Tuesday, January 1, 2013

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

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 

RADFORD, M[ONA]. A[UGUSTA]. (3 Aug 1894 – 8 Nov 1990)
(née Mangan, aka M. A. Radford)
1940s – 1970s
Author, with her husband Edwin, of more than 30 mystery novels, many featuring series characters Dr. Manson and Inspector Holroyd. In recent years, Dean Street Press reprinted six of them—Murder Jigsaw (1944), Murder Isn’t Cricket (1946), Who Killed Dick Whittington? (1947), The Heel of Achilles (1950), Death of a Frightened Editor (1959), and Death and the Professor (1961). Others include Look in at Murder (1956), The Six Men (1958), Death's Inheritance (1961), Murder of Three Ghosts (1963), The Middleford Murders (1967), Trunk Call to Murder (1968), and Death of an Ancient Saxon (1969). The pair also collaborated on an Encyclopaedia of Superstitions (1948), which is still in print.

RADICE, SHEILA [ALICE MACKINTOSH] (15 Aug 1882 – 20 Nov 1960)
(née Jamieson)
Assistant editor of the Times Educational Supplement for many years, writer on educational issues, and author of Not All Sleep (1938), sometimes described as a bio of poet James Hammond, but in fact very much a novel, about Hammond's unhappy love for Kitty Dashwood.

RAE, [MARGARET] DORIS (13 Jan 1907 – 25 May 1988)
1950s – 1980s
Author of more than three dozen romantic novels, including Sings the Nightingale (1956), Flame on the Peaks (1958), The Rowans Are Red (1960), Highland Nurse (1964), Mist on the Moors (1979), and Rich the Treasure (1984). She also worked for many years as chief clerk and cashier for the Newcastle magistrates court.

RAE, GWYNEDD (23 Jul 1892 – 14 Nov 1977)
Best known for her books for very young children, particularly a series about a bear called Mary Plain, Rae also published two novels for adults—And Timothy Too (1934), in which the romance of six-year-old Timothy’s widowed mother is told from his perspective, and Leap Year Born (1935), which checks in, every four years, on the life of a girl and, later, young woman born on February 29th.

RAE, LETTICE (LETITIA) [MILNE] (1882 – 24 Jun 1959)
1910s - 1940
Author of five novels—The Stranger on the Aventine (1913), Mr. Suffer-long (1920), The Victorious Mile (1928), The Auld Alliance (1931), and The Woman in the Crowd (1940). She also published a history of the Ladies' Edinburgh Debating Society, Ladies in Debate (1936),

RALFS, D. Y. (22 May 1905 – 15 Jul 1985)
(pseudonym of Daisy Florence Harrison, married name Ralfs)
Journalist and author of four novels—Alex and Me (1952), The Reluctant Lovers (1954), Babes in the Bois (1956), and Find Me a Daughter (1958). The Reluctant Lovers deals with the romance of a widow with her boarder, a widowed military man, and the complications their respective families cause, while Babes in the Bois, illustrated by Virginia Smith, is about a middle-aged couple's first trip to Paris.

RALLINGS, J[OYCE]. L[AURIE]. (27 Jul 1922 – 11 Mar 2007)
1950s – 1960s
Author of three children's adventure stories—Brown Valley Adventure (1959), Smuggler's Creek (1960), and The Secret Tarn (1962). As of 1947, she was apparently working as a midwife.

Ralston, Jan
          see KYLE, ELISABETH

RAMART, DAPHNE (dates unknown)
(pseudonym of ?????)
Perhaps not deserving of being on my list at all, this untraced author's claim to fame, according to Sims & Clare, is that her one girls' school story, Hilary's Difficult Term (1949), is a thorough plagiarism (including various word-for-word sections) of several works by Dorita Fairlie Bruce. The book's publisher had to pay Bruce a settlement for the theft.

Ramsay, Fay
          see EASTWOOD, HELEN

RAMSAY, M. C. (14 Jan 1879 – 6 Mar 1946)
(pseudonym of Mary Ramsay Calder)
1900s – 1920s
Author of one girls' school story, Betty Bruce, Beverley Scholar (1926) (sensational but great fun, according to Sims & Clare), as well as several adult novels, including James Ogilvy's Experiment (1907), Stephen Martin, MD (1908), The Doctor's Angel (1914), and Was She Guilty? (1920). John Herrington only recently identified her.

RAMSAY, PHYLLIS (26 Mar 1908 - 1972)
(pseudonym of Agnes Campbell Fergie, nicknamed Nancie)
1930s – 1950s
Author of eight novels, probably romantic in theme, including Happy Ending (1934), Brief Rhapsody (1935), Dust in Your Eyes (1938), Two Different People (1941), Wait for Tomorrow (1949), The Wilful Spring (1950), One Little Day (1950), and The Little White Horse (1952).

RAMSAY, RINA (CATHERINE) [MARY] (10 Oct 1875 – 20 Oct 1950)
1890s – 1920s
Author of seven romantic novels which, according to OCEF, often feature hunting scenes. Titles are Miss Drummond's Dilemma (1896), The Key of the Door (1908), The Straw (1909), Barnaby (1910), The Impossible She (1912), Long Odds (1921, with J. Otho Paget), and The Step in the House (1926). She also published an early girls' school story, English Ann at School in Blumbaden (1897), and wrote numerous stories in periodicals, many suspense or horror.

RAMSEY, ALICIA [JOANNA] (31 Aug 1864 – 7 May 1933)
(née Royston, later married name de Cordova, first name in some sources is Alice)
1910s, 1930s
Playwright and screenwriter who wrote more than ten plays with her second husband Rudolph de Cordova, several of which were adapted for silent films. She had already published two novels—The Adventures of Mortimer Dixon (1913) and Miss Elizabeth Gibbs (1915)—and later published a story collection, The Three Cocktails and Other Stories (1933).

RAMSEY, L[ILIAN]. F[AIRBROTHER]. (30 Jan 1877 – 15 Feb 1974)
Author of one girls' school story, An Island for Two: A School Story (1927). This identification is not absolutely certain, but this candidate is quite plausible—she was a schoolmistress and journalist and, on the 1939 England & Wales Register, an organizer for the Women's Voluntary Services.

RAMSEY, OLIVIA (30 Dec 1852 – 28 Feb 1926)
(pseudonym of Laetitia/Letitia Selwyn Oliver)
1900s – 1910s
Author of nine novels which seem to revel in melodrama. The Marriage of Lionel Glyde (1908) is about a pious rector who, confronted with his wife's infidelity, commits suicide in order to leave her free to marry her lover. The others are Sylvia and the Secretary (1909), The Girl from Gatford (1909), The Romance of Olga Aveling (1910), The Other Wife (1911), Two Men and a Governess (1912), A Girl of No Importance (1913), The Secret Calling (1914), and Callista in Revolt (1914).

Rana, J.
          see FORRESTER, HELEN

RANDALL, RONA (16 Jun 1911 – 10 May 2008)
(pseudonym of Rona Shambrook, née Green, aka Virginia Standage)
1940s – 1980s
Author of nearly 70 novels, including hospital romance, gothic fiction, and historical mystery romance. Titles include The Moon Returns (1942), The Late Mrs. Lane (1945), Delayed Harvest (1950), Young Sir Galahad (1953), The Cedar Tree (1957), Knight's Keep (1967), and Dragonmede (1974). Her mystery-themed titles may include Walk Into My Parlour (1962), Seven Days from Midnight (1965), Mountain of Fear (1972), or The Drayton Legacy (1985).

RATHBONE, [BEATRICE] IRENE (11 Jun 1892 – 21 Jan 1980)
1920s – 1930s, 1950s
Author of six novels, including most famously We That Were Young (1932), an important work documenting the stresses and emotional demands of women's war work in the First World War. ODNB notes of it: "Presenting the war as a generational experience, it stripped away the glamour associated with nursing, and captured the monotony, danger, and extreme physical demands of the munitions factory, represented overwhelmingly as a world of tiring repetition and 'deafening, stupefying, brain shattering' noise, interrupted abruptly by grotesque accidents." A later novel, They Call it Peace (1936), is a bitter tale of women attempting to rebuild their lives after the war. Her other novels are Susan Goes East (1929), The Gold Rim (1933), October (1934), and The Seeds of Time (1952). She also published a memoir, When Days Were Years (1939). She became close friends with Storm JAMESON and Nancy Cunard, among others.

RATHBONE, LETTICE (14 Aug 1895 – 16 Aug 1984)
1930s – 1940

Author of two novels—Occupation: Spinster (1935), about a young woman's search for happiness in the English countryside, London, and Europe, and Autumn Adventure (1940), about the unusual friendship between a spoiled boy and his mother's middle-aged house guest. Rathbone spent much of her life in Smarden, Kent, and I give warm thanks to the Smarden Heritage Center for their help in confirming her identity. Among other films that organization has available online is one focused on Rathbone's own recollections of World War II in the village—see here.

RAY, RÈNE (22 Sept 1911 – 28 Aug 1993)
(pseudonym of Irene Lilian Creese, married names Posford and Brodrick)
1940s – 1980s
Stage and film actress (she auditioned for Joan Fontaine's role in Rebecca), screenwriter, and author of seven novels. Her debut, Wraxton Marne (1946), was subtitled "The Tale of a Ghostly Ruin and the Family to Whom it Once Belonged". Her second novel, Emma Conquest (1950), was described as dealing with "a girl's fight against a disastrous inheritance" and according to one source was a bestseller. She wrote the screenplay for the science-fiction TV series The Strange World of Planet X, which aired in 1956, and the following year she published a slightly different novel version by the same title. Her other titles are A Man Named Seraphin (1952), The Garden of Cahmohn (1955), The Tree Surgeon (1958), and, after an extended absence from writing, a final fantasy novel called Angel Assignment (1988). With her second marriage in 1975 to the 2nd Earl of Midleton, Ray/Creese became the Countess of Midleton. A note regarding her name: Her IMDB entry shows her first name as René, but her book covers and the British Library catalogue both show it as Rène, which I believe to be the way she wrote it.

RAYMOND, DIANA [JOAN] (25 Apr 1916 – 16 Feb 2009)
(née Young, aka Diana Young)
1930s – 1990s
Cousin of Pamela FRANKAU. Poet and novelist widely acclaimed in her lifetime. She began with three titles under her maiden name—The Door Stood Open (1936), The Lonely Guest (1937), and Doves in Flight—which were followed by nearly two dozen more titles under her married name. Later titles include The Small Rain (1954), Strangers' Gallery (1958), People in the House (1964), The Noonday Sword (1965), Incident on a Summer's Day (1974), The Dark Journey (1978), Lily's Daughter (1988), and The Sea Family (1997).

RAYMOND, MARY (30 Sept 1914 – 22 Jul 1994)
(pseudonym of Mary Constance Keegan, née Heathcott)
1930s – 1990s

Children's writer and author of more than two dozen romantic novels, including Forgotten Sweetheart (1934), With All My Love (1936), Paradise Is Here (1953), Love Be Wary (1958), Hide My Heart (1961), Shadow of a Star (1963), The Divided House (1966), That Summer (1970), The Pimpernel Project (1972), April Promise (1980), and Grandma Tyson's Legacy (1992). Her children's titles were The Adventures of the Pinkle Ponkle (1935) and Stories about the Floppo Woppo (1937).

REA, LORNA [MITCHELL] (12 Jun 1897 – 11 Dec 1978)
(née Smith)
1920s – 1930s
Author of four novels and one story collection. Six Mrs. Greenes (1929), which I reviewed here, traces the lives of the women who marry into three generations of the Greene family. The Happy Prisoner (1931) is about a sheltered deaf girl suddenly cured of deafness, facing the harsh realities of the world. First Night (1932) traces the opening night of a play, through the eyes of those participating and watching. Her other novel is Rachel Moon (1932), and her story collection is Six and Seven (1935).

Read, Miss
          see SAINT, DORA

REANEY, MRS. G. S. (1847 – 8 Jun 1929)
(pseudonym of Isabella Emily Thomasa Reaney, née Edis)
1870s – 1910s
Author of religious-themed fiction, as well as several non-fiction works about "our daughters" and "our sons". Fiction includes Our Ben: A Tale of Home Influence (1876), The Romance of an Emergency (1901), Molly Brown: A Girl in a Thousand (1912), and A Daughter's Inheritance (1914). Her name has sometimes been erroneously spelled "Reany".

Redfern, John
          see PARGETER, EDITH

REDLICH, MONICA [MARY] (3 Jul 1909 – 28 Jun 1965)
(married name Christensen)
1930s – 1940s
Humorist, travel writer, children's author, and novelist. Her humorous etiquette guide, The Nice Girl's Guide to Good Behavior (1935), was reprinted in recent years. She published two children's stories—Jam Tomorrow (1937), a housekeeping story about a rector, his three children, and two cousins staying with them, who take over the running of the house, and Five Farthings: A London Story (1939), about a young girl, newly relocated to London with her family, who explores the city, learns housekeeping, and falls happily into the world of publishing. The latter was reprinted by Margin Notes Books in 2011. Redlich also published four novels. Of her debut, Cheap Return: Portrait of an Educated Woman (1934), the Melbourne Age said it was "clever and amusing, though it is impossible to approve of the lax moral standards of the central figure." Consenting Party (1934) appeared the same year, and was referred to as a romantic comedy, but details are lacking. No Love Lost (1937) is, according to the Perth Western Mail, "a simply-told story of the reactions of a schoolgirl to the unhappy marriage of her parents." Details are also lacking for The Various Light (1948), except for the rather odd fact that psychoanalyst Carl Jung apparently recommended it to a friend. I've written about her a couple of times—see here. She married a Danish diplomat, and published Danish Delight (1939) about her experiences adapting to life in Denmark, and a subsequent travel book, Summer Landscape: Denmark, England, U.S.A. (1952). After her death, her husband edited The Unfolding Years: A Fragment by Monica Redlich (1970), which seems to be an unfinished memoir.

1920s – 1940s
Daughter of boys' school story author Talbot Baines Reed. Author of a dozen volumes of children's fiction, much of it fictional retellings of historical events. These include The Foundling of Thornesford: A Story of Norman and Saxon (1926), Sir Adam's Orchard: A Story of York and Lancaster (1926), and Cousin Timothy: A Story of Cavalier and Roundhead (1927). A few later titles, however, seem like more general fiction, including H.R.H. Miss Johnson (1929) Betty Lends a Hand (1930), and A Major Mystery (1943).

REED, MAUD D[OROTHY]. (12 Jun 1908 - 2003)
1940s – 1960s
Children's writer and author of several passion plays and nativity plays. Two of her children's titles, Angela at School (1946) and The New Girl at 'Fir Trees' (1948), are school stories, while four later titles form a series—It Was Candy's Idea (1955), Candy Finds the Clue (1958), Candy Does It Again (1960), and Candy in the Alps (1964).

Rees, Helen
          see OLIVER, JANE

REES, JEAN A[NGLIN]. (10 Nov 1912 – 18 Nov 1980)
1940s - 1980
Author of more than 20 volumes of fiction, including Christian-themed children's titles and novels, and several biographies of religious figures. She published four "evangelistic" girls' school stories—Carol & Co. (1946), The Conways of Chelwood House (1951), Penelope and Jane (1952), and Carol and Nicola (1958). Other children's titles include Junior Detectives Limited (1954), Junior Detectives Work Again (1958), and Danger, Saints at Work! (1958). Her adult fiction includes The Lady with the Sun Lamp (1954), Madame Estelle (1956) Wife of Hamish (1957), Road to Sodom (1961), Rose Among Thistles (1963), and Embarrassing Relations (1967).

Reens, Mary
          see SINGLETON, BETTY

Reeve, Christopher

REEVES, AMBER (1 Jul 1887 – 26 Dec 1981)
(married name Blanco White)
Daughter of author and activist Maud Pember Reeves and known in part for her scandalous affair and child with novelist H. G. Wells (she married her husband while pregnant with Wells' child, though all apparently remained friendly). Author of four novels and several widely varied nonfiction works. Her fiction focused on women's roles and frustrations. The Reward of Virtue (1911) demonstrates how inadequate women's education was for the demands even of married life. A Lady and Her Husband (1914), now reprinted by Persephone, is about a middle-aged woman who, following her daughter's engagement, channels her energies into her husband's teashop business. The others are Helen in Love (1916) and Give and Take (1923). Wells' novels Ann Veronica (1909) and The Research Magnificent (1915) contain somewhat autobiographical portrayals of their relationship. Margaret Drabble wrote admiringly about Reeves' work here.

Reginald, Sister/Mother Mary
          see CAPES, HARRIET M[ARY].

REID, ANN[IE ALEXANDER] (1899 – 22 Jan 1932)
(married name Wilkinson)
1920s - 1930
Author of two novels. We Are the Dead (1929) was described as "a powerful study of life in a Northern mining village, written from the viewpoint of a miner's wife.” Love Lies Bleeding (1930) centered around “one of those very genuine love affairs which two young girls may have for one another." Reid was the second wife of Louis Wilkinson, who wrote novels as Louis Marlow, and was described in one review as “one of the most courted of literary hostesses.” She seems to have died suddenly, but I’ve not found any details of her tragically early death.

Reid, Eleanor

REID, HILDA STEWART (30 Nov 1898 – 24 Apr 1982)
1920s – 1930s
A member of the group of Somerville College friends that included Winifred HOLTBY, Vera BRITTAIN, and Margaret KENNEDY. Author of four novels. Of Phillida, or, The Reluctant Adventurer (1928), the Guardian said, "Rarely have we been so taken with a story of adventure as we were with this chronicle of Richard Carey's thrilling Odyssey in Africa in the seventeenth century and of his belated love-affair with his Phillida." Two Soldiers and a Lady (1932) is set in the days of Cromwell, while Emily (1933) has a contemporary setting. The Daily Telegraph said of it, "The cranks, the nut-eaters, the uplifters, the earnest remakers of post-war Europe are paraded in company with the most comic little group of Balkan intriguers London has ever sheltered." I wrote about the latter (and my splurge to purchase it) here. Her final novel, Ashley Hamel (1939), is about life in a Dorsetshire village from the 18th to the 20th century. She published two later historical works, One Hundred Years in a Chelsea Parish (1938) and The Story of the County of London Branch (1948), about the London branch of the Red Cross. She also co-edited Winifred HOLTBY's posthumously published story collection, Pavements at Anderby (1937).

REID, LIZZIE C. (dates unknown)
1900s – 1910s
Untraced author of six children's titles, including one girls' school story, Jo Maxwell, Schoolgirl (1913). The other titles are The Kidnapping of Ursula, or, Aunt Abigail's Mistake (1904), Jacyntha, A Merry-Hearted Girl (1905), The Way of a Girl (1907), Roy of Daisydale, or, The Heir of Cragmere (1909), and Grantley Carr's Test. The date of the last, very rare title is unknown. We know that Reid lived in Belfast for a time and had died by 1927, but other details are lacking.

RENAULT, MARY (4 Sept 1905 – 13 Dec 1983)
(pseudonym of Eileen Mary Challans)
1930s – 1980s
Author of more than a dozen novels, which were often trailblazing in their representation of gay and lesbian characters, as well as biographical and historical work. Best known for her eight novels set in the ancient Greek world. The Last of the Wine (1956) focuses on two male lovers in the Peloponnesian War. The King Must Die (1958) and The Bull from the Sea (1962) are about Theseus. The Mask of Apollo (1966) deals with Greek theatre. Fire from Heaven (1970), The Persian Boy (1972), and Funeral Games (1981) form a trilogy about Alexander the Great. And The Praise Singer (1979) is about Simonides. Her six earlier novels have contemporary settings. Purposes of Love (1939), Kind Are Her Answers (1940), and Return to Night (1947) make use of her experiences as a nurse. The Friendly Young Ladies (1944) is a surprisingly matter-of-fact portrayal of a lesbian couple living on a houseboat during World War II. The North Face (1948), according to Jenny Hartley, takes the main character's predilection for rock-climbing as a symbol for life in the postwar years. And The Charioteer (1953) deals with a wounded soldier's triangular relationships with a conscientious objector and a naval officer while in a hospital in the midst of blackout and bombings. In later years, Renault published a book about famous Greek battles, Lion in the Gateway: The Heroic Battles of the Greeks and Persians at Marathon, Salamis, and Thermopylae (1964), and a biography of Alexander the Great, The Nature of Alexander (1975). She worked as a nurse until 1946, when the film rights to Return to Night were sold to MGM, which allowed her to relocate to South Africa, where she remained for the rest of her life, and to focus on her writing.

Rexford, Nina
          see DULCIE SANCIER

REYNOLDS, AMY DORA (1860 – 11 Jun 1957)
(née Percy Williams, aka Mrs. Fred Reynolds)
1890s – 1930s
Author of more than 40 works of fiction, apparently including crime and romance novels, though details are lacking. Titles include Llanartro (1895), The Hut on the Island (1902), A Quaker Wooing (1905), Hazel of Hazeldean (1906), The Lady in Grey (1909), The Granite Cross (1913), Trefoil (1923), Miss Anne Tankerton (1926), The Loram Picture (1930), Green Stockings (1933), and The Woman Drives (1936).

REYNOLDS, GERTRUDE M[INNIE]. (11 Jul 1861 – 22 Nov 1939)
(née Robins, aka Mrs. Baillie-Reynolds)
1880s – 1930s
Author of more than 50 volumes of fiction which seem to lean toward melodrama. The Girl from Nowhere (1910) is about a disgraced man who saves a girl from suicide. The Cost of a Promise (1914) appears to deal with women's suffrage. The Lonely Stronghold (1918) is about a young bank employee who inherits a fortune and is made unhappy by it, and Also Ran (1920) is about a Red Cross nurse whose love for a wounded officer is threatened by a forced marriage to another man. Other titles include Keep My Secret (1886), The Ides of March (1891), The Silence Broken (1897), Phoebe in Fetters (1904), The Supreme Test (1908), The Notorious Miss Lisle (1911), The Court Favourite (1915), The Lost Discovery (1923), Accessory after the Fact (1928), Stranglehold (1930), Intrusive Tourist (1935), and It Is Not Safe to Know (1939).

RHODES, [ANNIE] KATHLYN (KATHLEEN) (4 Jul 1877 – 15 Jan 1962)
1890s – 1950s
Sister of Hylda BALL. Author of more than 50 volumes of fiction, including mysteries, romances, and works for children. Her romances, often set in exotic locales and inspired by her own travels in Egypt, include The Lure of the Desert (1916), Desert Lovers (1922), Desert Nocturne (1939), and It Happened in Cairo (1944). Her children's titles include several school stories, which Sims and Clare note are competent but contain "more snobbishness and racism than usual." Those include Schoolgirl Honour (1912), Dodo's Schooldays (1913), Headmistress Hilary (1914), Schoolgirl Chums (1922), The Head of the House (1924), We Three at School (1934), A Schoolgirl in Switzerland (1936), and A Schoolgirl in Egypt (1937). It's unclear which of her books might be mysteries, but Crime on a Cruise (1935) and In Search of Stephanie (1941) seem like possibilities. Her memoir is December Brings Me Roses: A Book of Memories (1950).

RHYS, GRACE (12 Jul 1865 – 15 Mar 1929)
(née Little)
1890s – 1920s
Children's author, poet, and novelist whose works were often set in Ireland. Titles include Mary Dominic (1898), The Wooing of Sheila (1901), The Prince of Lisnover (1904), The Bride (1909), The Charming of Estercel (1913), and Eleanor in the Loft (1923).

RHYS, JEAN (24 Aug 1890 – 14 May 1979)
(pseudonym of Ella Gwendoline Rees Williams, married names Lenglet, Smith, and Hamer)
1920s – 1930s, 1960s – 1970s
Author of five novels and several story collections, now considered one of the major writers of the 20th century. Born in Dominica of a British father and a white Creole mother, Rhys came to England in her teens to go to school and remained for the rest of her life. Her first collection, The Left Bank and Other Stories (1927), was published with the aid of Ford Madox Ford. Her four early novels—Quartet (1928), After Leaving Mr Mackenzie (1930), Voyage in the Dark (1934), and Good Morning, Midnight (1939)— were modernist in style and reflected her own troubled and conflicted life, including bold and controversial portrayals of alcoholism, abortion, and female sexuality. After her fourth novel, Rhys sank into obscurity and personal turmoil. Twice during these years advertisements had to be placed in newspapers for information on her whereabouts, in order to obtain rights for BBC adaptations of her work. It wasn't until the 1960s when a renewed interest in her early work allowed her to publish one final novel, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), the story of the first Mrs. Rochester from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, which she had been planning for decades and which is widely considered her masterpiece. Two more collections of stories followed, Tigers Are Better Looking (1968) and Sleep It Off, Lady (1976). I reviewed the last of these here. Rhys's unfinished memoir, Smile Please, was published posthumously in 1979. Jean Rhys: Letters 1931–1966 appeared in 1984, and her Collected Short Stories, including three previously uncollected stories, in 1987.

RHYS, JULIA (dates unknown)
(née Clark)
1950s – 1960s
Author of two children's titles—Crab Village (1954) and The Tinsel November (1962). The latter is described as: "A fantasy tale of a gloomy All Hallow's Eve, an old English house, some mysterious antique marionettes and a magical time of dark November days which will usher in the candle-glow of Christmas."

RHYS, MARY (4 Apr 1888 – 17 Sept 1946)
(aka Mimpsy Rhys)
1920s – 1930s
Author, while still a child herself, of a children's book, Mr. Hermit Crab: A Tale for Children by a Child (1929), about two children wildly misinterpreting the events around them. She later published an eccentric memoir of her eccentric family, Scenes from Family Life (1938). According to a family member, her death in her late 50s was due to suicide.

Rhys, Victoria

RICE, DOROTHY MARY (26 Apr 1913 - 1975)
(aka Dorothy Vicary, aka Dorothy Borne)
1930s – 1960s
Author of nine works of children's fiction. These include four girls' school stories. Three—Good for Gracie! (1938), Niece of the Headmistress (1939), and Lucy Brown's Schooldays (1941)—appeared under her Vicary pseudonym, the fourth, A Secret at Sprayle (1955), under her own name. Also under her own name are Hugh Nameless (1950), The Boy on the Boat-Train (1952), and The Gate in the Wall (1959). She apparently published two late titles—A House with a Secret (1963) and Ringer's Roost (1964)—as Dorothy Borne.

RICE, GRACE DOROTHY (4 Nov 1899 – 14 Sept 1986)
Author of a single children's title, Winsome's Game (1930). On the 1939 England & Wales Register, she is shown as a "general medical practitioner" in Stratford-on-Avon.

RICHARDS, [ETHEL] MARJORIE (1 Jan 1887 – 24 Jan 1980)
(née Chappell)
1930s – 1950s
Author of six novels. According to the Observer, King's Soldier (1944) "makes a leisurely pilgrimage from 1895 to the present day … It is the Odyssey of a private soldier, born of a family of soldiers, through the Boer War and peace-time soldiering in Malta and China until, too old and ill for this war, he finds that his son has taken his place." Her final novel, Gates of Jade (1956) is set in China. The others are Opera House (1935), No Lease of Life (1946), Restless Dust (1947), and A Leaf of Gold (1954). It's possible that Marjorie was a pseudonym rather than a middle name, as it's not shown on birth record.

RICHARDSON, DOROTHY [MILLER] (17 May 1873 – 17 Jun 1957)
(married name Odle)
1910s – 1960s
Journalist and novelist, now recognized as one of the major figures in early modernist literature, and particularly as one of the innovators of the stream of consciousness technique. She believed that women's prose should be "unpunctuated, moving from point to point without formal obstructions." Her major work, Pilgrimage, is a series of thirteen novels tracing the development of its main character, Miriam Henderson, over the course of more than two decades. The works are at least somewhat autobiographical. The first 12 volumes of the work appeared by the late 1930s, but the final volume appeared only after her death. Titles are Pointed Roofs (1915), Backwater (1916), Honeycomb (1917), The Tunnel (1919), Interim (1919), Deadlock (1921), Revolving Lights (1923), The Trap (1925), Oberland (1927), Dawn's Left Hand (1931), Clear Horizon (1935), Dimple Hill (1938), and March Moonlight (1967).

Richardson, Flavia

RICHINGS, MILDRED [GLADYS] (30 Mar 1879 – 6 Apr 1951)
(aka John Knipe)
1920s – 1930s
Author of three pseudonymous novels—The Watch-Dog of the Crown (1920), The Hour Before the Dawn (1921), and Whited Sepulchres (1924)—which may be thrillers, and a later historical novel under her own name, Men Loved Darkness (1935). She also published a well-regarded history, Espionage: The Story of the Secret Service of the English Crown (1934).

Richmond, Mary
          see LINDSAY, KATHLEEN

RICKARD, JESSIE (JESSICA) LOUISA (22 Oct 1876 – 28 Jan 1963)
(née Moore, earlier married name Ackland, aka Mrs. Victor Rickard)
1910s – 1950
Author of nearly 40 novels, including some mysteries and thrillers. These seem to include Not Sufficient Evidence (1926), The Empty Villa (1929), The Dark Stranger (1930), Murder by Night (1936), and The Guilty Party (1940). She published several novels dealing with World War I. The Light Above the Crossroads (1918) deals with a young man who becomes a British spy despite his conflictedness because his best friend is German. The Fire of Green Boughs (1918) is also about conflictedness, as a compassionate young woman who takes in a dying German finds herself arrested for aiding the enemy. And in The House of Courage (1919), women working in a prisoner of war camp face similar moral complexity. Other titles include Young Mr. Gibbs (1911), A Reckless Puritan (1921), Blindfold (1922), A Bird of Strange Plumage (1927), Sorel's Second Husband (1932), Cuckoo Street (1937), White Satin (1945), and Shandon Hall (1950).

RIDDELL, FLORENCE [GERTRUDE] (12 Nov 1885 – 30 Mar 1960)
(née McDonald)
1920s – 1930s
An adventurous figure who lived in India and Africa after her husband's death and wrote novels about similarly independent women in exotic locales. Titles include Kenya Mist (1924), Dream Island (1926), The Misty Pathway (1928), The House of the Dey (1929), and Wives Win (1931). She also published a memoir, I Go Wandering: A Travel Biography (1935), presumably the source of her wry quotation: "I have faced hydrophobic dogs & prowling lions, but I have never been in any of those perilous situations in which a woman has to fight desperately for her virtue. My sex-appeal, you will perceive, must be limited." The birthday shown above is probably correct, but there is some uncertainty about the year, which she sometimes gave as late as 1894.

RIDDELL, JEAN OLIVER (1875 – 8 Nov 1959)
(pseudonym of Annie Clark Aitken, née McArthur)
1920s – 1930s
Mother of Hannah AITKEN. Scottish author of four novels. There's Wind on the Heath (1924) is "a pleasing, homely story of life in a Border village.” In Sunlight and Salt (1927), “the sincerity of high purpose is effectively contrasted with the self-deception of the unctuous poseur.” Miss Murchie's Holiday (1930) features the title character, brought up in Glasgow, falling in love with the countryside. And in Pyperhill (1932), “an unlikeable recluse and pseudo-scholar … appears in the district with his two very likeable daughters.” She was a teacher prior to her 1906 marriage.

RIDDELL, MARJORIE (8 Sept 1923 – 12 May 1985)
1950s – 1960s
Author of four works of fiction, most famously her debut, M Is for Mother (1953), an E. M. DELAFIELD-esque comedy about a young woman with an overbearing mother. A contemporary critic compared it to the cartoons of Helen Hokinson. Information is sparse about what appears to be a second novel, The Big City (1958), but it was followed by two career novels for girls, A Model Beginning (1962) and Press Story (1964).

RIDLEY, ALICE (30 Oct 1860 – 6 Jun 1945)
(née Davenport)
1890s – 1910s
Author of six novels which seem to be melodramatic in tone, including The Story of Aline (1896), A Tempered Wind (1897), Anne Mainwaring (1901), A Daughter of Jael (1904), The Sparrow with One White Feather (1905), and Margery Fytton (1913).

RIDLEY, DIANA (22 Nov 1918 – 15 Jul 1997)
(full name Diana Ridley Thompson, married name Szumowski or Szumowska)
1930s – 1950s
Author of more than two dozen romantic novels. Titles include Youth Is Wild (1937), That Lovely Miracle (1939), Love Is You (1941), That Was Yesterday (1943), Love Sees Clearly (1946), Such Sweet Sorrow (1947), My Own Felicity (1951), Obey the Heart (1953), and Man in a Million (1955).

Rift, Valerie
          see BARTLETT, MARIE

RILEY, SALLY (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single girls' school story, The Madcap of St Monica's (1954).

RITA (14 Jun 1856 – 1 Jan 1938)
(pseudonym of Eliza Margaret Jane Gollan, married names Booth and Humphreys, aka Mrs W. Desmond Humphreys)
1870s – 1930s
Author of well over 100 romantic novels, often featuring aristocrats in glamorous international settings, and considered a rival of Ouida and Marie CORELLI. Sheba (1889) makes use of her time in Australia as a young girl. A Husband of No Importance (1894), playing on an Oscar Wilde title, was a critique of the "New Woman" novel, while Peg the Rake (1894) was set in Ireland and became a massive bestseller. Souls (1903), another bestseller, was a satire of the "smart set," while Grandmother (1927), The Wand'ring Darling (1928), and Jean and Jeanette (1929) form a trilogy set in Victorian times. Other titles include Vivienne (1877), My Lady Coquette (1881), Good Mrs. Hypocrite (1897), Rita's Calvary (1909), and The Marriage Comedy (1934).

RITCHIE, BARBARA [JEAN BALFOUR] LOGIE (26 Mar 1861 – 27 Jan 1941)
(née Logie)
Irish author of a single novel, The Tenant of Sea Cottage (1916), about which little information is available.

Ritchie, Claire
          see BRADLEY,

Rivers, Dorothy
          see STARR, LEONORA

RIVETT, EDITH CAROLINE (16 May 1894 – 2 Jul 1958)
(aka ECR Lorac, aka Carol Carnac, aka Carol Rivett, aka Mary Le Bourne)
1930s - 1950s
Prolific author of more than 70 mystery novels under her E.C.R. Lorac and Carol Carnac pseudonyms, as well as two novels and a children’s title as Carol Rivett. Her Lorac novels, many of which have now been reprinted in the British Library Crime Classics series, mostly feature Scottish Chief Inspector Robert MacDonald of the London Metropolitan Police. Those include The Murder on the Burrows (1931), Death on the Oxford Road (1933), Death of an Author (1935), Post After Post-mortem (1936), Bats in the Belfry (1937), Death at Dyke’s Corner (1940), Fell Murder (1944), Murder by Matchlight (1945), The Theft of the Iron Dogs (1946, aka Murderer’s Mistake), Still Waters (1949), Murder in the Mill-Race (1952), and Murder on a Monument (1958). The Carnac titles, of which only one so far, Crossed Skis (1952), has appeared as a British Library reprint, mostly feature Inspector Julian Rivers. Other Carnac titles include Triple Death (1936), Death in the Diving Pool (1940), The Striped Suitcase (1946), Murder as a Fine Art (1953), Rigging the Evidence (1955), and Long Shadows (1958, aka Affair at Helen’s Court). A previously unpublished mystery, Two-Way Murder, drafted in the late 1950s under the new pseudonym Mary Le Bourne, was published in the British Library series in 2021, under the Lorac name. Two early non-mystery novels—Outer Circle (1939) and Time Remembered (1940)—appeared under the name Carol Rivett, as was one later children’s title, Island Spell (1951).

ROBERTS, [ANNE] GRACE (6 Aug 1879 – 7 Dec 1962)
(married name Bowen-Jones)
Welsh author of a single novel, Lowri (1956), set in a village in Wales in the late 19th century and recommended by Ann, a reader of this blog who discussed the book on her own blog here. Roberts was born and died in Ruthin, Denbighshire in Wales.

ROBERTS, ESTHER (dates unknown)
Unidentified author of a single novel, The House of Bread (1930), a retelling of the story of Christ. It has the unusual feature of being written in the second person.

ROBERTS, KATE (13 Feb 1891 – 4 Apr 1985)
(married name Williams)
1920s – 1980s
Welsh writer best known for her short stories, especially those in the collection Tea in the Heather (1959), but who also wrote novels, including Feet in Chains (1936) and The Living that Sleep (1956). A more comprehensive story collection appeared in 1991 as The World of Kate Roberts: Selected Stories 1925-1981.

ROBERTS, LYNETTE (EVELYN) [BEATRICE] (4 Jul 1909 – 26 Sept 1995)
(married name Rhys)
Although best known for her poetry—especially from the WWII years—Roberts' wartime diaries, reminiscences of T. S. Eliot and the Sitwells, and short stories were collected in 2008. Roberts also wrote one novel, Nesta (1944), which was never published and appears to have been lost.

Roberts, Ursula
          see MILES, SUSAN

ROBERTSON, E[ILEEN]. ARNOT (20 Jan 1903 – 21 Sept 1961)
(pseudonym of Eileen Arbuthnot Robertson, married name Turner)
1920s – 1960s
Film critic and author of nearly a dozen novels. Best known for three early novels reprinted by Virago in the 1980s—Cullum (1928), Four Frightened People (1931), set in the Malayan jungle (despite the fact that she had never been there), and Ordinary Families (1933), a family comedy set in Suffolk. The Signpost (1943) is about a wounded RAF pilot and his relationship with a French woman in a remote Irish fishing village. Her other novels are Three Came Unarmed (1929), Thames Portrait (1937), Summer’s Lease (1940), Mr. Cobbett and the Indians (1942), Devices and Desires (1954), Justice of the Heart (1958), and The Strangers on My Roof (1964), the last of which was published posthumously. As a film critic, she was known for her battle with MGM, who had said, according to her ODNB entry, that her reviews were "unnecessarily harmful to the film industry." Following her beloved husband's accidental death, she committed suicide.

Robertson, Helen
          see EDMISTON, HELEN

(Mima was a nickname for Jemima, aka Alison Taylor, aka M. Robertson)
1920s – 1950s
Author of ten works of fiction, some of which may be for children. Titles are The Leopard's Skin (1928), After Stormy Seas (1929), The Sport of Circumstance (1929), Bitter Bread: A Tale of Old Dunfermline (1929, as Alison Taylor), Evil Enchantment (1930), Music in the Air (1932, as Alison Taylor), Margaret Takes Charge (1941), And One Stood By (1941), Three on Their Own (1941), and The Castilion (1953). She later wrote a book about Old Dunfermline (1979). She seems to have also published numerous later works of fiction in The People's Friend.

ROBERTSON, OLIVIA [MELIAN] (13 Apr 1917 – 14 Nov 2013)
1940s – 1950s
Novelist and writer on the occult. The first of her five novels, Field of the Stranger (1948), was a Book Society choice—the cover blurb says it's "[a] witty novel in which the ancient charm of Irish county life contends with currents as new as existentialism." The others are The Golden Eye (1949), Miranda Speaks (1950), It's an Old Irish Custom (1953), and Dublin Phoenix (1957).

ROBINS, DENISE [NAOMI] (1 Feb 1897 – 1 May 1985)
(née Klein, later married name Pearson, aka Denise Chesterton, aka Ashley French, aka Harriet Gray, aka Hervey Hamilton, aka Julia Kane, aka Francesca Wright)
1920s – 1970s
Mother of Patricia ROBINS. Author of more than 200 romantic novels, most under her own name but a few under her various pseudonyms. She was known for exploring serious issues and pushing the bounds of her genre. Titles include The Marriage Bond (1924), The Inevitable End (1927), It Wasn't Love (1930), Slave-Woman (1934), Dear Loyalty (1939), Set the Stars Alight (1941), War Changes Everything (1943), Love Me No More! (1948), The Other Love (1952), The Enchanted Island (1956), Lightning Strikes Twice (1966), Sweet Cassandra (1970), and Dark Corridor (1974).

ROBINS, PATRICIA [DENISE] (1 Feb 1921 – 4 Dec 2016)
(married name Clark, aka Claire Lorrimer, aka Susan Patrick)
1940s – 2000s
Daughter of Denise ROBINS. Author of more than 80 novels, most of them romances, though late in life she also wrote a series of mysteries under her Lorrimer pseudonym. Titles include To the Stars (1944), Awake My Heart (1950), Heart's Desire (1953), The Long Wait (1962), Where Duty Lies (1957), Lady Chatterley's Daughter (1961), Topaz Island (1965), Laugh on Friday (1969), and Frost in the Sun (1986). Her Lorrimer mysteries include Over My Dead Body (2003), Dead Centre (2005), and Dead Reckoning (2009).

ROBINSON, MARTHA [KATHLEEN BELL] (3 Jul 1905 – 13 May 1987)
(married name Alexander)
1940s – 1950s
Author of more than a dozen children's books, including two girls' school stories known for their realism and focus on ordinary school life—High School (1948) and Three Friends (1950). Others include A House of Their Own (1949), Family Holiday (1951), Trouble at Talltrees (1953), Matty in Films (1953), and The Vet's Family (1963). Her husband was a “film story editor” at Ealing Studios, which may be where they met, since her first book was Continuity Girl: An Account of the Author's Experiences in the Film Industry (1937).

ROBINSON, SADIE (dates unknown)
Unidentified author of two novels—Bacon and Olives and Take It and Pay, both published in 1937. An ad for the latter says it's about "a brilliant young man whose ability is obscured by laziness until a woman's love gives him the urge to work."

ROBSON, ISABEL SUART (21 May 1862 – 25 Aug 1950)
(née Suart)
1890s – 1910s
Author of around 30 works of fiction. Most are for children, including school stories for both boys and girls, but a few seem to be for adults. Titles include How the Village Was Won (1890), Two Little Sisters and Humphrey (1896), Marjorie's Stranger (1897), The Bright Kernel of Life (1899), The Oddity: A Story of High School Life (1901), Henshawe of Greycotes (1904), The Troublesome Bevans, or, Laurence, The Hero of Great Morvans (1906), Girls of the Red House (1909), The Girls at the Stone House (1912), and Eight Girls and Their Adventures (1916).

ROBY, ADELAIDE Q. (12 Mar 1904 – 11 May 1973)
(pseudonym of Mary Adelaide Roby, née Braddock)
1930s – 1940s, 1970s, ???
Author of five novels, most historical in setting and all released in e-book format by Endeavour Media in recent years. The Pindars (1939) is a family saga moving from the Industrial Revolution to World War I. Siren Song (1940) is about the romance of a farmer's daughter educated by a kindly clergyman. White Harvest (1941) is another saga set within the cotton industry. Roby then apparently fell silent until Sea Urchin (1974), set in an 18th century Cornish village. One additional novel, Charlotte Once Again, set in the 1960s and featuring ghostly themes, has been released by Endeavour, but I've not been able to determine its original publication date.

ROCHE, KAY (KATHLEEN) [MARGARET] (15 Mar 1911 – 21 Sept 1997)
Author of two novels which may be mysteries or otherwise crime-oriented. The Shuttered House (1950) appears to be set in Tangier, while The Game and the Candle (1951) takes place in Spain.

(pseudonym of Rose Elizabeth Knox Ward)
Wife of thriller writer Sax Rohmer and the author of a single novel of her own, Bianca in Black (1958), about a model who believes herself to be cursed. She later collaborated with Rohmer's former assistant on Master of Villainy: A Biography of Sax Rohmer (1972).

Roland, Mary
          see BRAND, CHRISTIANNA

ROLFE, DIANA (7 May 1902 – 31 Dec 1986)
(pseudonym of Joyce Gertrude Mann)
1930s - 1940s

Author of five humorous novels about the high society hunting crowd—Good Huntin' (1939), Plain Sailin' (1940), Maiden Stakes (1947), Ministering Angels (1948), and Period Portrait (1949)—at least some of which are set in Leicestershire.

RONELL, KATHERINE (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single novel—Fortune's Yoke (1940).

ROSE, ISABEL BROWN (29 Apr 1883-?1951)
(née Brown)
Author of fiction and non-fiction dealing with India. She was married there and may have worked as a missionary. She wrote at least three novels—Red Blossoms (1925), The Measure of Margaret (1927), and Diana Drew (1928)—all set in India, and Diana's Indian Diary (1930) may well be fiction too. She also published Our Parish in India: Lights and Shadows of Missionary Life (1926). She later emigrated to the U.S.

ROSENBERG, ELIZABETH (dates unknown)
1950s – 1960

Unidentified co-author, with husband John, of two mystery novels, Out Brief Candle (1959) and Fanfare for a Murderer (1960). She may be the Elizabeth Ann King 1925-2014 who married Rupert John Rosenberg in 1953, but we have not yet found confirmation.

Ross, Catherine

ROSS, HELEN HALYBURTON (21 Nov 1873 – 13 Feb 1936)
(born Helen Maud Ross, adopted father's middle name Halyburton for her writing)
1920s – 1930s
Author of 11 novels, most or all of them adventurous in theme, many with Middle Eastern settings. Her debut, A Man with His Back to the East (1926), is set in Egypt. A blurb from the Yorkshire Observer called The Mystery of the Lotus Queen (1931) "a story of amazing adventures … proves most exciting in its atmosphere of suspense." Other titles include The House of the Talisman (1927), Sin and Sand (1929), The Lost Oasis (1933), and The Scarab Clue (1935). The name Halyburton doesn't appear on any of her own records, but was her father's middle name, so presumably she adopted it as a kind of pseudonym in his honour.

ROSS, ISHBEL (15 Dec 1895 – 21 Sept 1975)
(married name Rae)
1930s – 1940s
Best known for her journalism and for biographies of American women such as Clara Barton and Mary Todd Lincoln, Ross also published five novels. Of her debut, Promenade Deck (1932), the Bookman said: "Passengers on a world cruise undergo everything from love to suicide. The stereotyped characters—a siren and a spinster school-teacher, a misogynist and a gigolo, a dissolute flapper and a clean college girl—are made extraordinarily interesting by the author's real gift for character drawing." The others are Marriage in Gotham (1933), Highland Twilight (1934), Fifty Years a Woman (1938), and Isle of Escape (1942).

ROSS, JEAN (26 Jun 1907 – 14 Oct 1985)
(pseudonym of Irene Dale Hewson)
1930s – 1960s
Children's writer and author of nearly two dozen novels. Under her own name, she wrote numerous children's plays in the 1920s, before turning to fiction. Novels include Flowers Without Sun (1938), Strangers Under Our Roof (1943), Aunt Ailsa (1944), Jania (1948), The Gothic House (1950), A Picnic by Wagonette (1953), Under a Glass Dome (1956), The Night Outside (1960), The Great-Aunts (1964), and A View of the Island: A Post-Atomic Age Fairy Tale (1965). I wrote about Women in Exile (1942) here. Not to be confused with Jean Iris Ross, who inspired Christopher Isherwood's character, Sally Bowles.

ROSS, KATHLEEN (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single girls' school story, The Girls of Elville College (1917), which follows its main characters into early adulthood.

ROURKE, LOUISE [MUSGRAVE-] (1899 - ????)
(née Dickerson-Watkins)
Poet, memoirist, and author of a single novel, The Tree's Shadow (1930), included in a list of works dealing with the Canadian prairies. The Land of the Frozen Tide (1928) is a memoir of her life in Fort Chipewyan in Northern Canada.

Rowan, Barbara
          see POLLOCK, IDA [JULIE]

ROWAN, MARGARET (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single girls' school story, Thea and Her Secret Societies (1956).

Rowe, Caroline
          see LOMER, E[THEL]. H[ADDEN].

Rowlands, Effie

Roy, Gordon
          see WALLACE, HELEN

Royce, Marjory
          see MILES, CONSTANCE

ROYDE-SMITH, NAOMI [GWLADYS] (30 Apr 1875 – 28 Jul 1964)
(originally Naomi Holroyd Smith, married name Milton)
1900s, 1920s – 1960
Travel writer, playwright, biographer, and author of more than three dozen novels. Jane Fairfax (1940) is a prequel to Austen’s Emma that mixes other characters—and their creators—into the plot. Other novels include The Tortoiseshell Cat (1925), Children in the Wood (1928), The Delicate Situation (1931), The Bridge (1932), All Star Cast (1936), Rosy Trodd (1950), Love at First Sight (1956), and Love and a Birdcage (1960). During World War II, Royde-Smith published Outside Information (1941), a book with the voluminous subtitle, "Being a Diary of Rumours Collected by Naomi Royde Smith; Together with Letters from Others and Some Account of Events in the Life of an Unofficial Person in London and Winchester during the Months of September and October 1940," which I reviewed here.

RUBENS, BERNICE [RUTH] (26 Jul 1928 – 13 Oct 2004)
(married name Nassauer)
1960s – 1990s
Welsh novelist and screenwriter, whose first book, Set On Edge, appeared in 1960. Best known for Madame Sousatzka (1962), made into a film starring Shirley MacLaine, and The Elected Member (1969), which won the Booker Prize. Other titles include Mate in Three (1965), Sunday Best (1971), I Sent a Letter to My Love (1975), Spring Sonata (1979), Birds of Passage (1981), Kingdom Come (1990), Yesterday in the Back Lane (1995), and I, Dreyfus (1999).

RUBIEN, BARBARA [FRANCES] (16 Apr 1906 - 1996)
(née Courlander, aka Elizabeth Anthony)
Sister of mystery writer Shelley SMITH. Author of a single novel under her own name, The Cup and the Song (1947), and two mysteries under her pseudonym—Dramatic Murder (1948) and Made for Murder (1950).

RUCK, [AMY] BERTA (ROBERTA) (2 Aug 1878 – 11 Aug 1978)
(married name Onions, later Oliver, aka Amy Roberta Ruck)
1910s – 1960s
Author of more than 100 works of fiction, most light-hearted romances, often characterized by humor and versatility of subject matter. A New York World critic said, "Berta Ruck's books are sweet and interesting. She seems just to pour herself into her stories." Titles include His Official Fiancée (1914), Miss Million's Maid (1915), The Subconscious Courtship (1922), The Mind of a Minx (1927), Understudy (1933), Love on Second Thoughts (1936), Spinster's Progress (1942), Spice of Life (1952), Sherry and Ghosts (1961), and Shopping for a Husband (1967). The Girls at His Billet (1916) is about three sisters thrilled by the arrival of an Army camp in their village, and some of the characters reappear in the World War II-themed Fiancees Are Relatives (1941). She also wrote Land Army novels for both wars—A Land-Girl's Love Story (1919) and Jade Earrings (1941). And in The Disturbing Charm (1919), Ruck includes a supporting character suffering from trauma that we would now call PTSD. [Thanks to Melissa, a reader of this blog, for the details about Ruck's wartime writings.] She also published several volumes of memoir, including A Story-Teller Tells the Truth: Reminiscences and Notes (1935), A Smile for the Past (1959), and Ancestral Voices (1972).

RUSSELL, IVY [ETHEL] (6 Jan 1907 - 2005)
(née Southern, earlier married name Williams)
1950s – 1960s
Playwright and author of more than a dozen children's books. Her first, Four With a Purpose (1950), was a school story. Others include Megan of the Welsh Hills (1952), Princess Susan (1954), Highland Cousin (1957), The Inn of Mystery (1959), and The Unexpected Visitor (1962). She also published Christian-themed plays for children.

Russell, Sarah
          see LASKI, MARGHANITA

RUTHERFORD, CONSTANCE (23 Feb 1887 – 2 Jun 1961)
1910s – 1940s
Author of six novels which display considerable versatility of theme and style. The Lily Field (1933) is set in France during the Hundred Years War. The Forgotten Terror (1938), a tale of a young girl traumatized by having witnessed a crime at the age of three, was named by Alexander Woollcott on a list of the best mysteries, and the Adelaide Advertiser praised it warmly. Double Entry (1939) is about a young woman who finds that she can travel in time to the 14th century, an affinity her archaeologist husband exploits—I wrote a bit about it here. Described as "a skillful combination of romance, crime, and adventure," The Door Without a Key "tells how an enemy agent of 1941 fell five years later into a trap of his own setting, all through the schizophrenic tendencies of the victim of his plot." I’ve not yet found information about her two earlier novels—The Blazing Star (1914) and The Straight Furrow (1920).

RUTLAND, HARRIET (1901 - 1962)
(pseudonym of Olive Maude Shimwell, née Seers)
1930s – 1940s
Mystery writer who published three novels, all positively reviewed at the time and characterized by a dark sense of humor. Knock, Murder, Knock! (1938), which I reviewed here, is set at a mundane watering spa, in which the elderly guests enjoy spiteful gossip about the younger, especially when murder takes the stage. Bleeding Hooks (1940, aka The Poison Fly Murder) is set among a group of fly fishers staying at a Welsh lodge. And Blue Murder (1942) is set during World War II among an unsavory family whose members find themselves targets of a killer. All three were reprinted by Dean Street Press.

Ryall, Sybil
          see BOLITHO, SYBIL

Ryce, John
          see BROWNE, ALICE MAUDE

Rybot, Doris

RYLANDS, ANNA (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single short romance, Faint Heart (1932).

1 comment:

  1. In respect of Sally Riley, you may be interested in this: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/madcapofstmonicas, where the author's daughter talks about her two books


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