Tuesday, January 1, 2013

British & Irish Women Writers of Fiction 1910-1960 (P - Q)

For more information about this list, please see the introduction, linked below. 

You can download the entire list in a single PDF. Clicking on the link below will open a Google Docs page displaying the entire list in PDF. To save a copy of the PDF, just click on the little down arrow in the upper left. You can also print the list from the Google Docs page, but be warned that it now weighs in at 544 pages! 


[Current total: 2,391 writers] 

UPDATED 2/29/2024 

PAGE, ALICE M[ARY]. (28 Jan 1871 – 16 Jan 1951)
1900s – 1920s
Author of six children's books, including the girls' school story The Finding of Angela (1914) and another, Jackie's School Adventures (1925), which certainly sounds like a school story. The others are The Mystery Baby, or, Patsy at Fellside (1906), Mr Marmalade's Secret (1908), Mollie Rufus (1910), and Curly Head in Search of a Mother (1914). On the 1939 England & Wales Register, she is shown as a retired schoolteacher living in Whitby.

PAGE, BRENDA (1 Sept 1898 – 18 Nov 1991)
(pseudonym of Marjorie Ellen Day)
1920s – 1930s
Underrated (according to Sims & Clare) author of six school stories with relatively realistic plots and twist endings, including Schoolgirl Rivals (1927), Monica and the Fifth (1928), The Happy Few (1929), The Head Girl's Deputy (1930), Joan and the Scholarship Girl (1931), and Ruth at Rooksby (1932).

PAGE, CATHERINE (24 Jul 1905/6 – 4 Jan 1967)
(pseudonym of Catherine/Cathleen Lilias Callender, née Armstrong)
1950s – 1960s
Author of around a dozen romantic novels, including Love the Winner (1955), Sweet Sorrow (1957), Honeymoon Mews (1958), Home Sweet Home (1959), The Irish Nurse (1960), and For Love or Money (1962).

PAGE, FLORENCE (dates unknown)
Untraced author of seven short romances, including The Man Who Dared (1921), A Madcap in Love (1924), Stella the Misfit (1924), Pearl-All-Alone (1926), Nancy Gray (1926), The Magic of Mabel (1927), and The Day of Release (1929).

PAGE, GERTRUDE [ELIZA] (1872 – 1 Apr 1922)
(married name Dobbin)
1900s – 1920s
Novelist who often wrote about life in Rhodesia, where she lived from 1900 with her husband. Titles include Love in the Wilderness: The Story of Another African Farm (1907), The Silent Rancher (1909), The Rhodesian (1912), Where Strange Roads Go Down (1913), Follow After (1915), The Veldt Trail (1919), and Jill on a Ranch (1922).

PAGE, J[ESS]. M[ARGARET]. (13 Dec 1924 - 1999)
(married name Campbell)
Author of two girls' school stories set in Scotland, The Three Elizabeths (1950) and The Twins on Trial (1951), with an interest in themes of heredity versus environment. Page was also involved in local politics in Dundee.

PAGE, SHEILA M[ARJORIE]. (17 Aug 1909 – 14 Jan 1992)
Author of two apparently rather frenetic girls' school stories, Marité on Mendip (1957) and Margot at Melsbury (1958).

PAIN, ELSIE (dates unknown)
1920s – 1930
Actress, playrwight, and author of three novels. Concerto (1927), about the tragic life and loves of a concert pianist, was published in the US by Adelaide Ambrose, a trailblazing American woman publisher (see here). That Fierce Light (1928) was the "story of a popular idol and the disintegrating effect that continual publicity had on his life and temperament. " Vagabond (1930) is about a group of young people who "are cheerful and loyal, even in their frailties good sportsman and sportswoman. The man who gives the title to the book is, as one would expect, the most attractive of all." A copyright notice confirms that the name is real and she was living in London, and there are news reports of her winning a 1923 competition at the Haymarket, before spending time acting with the Birmingham Repertory Company, but I haven’t been able to identify her further. She also wrote a play, Grand Guignol, for the Chelsea Repertory Company.

PAKENHAM, PANSY [FELICIA] (18 May 1904 – 19 Feb 1999)
(married name Lamb)
1920s – 1930s
Sister of Mary CLIVE and of biographer Violet Powell (and thus sister-in-law of novelist Anthony Powell), and wife of painter Henry Lamb. Biographer of Charles I (1936), translator, and author of two novels—The Old Expedient (1928), described as an “original and intriguing fantasy” set in London and on an Irish island, and August (1931), called “a brief but searching Odyssey among the intelligentsia.”

PANTER-DOWNES, MOLLIE (MARY) [PATRICIA] (25 Aug 1906 – 22 Jan 1997)
(married name Robinson)
1920s – 1940s
Novelist, biographer, journalist, and novelist. She was the author of New Yorker’s "Letter from London" for many years, and her wartime pieces were collected as London War Notes 1939-1945 (1971), now reprinted by Persephone. She wrote five novels, all of which she later disowned except for the last, One Fine Day (1947), which evokes Virginia WOOLF's Mrs. Dalloway in detailing a single ordinary day in the life of a woman—with the difference that Panter-Downes' story is set in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Her precocious debut, The Shoreless Sea (1923), published when she was only 17, was a bestseller and, according to her ODNB entry, was advertised on the sides of London buses. The other three were The Chase (1925), Storm Bird (1929), and My Husband Simon (1931). In addition to her journalism, she published numerous short stories for The New Yorker, many of which were collected by Persephone into two volumes, Good Evening Mrs Craven (1999) and Minnie's Room (2002). She also published two volumes of acclaimed non-fiction, Ooty Preserved: A Victorian Hill Station in India (1967), described as "an evocation of Anglo-Indian life," and At the Pines: Swinburne and Theodore Watts-Dunton (1971), about the poet and the friend with whom he lived for thirty years. I wrote about Good Evening Mrs Craven here.

PANTON, J[ANE]. E[LLEN]. (18 Oct 1848 – 13 May 1923)
(aka Mrs. J. E. Panton, née Frith)
1880s – 1910s
Daughter of painter William Frith and sister of novelist Walter Frith. Journalist, advice writer, memoirist, and author of ten novels. Her memoirs, beginning with Leaves from a Life (1908), give insight into Victorian artistic circles. Novels include Jane Caldecott (1882), Less Than Kin (1885), Having and Holding (1890), The Cannibal Crusader (1908), and The River of Years (1916). She was also an early pioneer of how-to writing on house furnishing and décor, including articles collected in From Kitchen to Garret (1887).

PARDOE, M[ARGOT MARY]. (7 Aug 1902 – 5 Jan 1996)
(married name Swift)
1930s – 1960s
Author of more than 20 children's books. Best known for her dozen or so "Bunkle" books, beginning with Four Plus Bunkle (1939) and extending through Bunkle Brings It Off (1961), some of which were reprinted in recent years by Fidra. Of that series, the St. James Guide to Children's Writers noted: "The earlier books … are rich in atmospheric description, and one remembers them not so much for their plots as for their settings: the dismal out-of-season seaside resort in war time that is the background for Bunkle Began It, the marshy coastal creeks of Bunkle Butts In, the rain-sodden second-rate riverside hotel in Bunkle Breaks Away, perhaps the best book in the series. Few authors of the time conveyed so subtly and yet so vividly the gloom and austerity of wartime and post-war Britain." Other titles include The Far Island (1936), Argle's Mist (1956), and The Nameless Boat (1957).

PARES, WINIFRED [PERCY] (19 Dec 1873 - 23 Dec 1972)
(née Smith, aka Winifred Percy Smith)
1890s, 1910s – 1930s
Author of more than a dozen children's titles. Her first two titles—A Pair of Ducks (1898) and Peacocks, or, What Little Hands Can Do (1899)—appeared under her maiden name. She married in 1900, which may explain why she apparently didn't publish again until 1919. Other titles include An Everyday Angel (1919), Hen and Chickens: A Story of Girl Life in the Great War (1920), Four Winds (1923), The Grey House Opposite (1924), The Secret of the Dusty House (1925), The Creaking Bough (1926), Miss Lavender (1926), Through the Nursery Gate (1927), The Ivory Picture (1928), Poor Man's Pepper (1930), A Baker's Dozen (1938), The Toymakers of Trev (1939), and Mr Nobody's House (1939).

PARGETER, EDITH [MARY] (28 Sept 1913 – 14 Oct 1995)
(aka Ellis Peters, aka Peter Benedict, aka Jolyon Carr, aka John Redfern)
1930s – 1990s
Novelist and mystery writer. She began as a mainstream novelist, with such works as The City Lies Four-Square (1938), Ordinary People (1941, aka People of My Own), She Goes to War (1942), making use of her own experiences in the WRNS during WWII, By Firelight (1948), a sort of ghost story about a widow having visions of witchhunts, Lost Children (1951), a love story set in the immediate postwar years, and Means of Grace (1956), about a young refugee returning to postwar Germany to attempt to rebuild her life. She published two acclaimed trilogies: The Heaven Tree trilogy—comprised of The Heaven Tree (1960), The Green Branch (1962), and The Scarlet Seed (1963)—is set in the 13th century, while The Eighth Champion of Christendom—comprised of The Lame Crusade (1945), Reluctant Odyssey (1946), and Warfare Accomplished (1947)—follows a young man from an English village who experiences warfare and returns home a changed man. Pargeter didn't create her alter-ego crime novelist persona, Ellis Peters, until 1959. She is best known for the tremendously successful Brother Cadfael mysteries, beginning with A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977), featuring a medieval monk as detective, which were memorably adapted for television. Her other major series, beginning with Fallen Into the Pit (1951), features Inspector George Felse and, later, his son Dominic. Less well known are a handful of early mysteries written as Jolyon Carr—including Murder in the Dispensary (1938), Freedom for Two (1939), Masters of the Parachute Mail (1940), and Death Comes by Post (1940)—her one novel as John Redfern, The Victim Needs a Nurse (1940), and her one novel as Peter Benedict, Day Star (1937).

PARKER, JOY [MARY] (22 Feb 1922 – 7 Nov 2012)
(married name Scofield)
1940s, 1950s, 1980s
Wife of actor Paul Scofield. Actress, producer, and author of three children's books—The Story of Benjamin Scarecrow (1946), which she also illustrated, Adrian's Panda (1959), and Henry: The Story of a Mole (1988).

PARKER, MARY LOUISE (dates unknown)
1920s – 1940s
Untraced author of more than 20 girls' school stories with action-packed plots. Titles include Pat of the Fifth (1927), Mollie of St Mildred's (1928), 'Miss Spitfire' at School (1931), One Thrilling Term (1934), A Jolly Trio (1935), The Triumphant Term (1939), and Suzette Wins Her Way (1947).

Parkin, Dorothy
          see CLEWES, DOROTHY M[ARY].

PARR, OLIVE KATHARINE (5 Jul 1874 – 3 Jul 1955)
(aka Beatrice Chase)
1900s – 1920s
Poet, novelist, campaigner for Dartmoor preservation, inspiration for John Oxenham's novel The Lady of the Moor, and eccentric Dartmoor character. Parr's fiction, Christian and romantic in theme, includes The Voice of the River (1903), A White-Handed Saint (1913), The Dartmoor Window Again (1918), A Dartmoor Galahad (1923), Lady Agatha (1926), and Patricia Lancaster's Revenge (1928). She published a memoir of Oxenham, My Chief Knight, John Oxenham: A Memoir and an Appeal (1943).

PARSONS, CLAUDIA [SYDNEY MAIA] (15 Aug 1900 – 10 Jun 1998)
Travel writer, memoirist, and author of a single novel. Brighter Bondage (1935) was reviewed by the Illustrated London News alongside Nancy Mitford’s Wigs on the Green (and is advertised on the back cover of Ann Stafford and Jane Oliver’s Cuckoo in June): "follows the fortunes of a plucky young widow who kept her spirits up and her head above water after her husband's death and the loss of their comfortable income.” Vagabondage (1941) tells of her extraordinary trip by car from New York to British Columbia, and thence through Asia and the Middle East and across North Africa, on a shoestring budget and over the course of sixteen months. Her 1995 memoir, Century Story, tells of the backstory for both books, as well as the rest of her eventful life. Sarah Lonsdale devotes a chapter to her in Rebel Women Between the Wars (2020).

PARSONS, G[RACE]. M[URIEL]. T[EMPÉ]. (4 Dec 1896 – 13 Jul 1986)
1930s, 1970s

Schoolteacher in Surrey and author of two novels. The Dove Pursues (1933) is about the young daughter of a Norfolk rector who falls hopelessly in love with a tutor, while Laura (1978), which only appeared more than 40 years later but may have been written earlier, is again set in Norfolk around the turn of the century and follows a young girl's attempted rebellion against conventions. A Guardian review noted that "under the quiet surface it is saying as much as The Nightflower or The Women's Room, or for that matter the effusions of Erica Jong, about the plight of women in a society that thinks that freedom is first of all the right of men, and that the other sex can only have the left-overs from that right."

Parsons, Hubert
          see TREE, VIOLA

Patrick, Diana
          see WILSON, DESEMEA

PATRICK, K. (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single girls' school story, The Fourth Form Feud (1928).

Patrick, Susan

PAUL, PHYLLIS [ELSIE] (8 Jul 1903 – 30 Aug 1973)
1930s – 1960s
Author of eleven well-received novels, some dealing with supernatural themes. Titles are We Are Spoiled (1933), The Children Triumphant (1934), Camilla (1949), Constancy (1951), The Lion of Cooling Bay (1953), Rox Hall Illuminated (1956), A Cage for the Nightingale (1957), Twice Lost (1960), A Little Treachery (1962), Pulled Down (1964), and An Invisible Darkness (1967). A Cage for the Nightingale, was has been compared to The Turn of the Screw, was reprinted in recent years by Sundial Press, and Twice Lost has been reprinted by McNally Editions. I reviewed the latter here.

PAWLE, KATHLEEN [HONORIA] (2 Mar 1905 – 28 Feb 1986)
Author of two novels—We in Captivity (1936), which follows six characters during the 1916 Easter rising in Dublin, and Mural for a Later Day (1938), which deals with young people in a Swedish colony in Delaware. Pawle was born in London but emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1930s.

Paye, Robert
          see BOWEN, MARJORIE

PAYN, MEG (MARGARET) [ISOBEL] ARMSTRONG (4 May 1904 – 14 Apr 1991)
(born Margaret Isobel Payn, possibly aka Sophia de Crespigny, aka Christopher Sheridan)
Author of three novels—The Alchemist (1936) under her real name, and Bread and Circuses (1947) and Chandelier (1948) under her Sheridan pseudonym. The last deals with attempts to civilize the orphaned daughter of two circus performers. John Herrington found that her probate record reads "PAYN, Margaret Isobel Armstrong, otherwise Margaret Isobel Armstrong De Crespigny otherwise Sophia De Crespigny," but we've no idea when or how the De Crespigny name came into play.

PEARCE, CAROL ANN (23 Dec 1929 – 15 Jul 2006)
(married name Evans)
1950s – 1960s
Author of three interwoven girls' school stories focused on four friends and "amusing and largely realistic," according to Sims and Clare. Titles are Summer Term (1952), We're in the Sixth! (1960), and St Kelvern's Launches Out (1962).

PEARCE, [ANN] PHILIPPA (23 Feb 1920 – 21 Dec 2006)
(married name Christie, aka Warrener)
1950s – 1990s
Author of more than 20 children's titles, including a few as Warrener for small children. Best known for Tom's Midnight Garden (1958), in which a child in quarantine for measles discovers a door to the Victorian world. Other titles include Minnow on the Say (1955), Mrs. Cockle's Cat (1961), A Dog So Small (1962), The Children of the House (1968), The Battle of Bubble and Squeak (1978), and The Way to Sattin Shore (1983)

PEARCE, W[INIFRED]. M[ARY]. (23 Aug 1892 – 15 Dec 1986)
(née Savage)
Author of religious-themed fiction and biography, as well as one girls' school story, Mystery at St Olave's (1935). Her other children's titles include David's Victory (1934), Accidents Will Happen (1937), and Lionel Wins Through (1938).

(née Davies, earlier married name Lee, aka Molly Seymour, aka Barbara Hedworth, aka Guy Trent, aka Julia Hall, aka Mary Thorne)
1920s – 1960s
Author of nearly 200 romantic novels, most under her Barbara Hedworth, Guy Trent, and Molly Seymour pseudonyms. Titles include Through the Front Door (1929), Foolish Pelican (1932), Jewelled Heels (1937), Be Brave for Love (1940), The Other Woman's Crime (1942), The Song Goes On (1947), Gay Was Their Hope (1948), Shadow of Adrian (1951), A Man Also Dreams (1954), Julie and the Prince (1957), Spring Rapture (1959), The Girl from Soho (1960), and A Symphony of Love (1962).

PECK, WINIFRED [FRANCES] (14 Sept 1882 – 20 Nov 1962)
(née Knox, aka Winifred Knox)
1910s – 1950s
Sister of mystery writer Ronald Knox and cryptographer Dilly Knox. Author of more than 20 volumes of fiction. A Patchwork Tale (1925) and The King of Melido (1927) are children's titles. She also wrote two mysteries—The Warrielaw Jewel (1933), set in Edwardian Scotland among an eccentric and increasingly impoverished upper-crust family, and Arrest the Bishop? (1949), involving a murder among a group of clergy gathered for an ordination. Both of those have been reprinted by Dean Street Press. Bewildering Cares: A Week in the Life of a Clergyman's Wife (1940) is a humorous Provincial Lady-ish novel of the early days of World War II in the life of a vicar's wife, which has been released as a Furrowed Middlebrow book by Dean Street Press. House-Bound (1942), meanwhile, reprinted by Persephone, is about a woman surviving without servants in wartime Edinburgh. Her other novels are Twelve Birthdays (1918), The Closing Gates (1922), A Change of Master (1928), The Skirts of Time (1935), The Skies Are Falling (1936), Coming Out (1938), Let Me Go Back (1939), A Garden Enclosed (1941), Tranquility (1944), There Is a Fortress (1945), Through Eastern Windows (1947), Veiled Destinies (1948), A Clear Dawn (1949), Facing South (1950), Unseen Array (1951), and Winding Ways (1951). Late in life, she published two memoirs, A Little Learning: A Victorian Childhood (1952) and Home for the Holidays (1955). I've written about several of Peck's books here.

PEDLER, MARGARET (4 Aug 1877 – 28 Dec 1948)
(née Bass)
1910s – 1940s
Author of more than 30 romantic novels, many apparently featuring primitive he-men and the fragile women who love them. Titles include This Splendid Folly (1918), The Barbarian Lover (1923), Yesterday's Harvest (1926), Pitiless Choice (1933), Flame in the Wind (1937), and Not Heaven Itself (1941).

PEEL, H[AZEL]. M[ARY]. (26 May 1930 – 28 Jan 2013)
(aka Wallis Peel)
1950s – 1960s
Author of several horse stories for children, beginning with Fury, Son of the Wilds (1959), some of which have been reprinted by Fidra. Others include Pilot the Hunter (1962), Easter the Show Jumper (1965), and Jago (1966). In recent years, Peel has written fantasy novels under her pseudonym.

Peel, Wallis
          see PEEL, H[AZEL]. M[ARY].

PELHAM, COLLEEN (4 May 1879 - 1966)
1920s – 1930s
Author of four novels, possibly romances, including Love's Harvest Time (1928), By Rugged Paths (1929), The Golden Key (1930), and The Greater Treasure (1931).

Pendarves, G. G.

PENDERED, MARY LUCY (9 Oct 1858 – 19 Dec 1940)
1890s – 1930s
Biographer and author of more than 20 novels, many of them dealing with rural or village life. Her best known title today is probably her ghost tale, The Uncanny House (1927), which I reviewed here. At Lavender Cottage (1912), according to OCEF, is about "the late-flowering passion of a rural spinster who has already been softened up by the arrival of a young nephew." Other titles include A Pastoral Played Out (1895), An Englishman (1899), Daisy the Minx (1911), Phyllida Flouts Me (1913), The Silent Battlefield (1918), Land of Moonshine (1922), Mortmain (1928), The Forsaken House at Misty Vale (1932), and Herriot of Wellinborrow (1936).

Penmare, William
          see NISOT, ELIZABETH

PENNEY, JOAN (dates unknown)
(née ????)
Author of three children’s books, including two pony stories—Melka: The Story of an Arab Pony (1934) and Melka in England (1935)—and a dog story, Daniel the Spaniel (1936). See here for more details. A 1934 article in a County Down newspaper notes that she has moved to Khartoum with her husband, but I’ve not yet found any additional details.

PENNY, F[ANNY]. E[MILY]. (1847 – 22 Dec 1939)
(née Farr, aka F.E.F.P.)
1880s – 1930s
Author of more then 40 novels, often set in India where she lived for many years. Some explored conflicts of culture and religion, while others appear to be more light-hearted in tone. Titles include Caste and Creed (1890), The Tea-Planter (1906), The Malabar Magician (1912), The Outcaste (1912), A Love Offensive (1918), Desire and Delight (1919), The Rajah's Daughter (1921), Living Dangerously (1925), Get on with the Wooing (1931), and The Elusive Bachelor (1935).

PENROSE, MRS. H. H. (7 Oct 1860 – 23 Aug 1942)
(pseudonym of Mary Elizabeth Penrose, née Lewis)
1890s – 1910s
Author of more than a dozen novels, mostly light and humorous in tone. Titles include The Love that Never Dies (1898), As Dust in the Balance (1905), The Grey Above the Green (1908), Charles the Great: A Very Light Comedy (1912), The Brat: A Trifle (1913), The House of Rennel (1913), and Two Young Pigeons (1915). She stopped publishing following her son's death in World War I.

PERRIN, ALICE (1867 – 13 Feb 1934)
(née Robinson)
1890s – 1930s
Author of 20 volumes of fiction, largely focused on Anglo-Indian life. Novels include Into Temptation (1894), The Stronger Claim (1903), The Charm (1910), The Woman in the Bazaar (1914), The Vow of Silence (1920), Government House (1925), and Other Sheep (1932). Her story collection, East of Suez (1901), was compared to Kipling, while Red Records (1906) contains stories of the supernatural.

Peters, Ellis
          see PARGETER, EDITH

PETERSON, MARGARET [ANN] (6 Nov 1883 – 28 Dec 1933)
(aka Glint Green, married name Fisher)
1910s – 1930s
Author of more than 40 volumes of exotic melodrama, often set in India where she grew up, as well as a series of crime novels featuring series detective Inspector Weild. Titles include Blind Eyes (1914), Butterfly Wings (1916), Fate and the Watcher (1917), The Death Drum (1919), Moon Mountains (1920), Pamela and Her Lion Man (1926), and Guilty, My Lord (1928).

PETRE, DIANA (7 Apr 1912 – 1 Apr 2001)
(née Perry, earlier married name Wilkinson)
Half-sister of novelist J. R. Ackerley and sister of Sally Grosvenor, Duchess of Westminster. Author of two novels, Portrait of Mellie (1952) and The Cruel Month (1955), but her most famous book is her biography of her mother, Muriel Perry (mistress of Ackerley's father), The Secret Orchard of Roger Ackerley (1975), which has something in common with Ackerley's book about his father. Both are children searching for the truth about mysterious parents. One source says she was aka Diana Bryn, but its unclear when or where she used that name.

PETROVA, OLGA (10 May 1884 – 30 Nov 1977)
(pseudonym & stage name of Muriel Harding, married names Willoughby and Dillon)
Born and raised in England, she moved to the U.S. to become and vaudeville star and stage and film actress, appearing in more than two dozen films in just seven years. Sadly, most of her films are now lost. She was also the screenwriter for several films. She wrote three plays in the 1920s, as well as a single volume of fiction, The Black Virgin and Other Stories (1926). Her memoir, Butter with My Bread, appeared in 1942.

PETTMAN, GRACE (1870 - 1951)
(married name Pout, aka Spencer Deane, aka Helen Kent, aka Nigel Strong)
1880s – 1950s
Author of more than 60 volumes of fiction, including girls' school stories under her real name and as Helen Kent, boys' school stories as Spencer Deane, and at least one other children's book as Nigel Strong. It's unclear whether any of her fiction was for adults. Titles include Helen: The Story of a Broken Idol (1889), A Bitter Bargain (1906), A Study in Gold (1912), Ordered to the Front (1915), Given in Exchange (1926), A Step in the Dark (1929), Sister Sophie's Story (1929), The Jolliest School of All (1929), Only Helen (1931), Stella Seaton, Schoolgirl (1933), The Making of Marcus (1936), The Doctor's Story (1937) The Mystery Prize (1939), Cobwebs or Chains? (1945), and The Dullest Boy at Treherne (1950).

PEYTON, K. M. (2 Aug 1929 – 19 Dec 2023)
(pseudonym of Kathleen Wendy Peyton, née Herald, aka Kathleen Herald)
1940s – 2000s
Author of more than 50 volumes of children’s fiction. Her first book, Sabre, the Horse from the Sea (1947), appeared when she was 18. She remains best known for the Flambards series, beginning with Flambards (1967), set in a crumbling manor house in the early 20th century. Other titles, among them several pony stories, include Crab the Roan (1953), North to Adventure (1959), The Maplin Bird (1964), Fly-by-Night (1968), A Pattern of Roses (1972), Pennington's Heir (1973), Who, Sir? Me, Sir? (1983), Downhill All the Way (1988), The Pony That Went to Sea (1997), and Pony in the Dark (2001).

PHARALL, AISHIE (1 Nov 1897 – 10 Mar 1961)
(pseudonym of Elspeth Colin Pharall-Smith)
1920s – 1930s
Actress and author of four novels, including two Jazz Age novels which appear to make romantic use of post-war settings—Middle Mists (1923) and The Little Less (1924)—plus two more, Jocelyn Calls the Tune (1932) and Infidelity (1934). Noel Coward described her in his memoir as a "big girl with a fox-terrier." Her father, Alfred Charles Pharall-Smith, wrote articles for newspapers, but a 1911 novel called The Woman Without Sin by one "Pharrall Smith", reportedly about the mistreatment of women by men, could also conceivably have been by her mother, Margaret Pharall-Smith, who is listed on the 1911 census as "Organiser Adult Suffrage Movement". Thank you to John Culme and John Herrington for helping to flesh out these details.

PHILLIMORE, [MARGARET] CECILY (22 Nov 1874 – 6 Aug 1965)
(née Spencer-Smith)
1910s – 1920s
Author of three Christian-themed novels, including By an Unknown Disciple (1919), apparently a first-person account of Gospel events, Paul the Jew (1927), and Paul the Christian (1930). She appears to have emigrated to South Africa in the 1930s.

PHILLIPS, MARJORIE (23 Apr 1910 – 25 Jul 1998)
(née Fell)
1950s – 1960s, 2000s
Author of at least 10 children's titles, including historical and fantasy stories. Susanna Campaigns (1951) is set in England in the early 1700s, Simona's Jewel (1954) and Two of Red and Two of Blue (1955) in medieval Italy, and The Midshipman and the Rajah (1963) in 18th century India. Felicity and the Secret Papers (1952) is a contemporary adventure involving industrial spies, while Annabel and Bryony (1953) takes place in a fantasy world. Phillips wrote Annabel and Tawny not long after, but it was rejected by her publisher and not published until 2001. She wrote three more sequels without attempting to publish them, which were posthumously published—Annabel and Curlie (2003), Annabel and the Blue Hills (2005), and Claude at Harfleur (2007). There's an informative article about Phillips here.

PHILLPOTTS, [MARY] ADELAIDE EDEN (23 Apr 1896 – 4 Jun 1993)
(married name Ross, aka Mary Adelaide Eden Ross)
1920s - 1990
Daughter of novelist Eden Phillpotts. Her career spanned an incredible 75 years, including plays, poetry, and novels. According to her ODNB entry, "Her works presented realistic portrayals of women experiencing the pressures and stresses of Victorian society." Titles include The Friend (1923), Lodgers in London (1925), A Marriage (1928), The Founder of Shandon (1932), Broken Allegiance (1937), The Gallant Heart (1939), The Round of Life (1940), From Jane to John (1943), Stubborn Earth (1951), Village Love (1988), and The Beacon of Memory (1990). In her fifties, she married an American bookseller, which caused her famous father to cut her off. In her memoir, Reverie (1981), she made shocking allegations about her father, including allegations of incest and cruelty.

PHILLPOTTS, [ELINOR] SIBYL (21 Nov 1899 – 23 Nov 1974)
(married name Pearce)
Author of three novels. Embryo (1930) is about a young woman who grows up unwanted, marries a Frenchman, and “lives in gloomy, shabby splendour. All ends happily.” Family Group (1930) garnered a comparison to The Forsyte Saga. And in Golden Image (1934), “The life of Bath society is portrayed at the beginning of the book, and later there are scenes set in the gambling room at Monte Carlo.” It seems that “Sibyl” was her birth name and the name she chose to use on her books, but most of her later public records show “Sybyl”. She was reportedly a cousin of Eden Phillpotts, and therefore also of his daughter Adelaide PHILLPOTTS.

PICARD, BARBARA LEONIE (4 Dec 1917 – 15 Dec 2011)
1940s – 1960s, 1990s
Author of nearly a dozen original children's titles, more or less evenly divided between fairy tale themes and historical fiction, as well as more than a dozen volumes of her retellings of classics, myths, and legends. Among her fairy tale-themed fiction are The Mermaid and the Simpleton (1949), The Faun and the Woodcutter's Daughter (1951), The Lady of the Linden Tree (1954), and The Goldfinch Garden: Seven Tales (1963). Some of her stories were collected in Selected Fairy Tales (1996). Her historical novels for children include Ransom for a Knight (1956), Lost John: A Young Outlaw in the Forest of Arden (1962), One Is One (1965), The Young Pretenders (1965), and The Deceivers (1996). On a side note, according to her Contemporary Authors entry, during World War II she worked for a library and faced the unenviable task of deciding which books should be kept in circulation and which should be provided as scrap for the war effort.

PICKEN, KATHLEEN [DOROTHY] FARRAR (1 Jun 1901 – 16 Aug 1972)
(née Farrar [uncertain but likely identification])
1930s, 1950s
Author of three novels—Who Called Men Free? (1934), Uneasy Paradise (1956), and Reckless Return (1958). In their biography of Picken's nephew, Stewart Farrar, Elizabeth Guerra and Janet Farrar refer to her as a humorist, but details of plot are scarce. They also mention that she wrote an additional novel called Paper Sword which was never published.

PILCHER, ROSAMUNDE (22 Sept 1924 – 6 Feb 2019)
(aka Jane Fraser)
1940s - 2000
Author of more than 30 works of fiction. Best known for her 1988 bestseller The Shell Seekers. Ten of her earliest novels appeared under her pseudonym, including Half-Way to the Moon (1949), Dangerous Intruder (1951), Dear Tom (1954), and The Keeper's House (1963). Later works under her own name include Sleeping Tiger (1967), Snow in April (1972), The Carousel (1982), September (1990), Coming Home (1995), and Winter Solstice (2000). Several of her works have been dramatized for television.

Pilgrim, Anne
          see ALLAN, MABEL ESTHER

PIM, SHEILA (21 Sept 1909 – 16 Dec 1995)
1940s – 1960s
Also a popular writer on gardening, Pim is best known for her four mystery novels—Common or Garden Crime (1945), which vividly portrays wartime life in an Irish village, Creeping Venom (1950), which begins in the final days of the war and continues into the first days of peace, A Brush With Death (1950), and A Hive of Suspects (1952). She also published three non-mystery novels. The Flowering Shamrock (1949) has to do with English and Irish relations, and Rue Morgue Press called The Sheltered Garden (1965) "a witty novel of manners with a few mystery elements but a great deal of gardening". I've never been able to find any details about Other People's Business (1957). I wrote about Common or Garden Crime here.

Pinto, Jacqueline

PIPER, ANNE [HORATIA] (13 Dec 1920 – 18 May 2017)
(née Richmond)
1950s – 1970s
Author of nine novels which the author described as light comedy. Early to Bed (1951) features the memorable opening line "I married most of them in the end," while Cuckoo (1952) features a heroine “whose artless gaiety wreaks havoc in men's hearts and homes." The “plump but attractive” heroine of Love on the Make (1953) goes through a string of jobs trying to make her way, including working for a Ruritanian princess in the Balkans. Green for Love (1954) is about the wife of successful barrister, who hatches a plot to maintain his affections. The Hot Year (1955) has a retrospective World War II setting, with "a wistfully romantic St. John's Wood puritan” ending up in Delhi and Rangoon after her marriage.
In Spinsters Under the Skin (1957), the wedding of a dean’s daughter is disrupted by the arrival of her more attractive and assertive sister. Sweet and Plenty (1959, published in the US as Marry at Leisure) is a comedy about a young woman and her brood of illegitimate children—it was made into a film, A Nice Girl Like Me, in 1969. Yes, Giorgio (1961), about a Welsh heroine "on a wild American spree with an Italian professor,” was also filmed in 1982 with Luciano Pavarotti; a 2013 large print edition was drably retitled Welsh Rose and Her Latin Lover. And The Post Graduate (1979) was Piper’s response to The Graduate; one review was titled "Mrs Robinson comes out fighting." Piper was reportedly "struck by how unfair the young man [the author of the novel version] was on middle-aged women," so told a tale of "a housewife who finds new confidence through a liaison with a young French student." A 1970 article notes that she was married to David Piper, director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, and that she started writing because she was working as a hospital librarian and couldn’t meet her patients’ demands for light comedy.

Plaidy, Jean
          see HIBBERT, ELEANOR

(née Malan)
1930s – 1950s
Best known now for the novel A House in the Country (1944), set during World War II and reprinted by Persephone, Playfair began her career in the mystery/thriller line, with Murder Without Mystery (1939) Eastern Weekend (1940), set in Malaya, Storm in a Village (1940), and The Mill (1942), all nearly impossible to find copies of now, after which she seems to have shifted to more romantic themes—becoming what one critic called “a mistress of sensitive descriptive writing”. Later novels are Men Without Armour (1946), The Desirable Residence (1947), The Fire and the Rose (1948), A Man Called Miranda (1949), and The Nettlebed (1952). According to Persephone's bio, "in the early 1950s she stopped writing. Her life in Kensington was now busy with wood-carving, making jewellery, designing her own clothes, gardening, conversation, French literature and jazz."

PLEYDELL, SUSAN (20 Jun 1907 – 21 Oct 1986)
(pseudonym of Isabel Janet Couper Senior, née Syme)
1950s – 1970s
Author of ten novels, including Summer Term (1959) and A Young Man’s Fancy (1962), both set at a boys’ school. The others are The Glenvarroch Gathering (1960), A Festival for Gilbert (1960), Good Red Herring (1962), Griselda (1964), The Road to the Harbor (1966), Jethro's Mill (1974), Pung of Dragons (1975), and Brighouse Hotel (1977). Several of her titles have been reprinted by Greyladies.

Plummer, Clare
          see EMSLEY, CLARE

PLUNKET, IERNE [ARTHUR] L[IFFORD]. (9 May 1885 – 11 Apr 1970)
1920s – 1940s
Historian, playwright, and author of girls' school and other children's fiction, including Sally Cocksure (1925), Joanna of Little Meadow (1926), The Dare Club (1931), The Dadlingford Mystery (1936), The Secret of High Marley Wood (1936), and The Mystery of the Tor (1943).

POCOCK, DORIS [ALICE] (3 Nov 1890 – 26 Nov 1974)
1910s – 1950s
Poet and children's author whose work includes girls' school stories such as The Head Girl's Secret (1927), mystery stories like The Riddle of the Rectory (1931), and World War II stories like Catriona Carries On (1940) and Lorna on the Land (1946), the latter about Land Girls. Other titles include Judy Sees It Through (1919), The Secret of Hallowdene Farm (1923), A Runaway Rebel (1929), Tried and True (1935), The Two P's (1950), and The Finding of a Way (1954). I briefly mentioned The Treasure of the Trevellyans (1938) here.

POLLOCK, IDA [JULIE] (12 Apr 1908 – 3 Dec 2013)
(née Crowe, aka Susan Barrie, aka Jane Beaufort, aka Marguerite Bell, aka Rose Burghley, aka Anita Charles, aka Averil Ives, aka Pamela Kent, aka Barbara Rowan, aka Mary Whistler)
1930s – 2000s
Famously the "other woman" in Enid Blyton's divorce proceedings, Pollock was the long-lived and prolific author of more than 120 romances, many for Mills & Boon, spanning 70 years (1935-2005) and under many pseudonyms. Titles include Indian Love (1935), Hotel Stardust (1955), The Black Benedicts (1956), Love Is For Ever (1957), Nightingale in the Sycamore (1957), The Moon and Bride's Hill (1958), Highland Mist (1962), and White Rose of Love (1963). Her daughter is romance writer Rosemary Pollock.

Pollock, Mary
          see BLYTON, ENID

PONSONBY, DORIS ALMON (23 Mar 1907 – 2 Dec 1993)
(aka Doris Rybot, aka Sarah Tempest)
1940s – 1980s
Author of more than 30 historical novels, often set in the Regency period and most with a romantic component. Of Bow Window in Green Street (1949), set in 18th century Bath, Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers says "all the hopes and excitement of Regency living are wonderfully captured. One feels one could again knock on the door of the very house in which they all lived." Dogs in Clover (1954) was one of her only novels with a contemporary setting, taking place in the world of competitive dog shows—I reviewed it here. Others include The Gazebo (1945), Merry Meeting (1948), So Bold a Choice (1960), A Prisoner in Regent's Park (1961), A Winter of Fear (1967), Flight from Hanover Square (1972), and A Woman Despised (1988).

POPE, JESSIE (18 Mar 1868 – 14 Dec 1941)
(married name Lenton)
Poet, humorist, editor of Robert Noonan's The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists (her version has been called a bowdlerisation), and author of two novels, The Tracy Tubbses (1914), a humorous tale of married life, and Love on Leave (1919), about a woman's love for an ANZAC soldier. She aroused controversy with the overt propaganda of her WWI poems.

POPE, LAURA [LILIAN ELIZABETH] (21 Jul 1911 - 2006)
(née Foskett)
Author of a single novel, Veronica (1951), set in French North Africa and dealing with a beautiful young Englishwoman's effect on a French father and son.

Portobello, Petronella
          see GIFFARD, FLAVIA

POST, VANE (dates unknown)
(pseudonym of ?????)
Untraced author of a single tale, Plantagenet Anne (1929), which traces the experiences of a pugilistic girl descended from royalty from boarding school to a German pensionnat and on to adulthood.

Margaret Potter
          see JOSEPHINE ELDER

POWER, RHODA DOLORES LE POER (29 May 1890 – 9 Mar 1957)
Children's author and BBC broadcaster who innovated broadcasts to interest children in history. Most of her books were historical non-fiction and very short stories for young readers, but she published at least one work of historical fiction, Redcap Runs Away (1952), about a medieval boy who joins a troupe of minstrels.

POWYS, [CATHERINE EDITH] PHILIPPA (8 May 1886 – 11 Jan 1963)
Sister of novelists John Cowper and Theodore Francis, Powys wrote dark fiction about rural life but published only one novel in her lifetime, The Blackthorn Winter (1930). Two more unpublished novellas, The Tragedy of Budvale and Sorrel Barn, were released by Sundial Press in 2011. In the 1920s, she became friends with poet Valentine Ackland and grew infatuated with her, just before Ackland entered the relationship with Sylvia Townsend WARNER that would last for the rest of her life.

Preedy, George
          see BOWEN, MARJORIE

PRESCOTT, HILDA [FRANCES MARGARET] (22 Feb 1896 – 5 May 1972)
1920s – 1930s, 1950s
Biographer and historical novelist with a Christian perspective. Her first three novels—The Unhurrying Chase (1925), The Lost Fight (1928), and Son of Dust (1932)—are set in medieval France, but her most famous work is The Man on a Donkey (1952), set in England in the 1500s. She also wrote a single thriller, Dead and Not Buried (1938), adapted for TV in the 1950s.

PRESSLEY, HILDA (18 Nov 1912 - 1977)
(married name Nickson, aka Hilda Nickson, aka Hilary Preston)
1950s – 1970s
Author of more than 40 romantic novels, many of them hospital-themed. Titles include The Tender Heart (1957), Love Is the Actor (1957), Night Nurse Lucy (1960), Love, the Surgeon (1961), Sister of Nightingale (1963), Gather Then the Rose (1968), and Surgeons in Love (1978).

Preston, Hilary

PRICE, ELEANOR CATHERINE (1847 – 31 May 1933)
1870s – 1930s
Author of more than two dozen novels, some or all of them historical. Titles include One Only (1874), The Story of a Demoiselle (1980), Red Towers (1888), In the Lion's Mouth (1894) (about English children in the French Revolution), Young Denys (1896), The Queen's Man (1905), Alix of the Chateau (1924), and Merry Dance (1931).

PRICE, EVADNE [GRACE LYN] (28 Aug 1888 – 17 Apr 1985)
(married names Fletcher and Attiwill, aka Helen Zenna Smith)
1920s – 1960s
Children's author, playwright, astrologer, and novelist. Best known today for her vivid World War I novel Not So Quiet … Stepdaughters of War (1930, written under her pseudonym), based in part on the diary of an ambulance driver named Winifred Young. According to her ODNB entry, many readers believed the novel was based on the author's own experiences, though in fact "Price's own experience of the war seems to have been limited to a stint as a temporary civil servant in the Air Ministry." Four more pseudonymous novels—Women of the Aftermath (1931), Shadow Women (1932), Luxury Ladies (1933), and They Lived with Me (1934)—continued the character's story. Under her own name, Price was known for her series of ten children's books about Jane Turpin, a less successful female version of Richmal CROMPTON's William. In the 1930s, Price published several melodramatic novels with titles rich in exclamation points, including Diary of a Red-Haired Girl (1932), Probationer! (1934), Strip Girl! (1934), Society Girl (1935), and Red for Danger! (1936). In the 1950s and early 1960s, she published several more muted romance novels, including The Dishonoured Wife (1951), The Love Trap (1958), and Air Hostess in Love (1962). In later years, she wrote horoscopes for She and Australian Vogue. There has been considerable confusion, much of it apparently intentional on Price's part, about her birth, which now seems to have been as shown above, despite her giving her own birth year as late as 1902 (on the 1939 England & Wales Register). She also now seems to properly belong on an Australian version of this list, but I'm leaving her here for the time being.

PRICE, HILDA [GWENDOLINE PEARL] CUMINGS (23 Sept 1886 – 25 Apr 1966)
(née Cumings)
1950s – 1960s
Author of two children's titles—Two's Company (1951) and The Queen's Tumbler (1961). She married an American journalist in 1920 and eventually relocated to the U.S., though the exact date is uncertain.

PRICE, MARJORIE MURIEL (15 Mar 1904 – 3 Apr 1946)
(married name Brightman, aka Victoria Rhys)
1930s – 1940s
Author of more than 30 romantic novels, most for Mills & Boon, including The Mantle of Saltash (1930), Pandora Dances (1932), The Woman Sunday (1934), Gay Roads (1936), Impossible Gardenia (1937), Trial by Gunfire (1941), The Angels Fell (1945), Dawn Pales the Stars (1945), and Look Back, Stranger (1948).

PRICE, [LILIAN] NANCY [BACHE] (3 Feb 1880 – 31 Mar 1970)
(married name Maude)
Actress, founder of the People's Theatre, travel and nature writer, playwright, poet, memoirist, and novelist. Price published numerous books about the English countryside, as well as a story collection, Jack by the Hedge (1942) and one novel, Ta-mera (1950).

PRIME, HEATHER [MURIEL] (19 Mar 1930 – 21 Dec 1972)
(married name Richardson)
1940s - 1950s
Author of at least seven children's titles, most or all of which appear to be family adventure tales. Titles are The Adventurous Nine (1949), Nine on the Trail (1951), Ginger for Pluck (1952), Nine Afloat (1952), The Hollys of Tooting Steps (1953), The Hollys on Wheels (1954), and The Monkey on the Red Rose (1959).

PRIMROSE, HILDA (2 Mar 1982 – 22 Aug 1976)
(pseudonym of Hilda Scott Primrose Hutchison)
Scottish travel writer and author of one novel. Marjolaine (1935) is described as "a spacious novel about the fortunes of an old Scottish manor-house and its inhabitants. The story moves from Scotland to Paris and Prague." It was also critiqued by the Daily Telegraph for unnecessary verbosity (weighing in at 473 pages). She also published North American Summer (1939) about her travels, by various means, from coast to coast of North American, into both Canada and the U.S. Her sister was the well-known botanist and explorer Isobel W. Hutchison (see here).

PRIOR, L[ILIAN]. F[AITH]. LOVEDAY (28 Feb 1907 – 4 Feb 1989)
(full name possibly Prior-Ward, aka Loveday Prior)
1930s – 1940s
Teacher and author of five novels. She seems to have had a connection with Austria. Her debut, A Law Unto Themselves (1934), is a romantic adventure set in 13th century Austria, and the later The Valley of Exile (1939) and its sequel, These Times of Travail, deal with the rise of fascism in the South Tyrol region of Austria. Tyrant Fevers (1935), about the repercussions of a reckless young man's drunk driving accident, sounds a bit on the melodramatic side, while The Horse of the Sun (1945) is set in India, where Prior seems to have been born to British parents, and wrestles with Anglo-Indian tensions. In 1952, she published Punjab Prelude (1952), described as "an Englishwoman's explicitly pro-Pakistan report on the Punjab." On the 1939 England & Wales Register, Prior is an assistant mistress of Latin and French at Raven's Croft in Sussex, the same school at which mystery author Edith C. RIVETT (better known as ECR Lorac) was a visiting art teacher, having been evacuated from London.

PRITCHARD, ELIZABETH (19 Apr 1906 – 25 Nov 2002)
(née Fazackerley)
1950s – 1960s
Missionary who spent 40 years living in India. Author of three children's titles—The Mystery Girl at Maines (1956), The Jays to the Rescue (1957), and The School in the Himalayas (1961). She wrote a memoir called Testimony of a 'Whatnot', which appears not to have been published until 2008.

PROCTER, [MARJORIE] ELSPETH (23 Jun 1899 – 13 Jan 1997)
1920s - 1960s
Author of some 20 children's books, a number of them Bible-related stories for younger children published by Blandford Press. Among her titles that appear to be for older children are The Mystery Plane (1935), Shipwreck Bay (1938), The Pony Trackers (1952), and The Treasure Riders (1955).

Prole, Lozania
          see BLOOM, URSULA

Prothero, John Keith
          see JONES, ADA ELIZABETH

PROTHERO-LEWIS, HELEN (15 Jun 1862 – 7 Aug 1946)
(married name Pugh)
1890s – 1920s
Author of more than 20 romantic novels, including Her Heart's Desire (1890), Hooks of Steel (1894), Thraldom (1903), Tobias and the Angel (1908), Love and the Whirlpool (1916), As God Made Her (1919), The Silent Shore (1921), The Fire Opal (1922), Ironwy and Her Lovers (1924), and These Our Misdoings (1928).

PRYCE, DAISY HUGH (1862 – 21 Dec 1921)
(pseudonym of Margaret Jennette Pryce)
1890s – 1910s
Welsh author of ten novels. OCEF called Deyncourt of Deyncourt (1907) "a predictable tale of inheritance and babies swapped at birth," and Hill Magic (1914) is about a man in a Welsh village who adopts an orphan. The other titles are Goddesses Three (1896), Valda Hanem: The Romance of a Turkish Harim (1899), The Pasha (1901), Love's Mirage: Being a Story of the Power of the Past (1902), A Diamond in the Dust (1909), The Marriage of Count Malorto (1911), The Precipice (1911), and The Ethics of Evan Wynne (1913). Reportedly she had spent two years working as a governess in a Turkish harem.

PRYCE, [LUCY] MYFANWY (3 Oct 1890 – 16 Mar 1976)
1910s – 1940s
Welsh author of nine novels. Blind Lead (1928) is about a family staying in the Welsh mountains while the children recover from measles. The others are Blue Moons (1919), Parsons' Wives (1926), Gingerbread Lea (1927), Wild Oats Meadow (1927), The Wood Ends (1938), Lady in the Dark: Country Dance for Four Couples (1938), Anything Might Happen (1939), and A Life of My Own (1946). I reviewed the last here. Her father had been vicar of Ysbyty Ifan in Conwy for several years and then dean of St Asaph.

PRYDE, HELEN W[ATT]. (9 Jul 1902 – 23 Jan 1955)
(née Renfrew)
1940s – 1950s
Author of a series of novels based on a radio series featuring the McFlannels, a working class Glasgow family, including The First Book of the McFlannels (1947), The McFlannels See it Through (1948), McFlannels United (1949), McFlannel Family Affairs (1950), and Maisie McFlannel's Romance (1951).

PULLEIN-THOMPSON, CHRISTINE (1 Oct 1925 – 2 Dec 2005)
(married name Popescu, aka Christine Keir)
1940s – 1990s
Daughter of Joanna CANNAN and sister of Diana PULLEIN-THOMPSON and Josephine PULLEIN-THOMPSON. Prolific author of children's horse stories and other fiction. Titles include We Rode to the Sea (1948), Goodbye To Hounds (1952), Phantom Horse (1955), Stolen Ponies (1957), Ride By Night (1960), The Gipsy Children (1962), A Dog in a Pram (1965), Room to Let (1968), Black Velvet (1975), Phantom Horse in Danger (1980), The Big Storm (1988), and Havoc at Horsehaven (1999). She also collaborated on early works with her sisters.

PULLEIN-THOMPSON, DIANA (1 Oct 1925 – 21 Oct 2015)
(married name Farr, aka Diana Farr)
1940s – 1990s
Daughter of Joanna CANNAN and sister of Christine PULLEIN-THOMPSON and Josephine PULLEIN-THOMPSON. Children's author who, like her sisters, focused primarily on horse stories for children. Titles include I Wanted A Pony (1946), Three Ponies and Shannan (1947), Janet Must Ride (1953), The Boy Who Came To Stay (1960), The Battle of Clapham Common (1962), Ponies in the Valley (1976), Only a Pony (1980), and The Long Ride Home (1996). She also published non-fiction under her married name.

PULLEIN-THOMPSON, JOSEPHINE [MARY] (3 Apr 1924 – 19 Jun 2014)
(aka Josephine Mann)
1940s – 1990s
Daughter of Joanna CANNAN and sister of Christine PULLEIN-THOMPSON and Diana PULLEIN-THOMPSON. Author, like her sisters, of children's horse stories. Her titles include Six Ponies (1946), I Had Two Ponies (1947), Prince Among Ponies (1952), The Trick Jumpers (1958), Race Horse Holiday (1971), and Ride to the Rescue (1979). She also published three mysteries—Gin and Murder (1959), They Died in the Spring (1960), and Murder Strikes Pink (1963)—which were reprinted in recent years by Greyladies, as well as, under her pseudonym, one gothic novel, A Place with Two Faces (1972). I wrote about her mysteries here.

PULLING, NORAH [TEMPE] (5 Feb 1896 – 4 Feb 1975)
1930s – 1950s
Author of six children's titles. The House in the Floods (1938) and A Quiet Time for Molly (1941) are definitely for older readers, while Mary Belinda and the Ten Aunts (1945) looks like a charming title for younger children. The others are The Young 'Un (1944), A Little Magic for the Browns (1949), and A Little Magic for Barbara (1959). She worked as a hospital almoner.

PULSFORD, MARGARET (dates unknown)
Untraced author of three novels—Hope My Heritage (1945), Happy Highway (1947), and Late and Soon (1948).

PULVERTAFT, [ISOBEL] LALAGE (1925 -            )
(married name Green, aka Hilary March)
1950s – 1960s
Author of four novels—the first three under her own name, the last under her pseudonym. No Great Magic (1956) may have archaeological themes and was dramatized by the BBC under the title Dead Man's Embers, but I've located no other details. The Thing Desired (1957) was described by Kirkus as "[a] bright novel of London artists and intellectuals." Golden October (1965), set at a private school, is about a headmaster's wife returning home after a love affair. Her final novel, published as Hilary March, was Either/Or (1966, published in the U.S. as A Question of Love), which may have lesbian themes. She is the daughter of Lt. Col. Robert Valentine Pulvertaft, who seems to have saved Churchill's life during a severe illness—see here.

PURDON, K[ATHERINE]. F[RANCES]. (23 Feb 1852 – 29 Jun 1920)
1910s – 1920s
Irish author of children’s fiction and novels often set in and around County Meath and providing a positive view and accurate details of Irish life, also reproducing the dialect of the locals. Two works appear to be full length novels—The Folk of Furry Farm (1914), set in County Meath, and Dinny of the Doorstep (1918), "the story of one of the little street urchins who swarm and play on the steps of the tenements in the faded Georgian thoroughfares of Dublin." Her other works are The Fortunes of Flot (1910), subtitled "a dog story, mainly fact," Candle and Crib (1914), Kevin and the Cats (1921), narrated by a kitten with no tail who is adopted by a boy with delicate health, and Spanish Lily, or, Only an Ass, described as the autobiography of a donkey. (Exact birth date above comes from an Ancestry family tree—the actual records show only 1852.)

PYE, VIRGINIA [FRANCES] (27 Oct 1901 – 12 Apr 1994)
(née Kennedy)
1930s – 1950s
Sister of novelist Margaret KENNEDY. Children's author who specialized in holiday adventure stories. Titles are Red-Letter Holiday (1940), Snow Bird (1941), Primrose Polly (1942), Half-Term Holiday (1943), The Prices Return (1946), The Stolen Jewels (1948), Johanna and the Prices (1950), and Holiday Exchange (1953). She also published one story collection for adults, St. Martin's Summer (1930).

PYM, BARBARA [MARY CRAMPTON] (2 Jun 1913 – 11 Jan 1980)
1930s – 1980s
Author of witty novels of domestic life, often revolving around church and/or scholarly life. Her first six novels—Some Tame Gazelle (1950), Excellent Women (1952), Jane and Prudence (1953), Less Than Angels (1954), A Glass of Blessings (1958), and No Fond Return of Love (1961)—are relatively light and humorous. Her next novel, however, An Unsuitable Attachment (completed 1963), was rejected by her publisher, and when Pym was “rediscovered” a few years before her death—in part thanks to the efforts of poet and friend Philip Larkin—her works had a darker edge. These late works are Quartet in Autumn (1977), often considered her best work, The Sweet Dove Died (1978), and A Few Green Leaves (1980). From that time, her works have remained popular and in print. An Unsuitable Attachment finally appeared in 1982, followed by two more complete novels, Crampton Hodnet, written around 1940, published 1985, and An Academic Question, written 1970-1972, published 1986. Civil to Strangers (1987) includes several other previously unpublished early writings, including two novel fragments, Home Front Novel and a "spy story," So Very Secret. A Very Private Eye: An Autobiography in Diaries and Letters, edited by Hazel Holt and Hilary Pym, appeared in 1984. I wrote a little about A Glass of Blessings here.

PYNEGAR, [DOROTHY] HAZEL (15 Nov 1915 – 1973)
(married name Shelley)
1940s – 1950s
Author of one novel as a solo author and three more with screenwriter and novelist Noel Langley. Stationary Journey (1940) is set among a group of people trying to escape from a Chinese village as Japanese invaders approach. She later co-wrote three humorous novels with Langley—There's a Horse in My Tree (1948), described as a "comic novel set on the coast of Cornwall," Somebody's Rocking My Dreamboat (1949), about a group of women and children being evacuated from England on a tramp steamer in 1941, and Cuckoo in the Dell (1951), set in the days of William the Conqueror about the disillusionment of an idealistic Norman knight at the hands of a group of Saxon women. A 1940 article said that Pynegar, "apart from her work as an actress and running her own repertory company, has travelled the world, hiked through China' and Siberia, and is considered a novelist of great promise."

QUENTIN, DOROTHY (26 Oct 1911 – 1 Dec 1983)
(pseudonym of Madeleine Hermione Murat, married name Batten)
1930s – 1970s
Author of nearly 60 volumes of romance and romantic suspense, including Rhapsody in Spring (1940), Sob-Sister (1943), Reach Me a Star (1950), Love in Four Flats (1953), Reflections of a Star (1956), Whispering Island (1959), and The Dark Castle (1963).

Quiet Woman

QUILLER-COUCH, [FLORENCE] MABEL (17 Jun 1866 – 17 Nov 1924)
1890s - 1920
Sister of Arthur Quiller-Couch, who published novels as "Q" and edited The Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1900. Author of more than 20 volumes of fiction, including children's books and novels, often set in Cornwall. Titles include Martha's Trial (1895), Paul the Courageous (1901), The Carroll Girls, or, How the Sisters Helped (1906), On Windycross Moor (1910), Anxious Audrey (1915), and A Cottage Rose (1920), as well as Cornwall's Wonderland: Legends of Old Cornwall (1914).

QUIN, SHIRLAND (8 May 1898 – 26 Apr 1987)
(pseudonym of Enid Amvel Guest, married names Northwood and Rogers)
1930s, 1950s
Actress, playwright, and author of three novels. She was born in Massachusetts to English parents, grew up in England, then returned to the U.S. as an adult, where she lived for a time in Hawaii, the setting of her second novel, I Sing of Honolulu (1935), a historical romance. Her debut, Dark Heritage (1931), is about a Welshman finding success in the U.S. Her third and final novel was Delicate Gypsy (1954). Her play Dragon's Teeth (1933) was controversial for its pacifism.

QUIRK, VIOLET (dates unknown)
1920s – 1930s
Untraced novelist whose debut, Different Gods (1923), was well-received, but who thereafter published only one additional novel, The Skirts of the Forest (1931).

1 comment:

  1. I might have an author who is currently missing! My friend just gave me Mother of the Deb by Petronella Portobello - what a name! - from '57. It sounds like it could be non-fic, but it is a novel in letters.


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