her own name and historical mysteries under the name Eleanor Hyde. Among the former are A Step in the Dark (1962), Scented Danger (1966), The Daylight Fear (1969), The Curse of the Clodaghs (1973), The Medusa Connection (1976), and Sunrise at Even (1982). Among the latter are Tudor Masquerade (1972), Tudor Mayhem (1973), Tudor Myth (1976), Tudor Murder (1977), and Tudor Mausoleum (1977).

COWLIN, DOROTHY (16 Aug 1911 – 10 Jan 2010)
(married name Whalley)
1940s – 1950s
Biographer and author of eight novels showing some influence from Freud. Titles are Penny to Spend (1941), Winter Solstice (1942), The Holly and the Ivy (1950), The Slow Train Home (1951), Rowanberry Wine (1952), An End and a Beginning (1954), Draw the Well Dry (1955), and The Pair of Them (1956). Later in her career she published biographies of Gertrude Bell, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Cleopatra.

COWPER, E[DITH]. E[LIZA]. (1859 – 18 Nov 1933)
(née Cadogan, married name Cooper)
1890s – 1930s
Author of school stories, Guide stories, and other mystery and adventure tales "in the Bessie Marchant tradition," according to Sims and Clare. School stories are The Mystery Term (1923) and The Troublesome Term (1926). The former is the first of a series including The Holiday School (1927), The Fifth Form Adventurers (1929), and The Invincible Fifth (1930), but these titles are not primarily school-related. Other books include Theckla Jansen: The Story of a Lonely Girl (1899), Calder Creek: A Story of Smuggling on the South Coast (1903), The Invaders of Fairford (1907), The Island of Rushes: The Strange Story of a Holiday Mystery (1912), Jane in Command: The Story of a Girl's War Work and Its Strange Results (1917), The White Witch of Rosel (1922), Peterina on the Rescue Trail (1928), and Elsie and the Grey Thief (1933).

COX, LEWIS (15 Nov 1889 – 10 Aug 1983)
(pseudonym of Euphrasia Emeline Cox, née Lewis, aka Bridget Parsons)
1920s – 1970s
Author of well over 100 romantic novels, including King's Yellow (1925), Arab (1930), As Young as Spring-Time (1933), April Child (1937), Phantom Rival (1939), Radiant and Reckless (1945), Sandboy (1948), Venetian Fantasy (1956), A Pennyworth of Paradise (1961), The Elegant Web (1964), and Silver Cherries (1972). She published two novels in the 1930s under her Parsons pseudonym.

COXHEAD, [EILEEN] ELIZABETH (18 Feb 1909 – 16 Sept 1979)
1930s – 1960s
Biographer and author of ten novels, including One Green Bottle (1951), discussed
here. The other novels are The Street of Shadows (1934), June in Skye (1938), A Wind in the West (1949), A Play Toward (1952), The Midlanders (1953), The Figure in the Mist (1955), The Friend in Need (1957), The House in the Heart (1959), and The Thankless Muse (1967), the last apparently based on a real-life drama from late in the life of William Butler Yeats. She also published biographies of the likes of Lady Gregory and Constance Spry. I've written about her work a couple of times—see here.

Coxon, Mrs. Sydney
          see HINE, MURIEL

COYLE, KATHLEEN (23 Oct 1886 – 25 Mar 1952)
(married name O'Meagher)
1920s – 1940s
Irish novelist and memoirist who lived in the U.S. in later years. Her memoirs A Flock of Birds (1930) and The Magical Realm (1943) were reprinted in the 1990s, as was Liv (1928), a novel about a young woman who seeks to expand her horizons via a trip to Paris. Other fiction includes Piccadilly (1923), The Widow's House (1924), Youth in the Saddle (1927, aka Shule Agra), It Is Better to Tell (1927), There Is a Door (1931), The French Husband (1932), The Skeleton (1933), Undue Fulfillment (1934), Morning Comes Early (1934), Brittany Summer (1940), Who Dwell with Wonder (1940), Immortal Ease (1941), and To Hold Against Famine (1942).

CRADOCK, FANNY (26 Feb 1909 – 27 Dec 1994)
(pseudonym of Phyllis Nan Sortain Pechey, aka Frances Dale)
1940s – 1980s
Theatrical television chef and cookbook author who also wrote numerous novels and children's books—initially using her Frances Dale pseudonym, later using the name of her television persona. Titles include Scorpion's Suicide (1942), Women Must Wait (1944), My Seed, Thy Harvest (1946), O Daughter of Babylon (1947), The Eternal Echo (1950), and a popular series beginning with The Lormes of Castle Rising (1975). Her television success trailed off following her scathing critique of the cooking of a housewife contest-winner on a 1976 BBC program.

CRAIK, M[ARIE]. SYLVIA (19 Mar 1884 – 14 Nov 1955)
(née Robson)
Author of at least two novels of the 1930s—The Splendid Smile (1930) and Petronel's Island (1931).

CRAN, [EDITH] MARION (1875 – 2 Sept 1942)
(née Dudley, other married names Dunn and Hurd-Wood)
Widely known gardening writer and first woman gardening broadcaster (with her BBC Gardening Chats, beginning in 1923), as well as the author of two novels. The Lusty Pal (1930), first serialized in Good Housekeeping, appears to be more or less about a girl who couldn't say no, while Piper's Lay deals with the love story between a dressmaker and a water-diviner. Cran sometimes combined memoir and gardening, as in her debut, The Garden of Ignorance (1913), about her hit-or-miss early attempts at creating a garden, and The Story of My Ruin (1924), about both the restoration of her house and the failure of her marriage. Though not a household name today, Cran was famous enough to figure in a 1934 comic rhyme by Reginald Arkell: "Beverley Nicholls and Marion Cran / Hadn’t been born when the world began / That is the reason I must confess / Why the Garden of Eden was not a success."

CRANSTON, JANE (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single girls' school story, First-Term Rebel (1955).

Craven, Helen
          see FORBES, HELEN [EMILY]

CRAWFORD, ISABEL (dates unknown)
1920s – 1930s
Untraced author of four girls' school stories. Phoebe's First Term (1928) and Phoebe & Company (1931) focus on a single character, while Willowmeads (1932) and Lola's Exploration (1933) tell two separate stories set at a single school. Sims and Clare appreciated Crawford's humor.

Crawford, Mary
          see NICHOLSON, MARY (1908-1995)

CRAWFORD, MAUDE [MORTON LEIGH] (27 Sept 1874 - 1956)
1920s – 1930s
Author of more than 20 romantic novels, and apparently one much earlier work, Meg (1899). Titles include The Fruit of Evil (1920), Roses in the Snow (1921), Kismet (1922), Peggy Up in Arms (1924), Butterfly Peg (1925), Nan the Faithful (1925), The Girl-Haunted Man (1926), For Her Sister's Sake (1927), The Man from the Past (1929), Not a Fool (1933), Ashamed of the Shop (1933), and The Sunshine Girl (1933).

CREESE, [DORIS] BETHEA (21 Sept 1897 – 22 Apr 1986)
1950s - 1970
Journalist and author of more than a dozen Mills and Boon romances. Titles include The Family Face (1950), The Chequered Flag (1952), Evergreen Oak (1955), Glorious Haven (1958), Beauty Queen (1960), Irish Rose (1964), and King of Hearts (1967). She also published the non-fiction Careers in Catering and Domestic Science (1965) for Bodley Head.

CRESSWELL, HELEN (11 Jul 1934 – 26 Sept 2005)
Poet, television screenwriter, and prolific children's author. Her first book, Sonya-by-the-Shore (1960), just qualifies her for this list. Others include The Piemakers (1967), three Carnegie Award runners-up, The Night Watchmen (1969), Up the Pier (1971), and The Bongleweed (1973), and two popular book series, Lizzie Dripping and The Bagthorpe Saga.

CREWE, CLAIRE (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single romantic novel, The Circus Girl (1927).

Crichton, Lucilla
          see ANDREWS, LUCILLA

CRISPE, WINIFRED [IDA GERTRUY] (22 May 1872 – 26 Aug 1955)
1900s, 1930s (?)
Author of three early novels—Snares (1904), Corry Thorndike (1908), and Golden Aphrodite (1909)—and what seems to be one more three decades later, The Gospel of Elimination (1939).

CROCKETT, [RUTH MARY] RUTHERFORD (10 Aug 1888 – 3 Aug 1957)
Daughter of Scottish novelist Samuel Rutherford Crockett and author of two novels of her own—A Gay Lover (1925), a humorous romance set partly in Scotland, and its sequel, Safety Last (1926).

CROFT, FRANCES (15 May 1905 – 9 Apr 1986)
(pseudonym of Kathleen Rose Margaret Morrison, née Eales)
Author of a single novel, The Silken Skin (1937), about which the Lancashire Evening Post said, "Scenes in Italy and in a beauty shop, young life in a London boarding house, love affairs and disillusionment, are woven into a gay pattern in a way that promises well for the author's future success as a writer of light fiction."

CROKER, B[ITHIA]. M[ARY]. (28 May 1849 – 20 Oct 1920)
(née Sheppard)
1880s – 1910s
Author of more than 40 books, including many "Anglo-Indian romances" described as "witty and fast-moving" (OCEF), which explore the complexities of life and love in India, where she lived for many years, as well as stories of ghosts and the supernatural. Other of her novels were set in Ireland, Burma, Egypt, Australia, and various European locales. Fiction includes Proper Pride (1882), Pretty Miss Neville (1883), Village Tales and Jungle Tragedies (1895), Beyond the Pale (1897), Angel (1901), The Cat's Paw (1902), The Company's Servant (1907), Katherine the Arrogant (1909), Lismoyle (1914), and The Road to Mandalay (1917). Croker is said to have used her daughter as a model for some of her heroines.

CROLY, ELIZABETH (6 Feb 1897 – 18 Feb 1953)
(pseudonym of Janet Muriel Begbie, married name Farwell)
Author of two works of children's fiction, The Street that Ran Away (1921) and A Sailing We Will Go (1922), as well as a collection of children's poetry, The Lucky Tub (1922), a play called Forbidden Revels (1925), and two travel books, Round About Monte Carlo (1925), and The Lure of the New Forest (1925).

Cromer, Ruby

Crompton, Margaret
          see MAIR, MARGARET [NORAH]

CROMPTON, RICHMAL (15 Nov 1890 – 11 Jan 1969)
(pseudonym of Richmal Crompton Lamburn)
1920s – 1960s
Best known for Just William (1922) and dozens of subsequent books about the adventures of an energetic, mischievous schoolboy, which by the mid-1990s had sold 10 million copies, and which according to ODNB "contained sharp social observation of suburban mores, and have been a good deal quarried by social historians." There have also been film, television, and radio adaptations of the series. At one point, Crompton referred to the series as a "Frankenstein's monster" for its tendency to prevent attention from being paid to her 40 novels for adults. These include Family Roundabout (1948), which was reprinted by Persephone, three titles reprinted by Greyladies—Leadon Hill (1927), Mrs Frensham Describes a Circle (1942), and Matty and the Dearingroydes (1956)—and a dozen or so titles now available in e-book format from Bello Books. Other novels include The Innermost Room (1923), The House (1926, published in the U.S. as Dread Dwelling), Felicity Stands By (1928), Marriage of Hermione (1932), The Holiday (1933), Journeying Wave (1938), Steffan Green (1940), Frost at Morning (1950), Four in Exile (1954), and The Inheritor (1960). Mary Cadogan wrote a short biography called Richmal Crompton: The Woman Behind William (1986). I've written about Crompton

CRONE, ANNE (1915 – 25 Oct 1972)
1940s – 1950s
Author of three novels, the most acclaimed of which, Bridie Steen (1948), is a tragedy centering on an Irish heroine caught between non-Irish Protestants on one side of her family and Irish Catholics on the other. Her other novels are This Pleasant Lea (1951) and My Heart and I (1955).

CROOME, HONOR (6 Jul 1908 – 29 Sept 1960)
(full name Honoria Renée Minturn Croome, née Scott)
1940s – 1950s
Journalist, economist, and author of five novels. Her first three novels were written while living in Canada during WWII. O Western Wind (1945), based on her family's own experiences of getting settled in the U.S. and then Canada, was highly praised by Elizabeth Bowen. You've Gone Astray (1945) is about two friends in the 1930s up to the beginning of the war, while The Faithless Mirror (1946), set in wartime Ottawa, deals with difficulties between a brother and sister. The Mountain and the Molehill (1955), set in a Swiss girls' school, was based in part on Croome's own experiences. And The Forgotten Place (1957) deals with a woman coming to terms with her childhood by visiting her mother's country house, now divided into flats. Croome also published several highly-regarded introductory texts on economics, and for a time in the 1930s, she was political secretary to first female MP Nancy Astor.

CROSBIE, MARY (26 Mar 1876 – 24 Feb 1958)
(pseudonym of Muriel Maud D'Oyley)
1900s – 1920s
Author of seven novels—Disciples (1907), Kinsmen's Clay (1910), Bridget Considine (1914), Escapade (1917), There and Back Again (1927), Rekindled Fires (1929), and The Old Road (1929). I reviewed There and Back Again, about a mother returning to her husband and children after abandoning them years before,

CROSS, BRENDA (1919 – 23 Dec 2013)
(née Stenning, later married name Colloms, aka B. Cross, aka Brenda Hughes)
Journalist, film critic for Picturegoer magazine, and author of two school stories featuring a movie star's daughter—Barbara's Worst Term (1950) and Barbara in the Lower Fifth (1953)—which Sims and Clare found reminiscent of Nancy Breary. She also published The Film Hamlet: A Record of Its Production (1948) as well as various biographical and historical works for both adults and children.

CROSS, MARGARET [BESSIE] (2 Jun 1867 – 25 Mar 1950)
1890s – 1910s
Playwright and author of at least 10 novels, possibly romantic in theme, including Thyme and Rue (1890), Stolen Honey (1892), The Saffron Robe (1893), Newly Fashioned (1895), Blind Bats (1897), Love and Olivia (1899), Richard's Affair (1904), A Question of Means (1909), Opportunity (1910), and Up to Perrin's (1912). Later in life she published The Story of the Red Cross (1936).

CROSS, VICTORIA (1 Oct 1868 – 2 Aug 1952)
(pseudonym of Annie Sophie Cory)
1890s – 1930s
Author of more than two dozen novels, most famously her titillating potboilers of the "
New Woman" period, including The Woman Who Didn't (1895) and Five Nights (1908). Anna Lombard (1901), set in India, garnered from one critic an odd comparison to Conrad's Heart of Darkness. She apparently struggled to maintain her scandalousness as social values changed. Her late novel, A Husband's Holiday (1932), is "about a prim woman who disguises herself as a coarse one to win her husband back, only to realize that he is not worth it" (ODNB). Martha Brown, MP (1935) is a futurist tale of a world where women are in charge. Others include A Girl of the Klondike (1899), The Religion of Evelyn Hastings (1905), Life's Shop Window (1907), Over Life's Edge (1921), Electric Love (1929), and The Girl in the Studio (1934).

CROY, CATHERINE (dates unknown)
Untraced author of two novels, In Silks She Goes (1933) and The Hungry Locusts (1934), which focus on a woman and her illegitimate son—the first set around the turn of the century and the second taking up the story just after World War I.

CULLINGFORD, GUY (10 Jan 1907 - 2000)
(pseudonym of Alice Constance Lindsay Taylor, née Dowdy)
1940s – 1990s
Author of about a dozen mystery novels, all but the first, Murder with Relish (1948), under her pseudonym. The others are If Wishes were Hearses (1952), Post Mortem (1953), Conjurer's Coffin (1954), Framed for Hanging (1959), A Touch of Drama (1960), Third Party Risk (1962), The Whipping Boys (1964), Brink of Disaster (1964), The Stylist (1968), The Bread and Butter Miss (1979), and Bother at the Barbican (1991). An additional title, Thirteen Short Stories (1993) is listed on a German Wikipedia page, but not in the British Library or Worldcat. Most of her titles have been released as e-books.

CUMMING, PRIMROSE [AMY] (7 Apr 1915 – 22 Aug 2004)
1930s – 1960s
Author of 20 children's titles, most famously her horse books, including Silver Snaffles (1937, reprinted by Fidra), Four Rode Home (1951), and No Place For Ponies (1954). Owls Castle Farm (1942) was in part based on her experiences as a Land Girl in World War II. Other titles include Doney (1934), Rachel of Romney (1939), The Great Horses (1946), Trouble at Trimbles (1949), The Deep Sea Horse (1956), The Mystery Trek (1964), and Penny and Pegasus (1969).

CUMMINS, GERALDINE [DOROTHY] (24 Jan 1890 – 24 Aug 1969)
1930s, 1950s
Irish novelist, playwright, suffragist, and psychic medium. Author of two plays for the Abbey Theatre, two novels with feminist themes—The Land They Loved (1919) and Fires of Beltane (1936)—a collection of stories called Variety Show (1959), and a memoir, Unseen Adventures (1951). As a psychic, she claimed to have received messages from a contemporary of Jesus named Cleophas and from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the latter of which she forwarded to the American embassy during the latter days of World War II.

Cunningham, Ray

CUNYNGHAME, [HELEN] DOROTHY (14 Jul 1892 – 31 Jan 1944)
(née Taylor)
Author of six novels—The Uttermost Gift (1932), a psychological drama, Summer's Lease (1932), The Jade Lotus (1933), a romance set in Malaya, Dark Background (1934), Half a House (1935), and So Much for Charity (1937).

CURREY, [HELEN] STELLA (ESTELLA) MARTIN (18 Jul 1907 – 9 Jun 1994)
(née Martin)
1930s – 1950s
Daughter of J. P. Martin, author of the Uncle series children's books (1964-1973), and niece of Dora Fowler MARTIN. Playwright, memoirist, and author of five novels. Her debut, Paperchase End (1934), is about the newspaper business, and the Guardian admired its "deftness and humour" but felt Currey had overcrowded it with characters. Prelude for Six Flutes (1937) is about a girl assuming the care of her younger siblings after their parents are killed. Her other novels are Marry We Must (1940), Following Charles (1944), and To the Mountain (1949). She also published One Woman's Year (1953), a sort of memoir of a year in the life of a middle-class postwar housewife.

CURTAYNE, ALICE (6 Nov 1898 - 1981)
(married name Rynne)
Author of numerous writings about Catholic saints, particularly those associated with her native Ireland, as well as some on Irish culture more generally. She also published a single novel, House of Cards (1940).

Curtin, Philip

(married name Felgar)
1900s – 1920s
Author of seven novels, the earliest of which tended to mix religion and the supernatural. According to OCEF, her debut, The Bias (1908), "concerns an experiment conducted on the unconscious person of an orphan girl by a psychologist who thinks that the bias of women is towards evil and a doctor who takes the opposite view," while Oh! for an Angel (1911) is about "an evangelist with mysterious powers to do both good and evil." The others are Marcia: A Transcript from Life (1909), The Dream Triumphant (1912), The Dividing-Line (1913), and, following her emigration to the U.S. after marrying an American musician, Debby’s Year (1922) and Billie-Belinda (1923).

CURTIS, MONICA MARY (1892 – 26 Jun 1956)
Journalist, translator, and author of a single novel, Landslide (1934), described by
SF Encyclopedia as "an Alternate History tale set in a Europe subtly transformed by a second Great War in the twentieth century." In World War II, Curtis published Norway and the War (1941).

Curtis, Peter
          see LOFTS, NORAH

CURTOIS, MARGARET ANNE (1855 – 7 Sept 1932)
1880s – 1920s
Author of around fifteen works of fiction, of which a letter in the Times said, "they present living and convincing characters, without any taint of the desire to exploit intellectual fads or foibles." One wonders if her debut, My Best Pupil (1883), could be a school story. Two of her books are apparently fairy tales, Chronicles of Elfland: Elf-Knights (1890) and Chronicles of Elfland: Elf-Beauties (1908). Other titles include The Story of Meg (1884), Leap Year (1885), Athlos, of, The Story of a Life (1886), Tracked (1888), Jenny: A Village Idyl (1890), The Romance of a Country (1893), A Summer in Cornwall (1913), Nightshade (1921), and In Minden Town (1926). Her books appear to be extremely scarce now.

CUTHELL, EDITH E[LLEN]. (27 Jul 1852 – 31 Jan 1929)
(née Foster)
1880s - 1920
Biographer, memoirist, and author of children's fiction and novels. Much of her work make use of her years of living in India. Most of her fiction appeared in the 1890s, including the children's books Indian Pets and Playmates (1891), Only a Guard-Room Dog (1892), and In the Mutiny Days (1893) and her novels A Baireuth Pilgrimage (1894), Caught by a Cook (1895), and Sweet Irish Eyes (1897). Two additional children's titles, however—Reggy, Queenie and Blot and The Skipper—appeared in 1920, qualifying her for this list. She also published several biographies in the 1910s.

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou for your obsession. I have found a multitude of enjoyable writers on your blog and absolution for my schoolgirl fiction predilection. Stepmother’ by Gwendolyn Courtney was my favourite book as a child and I was long obsessed by The Abby Girls. That was a bit strange for an Australian child of the fifties living in the tropical north.


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