Tuesday, January 1, 2013

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

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

You can download the entire list in a single PDF. Clicking on the link below will open a Google Docs page displaying the entire list in PDF. To save a copy of the PDF, just click on the little down arrow in the upper left. You can also print the list from the Google Docs page, but be warned that it now weighs in at 501 pages!


[Current total: 2,263 writers]

UPDATED 5/7/2022


BREARLEY, HILDA (26 Sept 1901 – 15 Apr 1955)
(married name Barber)
1940s – 1950s
Daughter of Henry Brearley, a well-known singer at the turn of the century. Author of three children's books during and after World War II, including Island Farm (1940), Castle in the Sun (1947), and Adventure for Elizabeth (1952).

BREARLEY, MARY (1879 – 28 Mar 1971)
(pseudonym of Mary Salkeld Jayne, née Robinson)
1920s – 1930s
Biographer and author of five novels. Monte Felis (1923) sounds distinctly melodramatic, about a woman whose husband is institutionalized, who falls in love with another man only to find that her husband has been released. Other titles are Marsh Fires (1925), The Owners of Sorrows End (1926), A Good Marriage (1928), and Papa and Mama (1933). She spent much of her life in Lisbon, and her one biography dealt with the Lisbon Inquisition.

BREARY, NANCY (ANNIE) [FLORENCE] (7 Mar 1903 – 8 Dec 1988)
1940s – 1960s
Author of nearly 30 energetic and humorous girls’ school tales, somewhat based on her own school days at Kingsdown School in Dorking. Titles include Give a Form a Bad Name (1943), No Peace for the Prefects (1944), A School Divided (1944), The Snackboat Sails at Noon! (1946), Juniors Will Be Juniors (1947), It Was Fun in the Fourth (1948), Five Sisters at Sedgewick (1950), Hazel, Head Girl (1952), Fourth Form Detectives (1954), Study Number Six (1957), Junior Captain (1960), The Fourth Was Fun for Philippa (1961), and Too Many Girls (1962).

BRENNAN, ELIZABETH (?1907 - ????)
Untraced Irish author of six works of fiction in the 1940s, at least some of them for children. The early titles include Out of the Darkness (1945), The Wind Fairies (1946), Am I My Brother's Keeper (1946), Whispering Walls (1948), The Wind Fairies Again (1948), and Wind Over the Bogs (1950). We have confirmed that she is not the same Elizabeth Brennan who published romantic novels in the 1960s-1980s.

BRENT-DYER, ELINOR M[ARY]. (6 Apr 1894 – 20 Sept 1969)
(pseudonym of Gladys Eleanor May Dyer)
1920s – 1960s
Author of nearly 100 books, including the longest and most successful series of girls' school stories, the Chalet School series, which included 58 titles in its original editions (split into 62 when released, in sometimes heavily abridged versions, in paperback) and spanned nearly 50 years, beginning with The School at the Chalet (1925) and concluding with Prefects of the Chalet School (1970), published posthumously. The Friends of the Chalet School website here is an invaluable resource for Brent-Dyer fans. Several books in the series, most notably The Chalet School in Exile (1940) and The Chalet School Goes to It (1941, reprinted as The Chalet School Goes to War), deal with World War II. Brent-Dyer also wrote other shorter series, including the La Rochelle series beginning with Gerry Goes to School (1922), and a dozen or so standalone stories, as well as one novel for adults, Jean of Storms, serialized in 1930 but not published in book form until 1996. I've written a bit about Brent-Dyer here.

BRERETON, D. KATHERINE (dates unknown)
Particularly elusive author of one children's title, The Savages on Gale Island. Even the year of publication is in some doubt, though 1950 seems to be a bookseller consensus. The book is not listed in the British Library or Library of Congress catalogues, nor in Worldcat, though copies are available for sale. She was also the author of a number of stories in periodicals at around the same time.

Brett, Rosalind
          see WARREN, LILLIAN

BRIDGE, ANN (11 Sept 1889 – 9 Mar 1974)
(pseudonym of Mary Ann Dolling O'Malley, née Sanders)
1930s – 1970s
Author of more than 20 novels, often set in exotic locales, combining historical perspective, romance, and the excitement of travel and making use of her own experiences as a diplomat's wife. Her first novel, Peking Picnic (1932), garnered comparisons to E. M. Forster's A Passage to IndiaIllyrian Spring (1935), set in Yugoslavia, was credited with sparking that nation's tourism industry. Bridge herself was most proud of the novels which made use of historic turning points of the recent past, including Frontier Passage (1942), The Dark Moment (1952), A Place to Stand (1953) and The Tightening String (1962), the latter two taking place in Hungary before and during World War II. She also wrote a series of romantic thrillers featuring Julia Probyn, beginning with The Lighthearted Quest (1956).

BRIGGS, ELSPETH [MARGARET] (8 Jun 1902 – 20 Feb 1961)
1930s – 1960s
Sister of novelist, children's author, and scholar Katharine Mary BRIGGS. Historical novelist and children's author with a particular interest in the 17th century. Her novels are Borrowed Names (1932), Restoration (1935), The Rhyme for Porringer (1939), Service Is None Heritage (1948), Another Unicorn (1954), and Seven Bold Sons (1962), the last of which was Briggs' favorite of her works. Her children's titles are The White King (1948) and Squire's Fairing (1960).

BRIGGS, KATHARINE MARY (8 Nov 1898 – 15 Oct 1980)
1930s – 1970s
Sister of Elspeth BRIGGS. Playwright, actress, and literary scholar best known now for her children's titles, including the fantasy tales Hobberdy Dick (1955), about a hobgoblin in 1650s England, and Kate Crackernuts (1963), about a girl trying to protect her sister from a witch—both of which were reprinted by Faber Finds. She also published two earlier historical novels for adults, The Lisles of Ellingham (1935) and The Castilians (1949), and several non-fiction works on Shakespeare and folklore. Her Selected Works was published by Routledge in 2003.

BRIGGS, PHYLLIS [MIDWOOD] (18 Apr 1904 – 11 Jun 1981)
(aka Philip Briggs)
1930s – 1960s
Author of around 20 works of children’s fiction, roughly half under her masculine pseudonym. Among those titles are two works of junior science-fiction, Escape from Gravity (1955) and The Silent Planet (1957). Other titles include Wolf of the North (1937), North with the "Pintail" (1943), The Cat of Pine Ridge (1944), The Keeper of the Lake (1945), Orchid Island (1947), The Turning Point (1953), and Three Rovers (1958).

BRIGHT, PAMELA [MIA] (1914 – 13 Aug 2012)
1950s – 1970s
Red Cross nurse and author of three novels—Breakfast at Night (1956), which "describes the first three years of a nurse's training at one of the most famous teaching hospitals in the world, Edinburgh Infirmary", The Day's End (1959), about life and death in a cancer ward, and Hospital at Night (1971). Life in Our Hands (1955) was her memoir of her time with the British Second Army during the last year of WWII. The Nurse and Her World (1961) was non-fiction for children, and A Poor Man's Riches (1966) dealt with her travels in the Middle East and with the UN relief efforts in Palestine.

BRILL, EDITH [MAY] (11 Feb 1899 – 13 Feb 1986)
(married name Timperley)
Probably best known now for various books about the culture and history of the Cotswolds and for her late children’s title, The Golden Bird (1970), a retelling of a Polish folk tale illustrated by Jan Pienkowski, which has enthusiastic reviews on
Goodreads, Brill also published five novels—The Mink Coat (1930), a family story which garnered praise from the Spectator, New Bed (1931), about a woman who marries an older man to escape life as a barmaid, Heart Alone (1933), described as a “quiet and pleasantly written romance,” Three Maids of Islington (1933), and London Ladies (1934).

BRINTON, SYBIL G[RACE]. (12 Aug 1874 – 26 Feb 1927)
(married name Preen)
Author of a single novel, Old Friends and New Fancies: An Imaginary Sequel to the Novels of Jane Austen (1914), generally claimed as the originator of the genre of Jane Austen sequels and spin-offs, which combines characters from all six Austen novels into a new romance. The novel was reprinted by Sourcebooks in recent years, and was positively reviewed

BRITTAIN, VERA [MARY] (29 Dec 1893 – 29 Mar 1980)
(married name Catlin)
1920s – 1940s
Novelist and memoirist best known for Testament of Youth (1933), a devastating memoir about the personal ravages of World War I on her life, which included losing not one but two fiances, a close friend, and her brother, with whom she was very close. The book also describes her subsequent involvement with pacifism. It was made into a film in 2015. Although less well-known than her memoir, Brittain also published five novels, which often deal with war and its traumas as well as her pacifist beliefs. The Dark Tide (1923) is about two young women at Somerville College immediately after WWI, and contains a thinly veiled portrait of her friend Winifred HOLTBY. Honourable Estate (1936), a family saga, is often considered her best novel. The others are Not Without Honour (1924, Account Rendered (1945), and Born 1925 (1948). England's Hour (1941) was Brittain's memoir of the early days of World War II. According to Jenny Hartley, Brittain's pamphlet Seed of Chaos (1944) was "almost the only public protest against the obliteration bombing of German cities." In more recent years, Brittain's diaries and letters have begun to be published, including Chronicle of Youth: The War Diary, 1913-1917 and Wartime Chronicle: Diary 1939-1945.

The author of several plays in the 1930s, Broadbent also published one novel, Perilous Grain (1934), set in Homeric Greece.

BROADWOOD, J. W. (30 Dec 1867 – 11 Aug 1945)
(pseudonym of Jane [sometimes Judith] Winifred Kate Bradshaw, married name Sheldrake)
Author of three novels—Pawning Tomorrow (1924), The Keys of Heaven (1927), and The Horoscope of Duke Camillo (1928), the last of which, at least, is historical in theme.

BROEMEL, ROSE (???? – 28 Jan 1935)
(née Mills, aka Rose D'Evelyn)
Apparently a well-known singer under her stage name Rose D'Evelyn, Broemel published a single thriller, The Elusive Criminal: A London Mystery (1930). She was previously traced as one Rose Edith Mills born 1867, but John Herrington has now disproven this as that Mills died 1901. One census which seems to be the author gives her middle name as Esme.

BROMIGE, IRIS [AMY EDNA] (2 Jun 1910 – 1 Oct 2004)
(née ?????)
1940s – 1990s
Author of around 50 romantic novels, often set in the English countryside. Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers describes her work as “pleasant, family oriented novels set in an England where late 20th-century realism rarely intrudes.” Titles include The Traceys (1946), Chequered Pattern (1947), April Wooing (1951), Gay Intruder (1954), A New Life for Joanna (1957), The Flowering Year (1959), Fair Prisoner (1960), The Family Web (1963), An April Girl (1967), The Broken Bough (1973), The Happy Fortress (1978), and Farewell to Winter (1986).

BROOKE, CAROL (8 Jun 1924 – 7 Jan 2013)
(pseudonym of Valerie Patricia Ramskill, née Roskams)
1940s – 1960s
Author of 16 romantic novels. Her debut, Light and Shade (1947), seems to be set during WWII. Others include To Reach the Heights (1948), Devils' Justice (1948), The Changing Tide (1952), As Others See Us (1952), No Other Destiny (1955), Shadow of the Past (1960), This Day's Madness (1962), and Till All the Seas (1964).

BROOKE, EMMA FRANCES (24 Dec 1844 – 28 Nov 1926)
(aka E. Fairfax Byrrne)
1880s – 1910s
Author of more than a dozen volumes of religious fiction for adults and children, including the school story Reaping the Whirlwind (1885). Others include A Superfluous Woman (1894), The Engrafted Rose (1899), Susan Wooed and Susan Won (1905), The Story of Hauksgarth Farm (1909), and The House of Robershaye (1912).

BROOKE, MONICA (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single girls' school story, The Girl Who Hated School (1950). It seems likely that she is the same Monica Brooke who published two romance novels the following year—When Passion Waits (1951) and Divided Desire (1951)—but this is not certain.

(married name Peterkiewicz)
1950s - 2000s
Critic, poet, and author of sixteen experimental novels known for their wordplay, unusual structures, and occasional forays into science-fiction. Titles include The Languages of Love (1957), The Dear Deceit (1961), Out (1964), Thru (1975), Amalgamemnon (1984), Xorandor (1986), Verbivore (1990), Textermination (1991), and Life, End Of (2006). Brooke-Rose worked with British Intelligence at Bletchley Park during World War II.

BROPHY, BRIGID [ANTONIA] (12 Jun 1929 – 7 Aug 1995)
(married name Levey)
1950s – 1970s
Novelist, critic, and early campaigner for animal rights. Brophy’s experimental, philosophical, and politically-engaged fiction includes Hackenfeller's Ape (1953), The King of a Rainy Country (1956), Flesh (1962), The Finishing Touch (1963), The Snow Ball (1964), In Transit (1969), and Palace Without Chairs: A Baroque Novel (1978). She also published one work for children, Pussy Owl (1976), which was read on the BBC.

BROSTER, D[OROTHY]. K[ATHLEEN]. (2 Sept 1878 – 7 Feb 1950)
1910s – 1940s
Author of sixteen novels, most historical in nature. Her first two novels were co-written with Gertrude Winifred TAYLOR. Some of her best-known solo works were The Yellow Poppy (1920), set in the unrest following the French Revolution, Mr. Rowl (1924) (which, incidentally, is read by a character in Diana TUTTON’s Guard Your Daughters), her Jacobite trilogy—comprised of The Flight of the Heron (1925), The Gleam in the North (1927), and The Dark Mile (1929)—The Sea without a Haven (1941), and The Captain's Lady (1947). In the 1930s, Broster tried her hand at parody with Ships in the Bay! (1931), set in 18th century Wales, and Word under Snow (1935), co-written with G. Forester, a parody of detective fiction (possibly Dorothy L. SAYERS in particular). Broster is also known for her short tales of horror, collected in the volumes A Fire of Driftwood (1932) and Crouching at the Door (1942).

BROUGHTON, RHODA (29 Nov 1840 – 6 Jun 1920)
1860s - 1920
Best known as a Victorian novelist who, according to ODNB, wrote "eloquently about the economic pressures upon women" and was “shocking” in her day. Her debut, Cometh Up as a Flower (1867), was a major bestseller. Subsequent novels include Red as a Rose Is She (1870), Goodbye, Sweetheart (1872), Belinda (1883), A Beginner (1894), Concerning a Vow (1914), and A Fool in Her Folly (1920). She was also known for her ghost stories, collected in volumes such as Tales for Christmas Eve (1873, aka Twilight Stories), Strange Dream and Other Stories (1881), and Betty's Visions and Mrs. Smith of Longmains (1886). A selection of these tales was published in 1995.

BROWN, BEATRICE CURTIS (24 Aug 1901 – 18 Apr 1974)
(married name Horton)
1920s – 1930s
Author of four well-received novels, all but one historical in nature and most based in fact. Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston (1927) is about an 18th century society woman convicted of bigamy. Alas Queen Anne (1929) seems to have been taken by some critics as a biography, but it appears to have been at least somewhat fiction. For the Delight of Antonio (1932) received particular acclaim, telling of an Englishman participating in the Venetian revolt against Austria. The Sancroft Sisters (1934) was nearly contemporary in subject matter, following three young girls growing up in the 1920s. Brown also published a popular volume of poetry for children, Jonathan Bing and Other Verses (1934), biographies of Anthony Trollope and Isabel Fry, and a memoir, Southwards from Swiss Cottage (1948).

Brown, Bellamy
          see BROWN, JOAN MARY WAYNE

BROWN, DELIA (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single novel, Gin and Lilies (1953), described in a snippet review as a "murder at the poker table mystery." This seems to have been the pseudonym of an established romance writer, but it's not known which one.

BROWN, EDITH CHARLOTTE (30 Jan 1876 – 6 Jun 1947)
(née Hubback, aka Mrs Francis Brown)
Great niece of Jane Austen, who published two Jane Austen sequels, Margaret Dashwood, or, Interference (1929), and Susan Price, or, Resolution (1930). Brown also “finished” Austen’s The Watsons in 1928, as had her grandmother, Catherine Hubback, before her.

BROWN, FRANCES (dates unknown)
1920s – 1930s
Untraced author of nine romantic novels—A Lover on Loan (1927), Caught on the Rebound (1927), The Girl on a Pedestal (1928), A Lost Chance (1928), The Unwanted Bride (1930), Barbara Lee (1931), Fooled by a Flirt (1931), A Beautiful Temptress (1933), and His Dancing Daughter (1937).

BROWN, JOAN MARY WAYNE (21 Apr 1906 – 26 Apr 1998)
(aka Mary Gervaise, aka Hilary Wayne, aka Bellamy Brown)
1920s – 1970s
Best known for her dozens of girls' school and pony books under the name Mary Gervaise, especially the Georgie series (1950-1965), Brown also published dozens of adult novels and romances under her Wayne and Brown pseudonyms. Among her straightforward school stories are Tiger's First Term (1928), Don-Margery, Schoolgirl (1928), Nancy No-good at School (1929), The School on the Hill (1930), Nutmeg at School (1933), Pat in the Fifth (1937), and The Two Veronicas (1939). Horse stories (some with school content) include A Pony of Your Own (1950), Ponies in Clover (1952), The Pony Clue (1955), The Vanishing Pony (1958), and Puzzle of Ponies (1964). Romances include Sweet and Kind (1947), Gay Experiment (1948), It Happened to Hilary (1952), Flower of the Night (1955), Wish for a Whirlwind (1958), Beware of Loving (1966), and Perilous Freedom (1972).

BROWN, MARIE R. (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single romantic novel, The Girl They Scorned (1927).

BROWN, PAMELA [BEATRICE] (31 Dec 1924 – 26 Jan 1989)
(married name Masters)
1940s – 1970s
Actress and children's author (not to be confused with another actress, Pamela Mary Brown) whose work often made use of her own theatrical experiences. The Swish of the Curtain (1941), written at the precocious age of 15, tells of children setting up their own theatre, Family Playbill (1951) deals with a theatrical family in the Victorian era, and Backstage Portrait (1957) is about a girl working as stage manager in her uncle’s theatre. Other titles include Blue Door Venture (1949), The Windmill Family (1954), Showboat Summer (1956), The Other Side of the Street (1965), Summer Is a Festival (1972), and Every Day Is Market Day (1977).

BROWNE, ALICE MAUDE (1848 – 13 Apr 1936)
(aka John Ryce)
1890s – 1920s
Author of three novels, two under her pseudonym—The Rector of Amesty (1891) and An Oath in Heaven: An Early Victorian Romance (1903)—and one, That Colony of God (1923), as Alice M. Browne.

BROWNE, ANNA MARIA (27 Oct 1938 – 1 Jun 2002)
Author of a single novel, Whom the Gods Love (1959), described by no lesser reviewer than Muriel Spark as "an effective and sometimes thrilling account of young life in Rome under Nero."

BROWNE, EDITH OPHELIA (1883 – 4 Mar 1937)
1920s – 1930s
Author of nine novels, about which information is scarce. The titles are The Wall of Shields (1927), The Broken Cup (1928), When the Saints Slept (1930), The Green Eagle (1932), Fair Rosamund (1932), The King's Evil (1933), The Fair Age of Youth (1933), A Kingdom Divided (1934), and Thus Merlin Said (1934). She had already published Short Biographies of the Worthies of Worcestershire (1916).

BRUCE, DORITA (DOROTHY) [MORRIS] FAIRLIE (20 May 1885 – 21 Sept 1970)
1920s – 1960s
One of the best known school story authors, known for several series, including nine titles in the “Dimsie” series, six titles in the “Springdale” series and a total of eight titles in the interrelated “St Bride’s” and “Maudsley” series, as well as the shorter “Toby” and “Sally” series, each containing three titles. Unlike most school story authors, Bruce followed three of her heroines into adulthood, perhaps not coincidentally in stories set during World War II—Dimsie in Dimsie Carries On (1941), Toby in Toby at Tibbs Cross (1943), and Nancy from the “St Brides’s” series in Nancy Calls the Tune (1944). She also published nine novels for young adults (or in some cases, possibly originally intended for adults) in the “Colmskirk” series—interrelated novels all set in and around the fictional Scottish town of Colmskirk, probably modelled on Largs. Four of these—The King's Curate (1930), Mistress-Mariner (1932), A Laverock Lilting (1945), and The Bees on Drumwhinnie (1952)—are historical, while the rest—Wild Goose Quest (1945), The Serendipity Shop (1947), Triffeny (1950), The Debatable Mound (1953), and The Bartle Bequest (1955), are set in the present day. The latter were all reprinted by Girls Gone By in recent years, but the historical titles are increasingly difficult to find. I written about her several times
here, and there’s a very informative site dedicated to Bruce here.

BRUCE, HEATHER (dates unknown)
1930s – 1940s
Untraced author of four novels, probably romantic in nature—The Tide of Fortune (1938), Somebody After All (1939), The Cousin from Canada (1939), and The Everlasting Hills (1941).

BRUCE, KATE (KATHERINE) MARY (8 Nov 1897 – 30 Oct 1961)
(née Maugham)
1920s – 1950s
Niece of Somerset Maugham and author of sixteen novels, which seem to be cheerful and humorous in theme. The Chequer Board (1922) is set in the theatre just after World War I, while Clipped Wings (1923) is about a girl married to the wrong man. The others are Romany Stranger (1930), Rest Awhile (1931), Tory Blaize (1932), Duck's Back (1933), Snow-Storm (1934), Guappa (1935), Company Drill (1937), Men Are So Helpless (1938), Meet Me at Gooly's (1939), Women Never Learn (1940), Figures in Black-Out (1941), Daughters (1949), The Poodle Room (1954), and Felicity (1956).

BRUCE, MARY (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single romantic novel, The Pretty Sister (1928).

BRUCE, MILDRED MARY (10 Nov 1895 – 21 May 1990)
(née Petre, aka Mrs. Victor Bruce)
Pioneering aviator, auto enthusiast, and businesswoman, who wrote memoirs of her various exploits including Nine Thousand Miles in Eight Weeks (1927) and The Bluebird's Flight (1931). Her semi-autobiographical humorous sketches were published as The Peregrinations of Penelope (1930), with illustrations by Joyce Dennys, and just barely qualify her for this list.

BRYANT, MARGUERITE (28 Nov 1870 – 13 Nov 1962)
(married name Munn)
1890s – 1920s
Author of seventeen novels which might be romantic in nature. Titles include A Great Responsibility (1895), A Woman's Privilege (1898), The Princess Cynthia (1901), Anne Kempburn, Truthseeker (1910), The Dominant Passion (1913), The Shadow on the Stone (1918), A Courageous Marriage (1921), Mrs Fuller (1925), and Dear Idiot (1926).

BRYHER (2 Sept 1894 – 28 Jan 1983)
(pseudonym of Annie Winifred Ellerman, married names McAlmon and Macpherson)
1920s – 1970s
Novelist and memoirist, as well as an important mover and shaker in avant-garde culture in the modernist period. Apart from her writing, her claims to fame include being the partner of American poet and novelist H.D. (Hilda Dolittle); helping Robert McAlmon finance the Contact Press in Paris (first publisher of an extraordinary array of young modernists—including Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes, and William Carlos Williams); supporting James Joyce and his family before Joyce became world famous; starting the experimental film company POOL; and lending financial support to Freud and the early psychoanalytic movement in Austria, as well as helping Jewish refugees escape from Germany in the years before WWII. Her first two novels, Development (1920) and Two Selves (1923), appear to be the first novels openly exploring a young woman's coming to terms with being a lesbian. West (1925) is a travel memoir inspired by a trip she and H.D. made to America. Most of her later novels, including The Fourteenth of October (1954), The Player's Boy (1957), Roman Wall (1955), Gate to the Sea (1959), The Coin of Carthage (1964), and This January Tale (1968), have historical settings, though in 1956 she revisited her WWII experiences in the powerful novel Beowulf, about two women running a tea shop during the Blitz (reportedly based on a real shop she and H.D. frequented). She published two memoirs, The Heart to Artemis: A Writer's Memoirs (1963) and The Days of Mars: A Memoir 1940–1946 (1972).

Bryan, John

Bryson, Leigh
          see RUTLEDGE, NANCY

BUCHAN, ALICE [CAROLINE HENRY] (5 Jun 1908 – 19 Dec 1993)
(married name Fairfax-Lucy, aka Alice Fairfax-Lucy)
Daughter of Susan TWEEDSMUIR and novelist John Buchan, niece of novelist Anna BUCHAN (aka O. Douglas). Biographer and historian who began her career with a single novel, The Vale of Maenalus (1931), which, according to the Spectator, is about "three ineffectual young people making love by quotation."

BUCHAN, ANNA [MASTERTON] (24 Mar 1877 – 24 Nov 1948)
(aka O. Douglas)
1910s - 1940s
Sister of novelist John Buchan and sister-in-law of Susan TWEEDSMUIR. Author of thirteen quiet novels of Scottish life, some with overlapping characters. Titles are Olivia in India (1912), The Setons (1917), Penny Plain (1920), Ann and Her Mother (1922), Pink Sugar (1924), The Proper Place (1926), Eliza for Common (1928), The Day of Small Things (1930), Priorsford (1932), Taken by the Hand (1935), Jane's Parlour (1937), People Like Ourselves (1938), and The House that Is Our Own (1940). She was at work on an additional novel, The Wintry Years, when she died, and eight chapters of it were published in the posthumous collection, Farewell to Priorsford (1950). Her memoir, Unforgettable, Unforgotten (1945), includes details of her family life and famous brother. Barb at Leaves & Pages has reviewed most of Buchan's work—see

Buchan, Susan
          see TWEEDSMUIR, SUSAN

BUCHANAN, EMILY HANDASYDE (22 Feb 1872 – 11 May 1953)
(aka Handasyde)
1900s, 1930s
Author of four high-society romances in the 1900s—A Girl's Life in a Hunting Country (1903), For the Week-End (1907), Other Things Than Love (1909), and The Heart of Marylebone (1910)—along with one volume of children's stories, The Four Gardens (1907). She apparently returned to publish one further novel, Spare That Tree, in 1939, about which information is sparse.

BUCHANAN, MERIEL (5 Sept 1886 – 6 Feb 1959)
(married name Knowling)
A journalist and memoirist of Russian political issues and biographer of royalty and families, Buchanan also published two early novels, White Witch (1913) and Tania: A Russian Story (1914). Her memoir, Ambassador's Daughter, appeared in 1958. Among her biographies are Anne of Austria: The Infanta Queen (1936) and Queen Victoria's Relations (1954). She also published a cookbook, Good Food from the Balkans (1956).

BUCK, DOROTHY [LOUISA MARIAN] (15 Feb 1897 – 12 Jul 1946)
(married name Chavanne)
1920s – 1940s
Author of a dozen books, of which the first, The New Lotus-Eaters (1928), appears to be a travel book about Tunisia. Some of her novels are also set in North Africa. Titles include The Sliding Door (1930), My Friend Pierrot (1932), The Last Oasis (1932), The Dark Cavalier (1936), The Snake Charmer (1937), The Harem Window (1939), and Where the Road Ends (1946).

BUCKINGHAM, M. E. (18 Oct 1903 - 1975)
(pseudonym of Agnes Mary Easton, née Huntingford)
1930s – 1960s
Author of seven children’s books, most or all featuring animals and set in Asia and India. Titles are Phari: The Adventures of a Tibetan Pony (1933), Zong: A Hill Pony (1934), Argh: The Tale of a Tiger (1935), Rajah the Elephant (1937), Arrowflag (1940), The Great Carlos (1945), and
Odd Boy Out (1963).

BUCKLE, ELIZABETH [BRAITHWAITE] (12 Dec 1865 – 14 Jan 1949)
(née Turner)
1910s – 1930s
Short story author and memoirist. Her story collections include Wayside Lamps (1913), Wayside Neighbors (1914), and Cottage Pie (1931). The Cup of War (1915) is a short memoir of her World War I experiences, and Triumphant Over Pain (1923) seems to also deal with the war. It's unclear what type of work A Kingly Grave in France (1919) is.

Buckley, Eunice
          see ALLATINI, ROSE

BUCKMASTER, CELIA [JOYCE] (28 Nov 1915 – 20 Oct 2005)
(married names Gibson-Fleming and Leach)
Wife of anthropologist Sir Edmund Leach and close friend of poet Lynette ROBERTS. Painter and author of two novels of village life, Village Story (1951) and Family Ties (1952), both originally published by Hogarth Press and both reprinted by Dean Street Press as Furrowed Middlebrow books in 2020. Reviewing the latter in the TLS Julian Symons said, "For all the apparent superficiality of her comedy, Miss Buckmaster has a feeling for reality, her Thirkell is tinged with Chekhov." I've written about her here. A third novel, Story About Life and So On, was written in the later 1950s or 1960s, but remains unpublished.

BUCKROSE, J. E. (1868 – 9 Aug 1931)
(pseudonym of Annie Edith Jameson)
1900s – 1930s
Author of more than three dozen novels, apparently mostly cheerful comedies of middle-class life. War-Time in Our Street (1917) is presumably a WWI home front novel. Silhouette of Mary Ann (1931) is a fictional portrayal of novelist George Eliot. Other titles include The Wood End (1906), The Pilgrimage of a Fool (1910), Down Our Street (1911), Because of Jane (1913), Gay Morning (1914), Aunt Augusta in Egypt (1915), The Gossip Shop (1917), The Silent Legion (1918), Marriage While You Wait (1919), A Knight Among Ladies (1922), Susan in Charge (1923), Payment in Kind (1928), and Doctor's House (1932).

BULLARD, MARGARET [ELLEN] (23 Aug 1907 – 29 Jun 2009)
(née Thomas)
Author of three humorous novels—Wedlock's the Devil (1951), described by John Betjeman as "a sort of unscrupulous Cranford", A Perch in Paradise (1952), set in Cambridge before, during, and after WWII and which, according to Marghanita Laski, "varies from the exceptionally witty to the vulgar", and Love Goes West (1953), about an English civil servant and his wife sent from their cozy life in England to California in search of cheap sardines. She was the wife of Sir Edward Crisp Bullard, a Cambridge scientist knighted for "ending the menace of the German magnetic mine in the Second World War by inventing degaussing of ships", and really did spend time with him in California, where he worked in later years at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla. Despite her high-profile husband, records on Margaret herself are difficult to find, and the dates above are highly probable but not certain. She is, however, not to be confused with the Margaret Bullard who was the wife of diplomat Julian Bullard, who published non-fiction works.

BULLINGHAM, ANN (8 Jul 1905 – 23 Mar 1967)
(pseudonym of Anastasia [Ann] Miles Jones, née Colfer)
Author of three children's novels about Penelope and friends in the English countryside, including Penelope (1953), Penelope and Curlew (1957), and Summer on the Hills (1960).

BURCHELL, MARY (24 Aug 1904 – 22 Dec 1986)
(pseudonym of Ida Cook)
1930s – 1980s
Author of well over 100 romantic novels for Mills & Boon under her pseudonym, but it's her own story that deserves a movie adaptation. In the 1930s, she and her sister used their reputation as eccentric opera fanatics to travel to and from Nazi Germany for performances. On their return from each trip, they would smuggle valuables from Jewish families into England, which provided immigration guarantees to the British government and allowed the families to be accepted into England. On at least one occasion, the sisters wore priceless jewels with their frumpy homemade dresses, and German officials didn't blink an eye, assuming they were paste. I wrote a bit more about them here, and Cook's memoir, We Followed Our Stars (1950, reprinted as Safe Passage), written under her real name, describes these events in her own words. Her numerous novels include many which feature musical characters or settings, reflecting her personal passion.

BURDEKIN, KATHARINE [PENELOPE] (23 Jul 1896 – 10 Aug 1963)
(née Cade, aka Murray Constantine, aka Kay Burdekin)
1920s – 1930s
Author of ten novels, marked by her pacifist and feminist beliefs. She is best known now for Swastika Night (1937), a dystopian novel set after centuries of Nazi and Japanese rule of the world, which has been reprinted in recent years. In The Children's Country (1929), she attempted to create a "non-sexist" children's story. Quiet Ways (1930) is a pacifist novel, and Venus in Scorpio (1940) a historical novel. Other titles are Anna Colquhoun (1922), The Reasonable Way (1924), The Burning Ring (1927), The Rebel Passion (1929), Proud Man (1934), and The Devil, Poor Devil! (1934). In 1990, a previously unpublished novel, The End of This Day's Business, appeared, set in a society in which women hold the power.

Burford, Eleanor Alice
          see HIBBERT, ELEANOR

BURGESS, E[STHER]. M[ARGARET]. R[OOKE]. (14 Mar 1895 – 8 Jul 1977)
1930s – 1940s
Guiding aficionado and children's author. Hilary Follows Up, or, The Peridew Tradition (1939) is a school story, which Sims and Clare say is reminiscent of Dorita Fairlie BRUCE. Other titles are Dalmira Wins Through (1934), Cherry Becomes International (1946), and Ready for Anything (1948), as well as various non-fiction works about games and Guiding.

BURGESS, L[UCY]. A[DELINE]. (16 Sept 1876 – 12 Oct 1920)
(married name Trudgian)
Nurse and author of a single novel, With Drums Unmuffled (1913), apparently a love story set in Gibraltar, where Burgess seems to have lived for some time.

BURGESS, MARJORIE [AGNES LOVELL] (22 Aug 1906 – 1 Feb 1996)
(sometimes Lovell-Burgess)
1920s – 1930s
Journalist and author of two novels, Great Possessions (1927) and Provincial Interlude (1932), about which information is lacking, plus a book about “the amateur ciné movement in Great Britain

Burghley, Rose
          see POLLOCK, IDA [JULIE]

BURGOYNE, ELIZABETH (19 Aug 1902 – 13 Mar 1987)
(pseudonym of Mabel Elizabeth Pickles)
Biographer and author of two novels—Travail (1934) and Road Royal (1935). She later published Carmen Sylva, Queen and Woman (1941), a biography of the first queen of Romania, a memoir, Married to Wilfred: The Autobiography of M. Pickles (1956), and contributed biographical passages to a volume of Gertrude Bell's personal papers.

Burke, Barbara
          see BALL, OONA H[OWARD].

Burke, Edward
          see BOGGS, WINIFRED

BURKE, KATHLEEN (24 Oct 1887 – Nov 1958)
(married names Peabody, McLean, Hale)
1930s – 1940s
World War I memoirist and author of romance novels. She was given a CBE in her early 30s for her work with relief organizations in France and in fundraising for the Scottish Hospital Service. She was the first woman allowed into the besieged fortress of Verdun, which she discussed in her memoir The White Road to Verdun (1916). Later, she published five romantic novels—The Living Way (1937), Splendid Surrender (1937), Love, Dance a Jig (1938), How Blew the Wind? (1939), and Love Wore a Cloak (1941).

BURKE, NORAH AILEEN (2 Aug 1907 – 1 Mar 1976)
(married name Walrond, aka André Lamour)
1930s – 1960s
Author of more than twenty novels under her own name and her pseudonym, some of which made use of her childhood in India. She also published several late volume of travel writing. Titles include Dark Road (1933), Merry England (1934), The Scarlet Vampire (1936), The Lady Got Burnt (1946), Dusky Bridegroom (1947), and Temptations of Eve (1948). Her memoir is Jungle Child: On the Author's Childhood in Northern India (1956).

BURLEIGH, HILARY (1885 – 10 Apr 1964)
(pseudonym of Edith Mary John, married names Broade and Hunt Lewis, aka H. H. Lewis)
1930s – 1950s
Author of four novels, all or most of them mysteries and at least two featuring the same police detectives, but about which little else is known. Titles are Her Hour of Temptation (1937), Murder at Maison Manche (1948), Pearls and Perjury (1950), and By Whose Hand? (1956).

BURMESTER, FRANCES G[EORGINA]. (26 May 1848 – 6 Apr 1940)
1900s – 1910s
Author of six novels, which seem to partake a bit of the country melodrama style later made famous by Mary WEBB. Titles are John Lott's Alice (1902), A November Cry (1904), Clemency Shafto (1906), Davina (1909), A Bavarian Village Player (1911), and The Dogs of War (1916).

BURNETT, FRANCES [ELIZA] HODGSON (24 Nov 1849 – 29 Oct 1924)
(née Hodgson)
1870s – 1920s
Prolific novelist and children’s author, best known for the classic children's book The Secret Garden (1911), and for two novels for adults, The Making of a Marchioness (1901) and The Shuttle (1906), both reprinted by Persephone. Another children's work, Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886), was made into a classic film. Among her numerous other titles are That Lass o' Lawrie's (1877), A Fair Barbarian (1880), Through One Administration (1883), Sara Crewe, or What Happened at Miss Minchin's (1888), His Grace of Osmonde (1897), In the Closed Room (1904), The Land of the Blue Flower (1909), and My Robin (1912).

BURNFORD, SHEILA [PHILIP COCHRANE] (11 May 1918 – 20 Apr 1984)
(née Every)
1960s – 1970s
Best known for her debut children's novel, The Incredible Journey (1960), which won numerous awards and has been filmed twice, and which just qualifies her for this list, Burnford later wrote two more children's titles, Mr. Noah and the Second Flood (1973) and Bel Ria (1977), as well as two memoirs, The Fields of Noon (1964) and One Woman's Arctic (1972).

BURNS, A. E. (dates unknown)
1910s – 1920s
Untraced author of only two books, the first a school story set in a Catholic convent school, called The Grand Duchess Benedicta (1915). Later, Burns published Peggy in Demand (1924), about which information is sparse.

Burns, Sheila
          see BLOOM, URSULA

BURR, SYBIL [EDITH] (13 Oct 1909 – 18 May 2002)
(née Parren)
Author of seven children’s titles, including Lantern of the North (1954, aka Night Train to Scotland), a mystery with a 15-year-old heroine, My Candle the Moon (1955), The Saint Bride Blue (1956, aka Highland Fling), Full Fathom Forty (1957), Life With Lisa (1958), Operation Blindbell (1960), and Leave It to Lisa (1960). Life With Lisa, her best known work, a fictional diary of a 12-year-old girl, was reprinted by Puffin in 1979 and dramatized for Radio 4 in 2003.

BURROUGHES, DOROTHY [MARY] (25 Dec 1883 – 18 Jul 1963)
1930s – 1950s
Children’s author and illustrator. Although most of her books, such as The House the Moles Built (1939) and Teddy, the Little Refugee Mouse (1942), are for small children, others like The Odd Little Girl (1932) and Captain Seal's Treasure Hunt (1933) seem to be longer works.

BURT, JESSIE MAY (30 Nov 1897 – 12 Mar 1988)
1940s - 1950s
Scottish author of 14 novels, beginning with the wartime Seavacuee (1942), about a Scottish boy sent to Canada to escape the Blitz. Other novels sound like light romances with some melodrama—titles include Ursula Takes Over (1944), The Gay Gordons (1945), The Swing of the Pendulem (1946), set in the late 18th century, The Glendenning Fortunes (1947), Treason in Fitzroy Place (1948), The Stepbrothers (1949), A Wife for Giles (1950), Mr Duffy Calls the Tune (1951), Chance Inheritance (1952), The Price of Distinction (1952), For Love of Annie (1953), Daughter of Paradise (1955), and Tragedy of Love (1956).

BURTON, HESTER (6 Dec 1913 – 17 Sept 2000)
(née Wood-Hill)
1960s – 1980s
Teacher, assistant editor of the Oxford Junior Encyclopedia, and historical children’s novelist. Titles include The Great Gale (1960), set during the East Anglia floods of 1953, In Spite of All Terror (1968), set during WWII, and Thomas (1969), set during the Great Plague of London. Others are Castors Away! (1962), Time of Trial (1963), No Beat of Drum (1966), Otmoor for Ever! (1968), Through the Fire (1969), The Henchmans at Home (1970), The Rebel (1971), Riders of the Storm (1972), Kate Rider (1974), To Ravensrigg (1976), A Grenville Goes to Sea (1977), Tim at the Fur Fort (1977), When the Beacons Blazed (1978), and Five August Days (1981). She adapted The Great Gale for radio and Castors Away! for television.

BUSSELL, DOROTHEA (14 Oct 1884 – 1 Apr 1962)
(née Bickerton)
1910s – 1930s
Sister of explorer Frank Bickerton. Poet and author of four novels—The New Wood Nymph (1912), Dunbarrow (1926), The Third Angel (1929), and Translate No Further (1933)—about which information is sparse.

BUSSELL, EMILY (dates unknown)
Unidentified author of one (or perhaps two) novels. Epitaph for Harriet (1936) is about a young women who, jilted by one lover, spontaneously marries a poor scientist and must learn to live in a style to which she is unaccustomed. The publisher, Stanley Paul & Co., advertised a second novel, Duet for Two Ladies, about a struggling, widowed mother of four who takes in a lovely but insidious woman as a paying guest, but there is no evidence the book ever actually appeared, and it is not listed in any major card catalogue.

BUTCHER, MARGARET [CATHERINE] (29 Oct 1887 – 14 Jan 1983)
(née Cuzner)
1930s – 1950
Journalist and author of four novels. Details are lacking about Destiny on Demand (1938), except that it is included in some checklists of science-fiction and fantasy. Comet's Hair (1939) is described in a publisher's blurb as "A perfect picture of all that is good and bad in a typical English village … The ideal novel for those who require a skilfully told story full of life-like characters and charming pen pictures." Vacant Possession (1940) is a wartime novel about a group of neighbors living near the Fulham Road—the Guardian said of it "This is a conversational novel, and the talkers are well differentiated." Her final novel, Hogdown Farm Mystery (1950), appears to be a thriller.

BUTLER, ELIZA MARIAN (29 Dec 1885 – 13 Nov 1959)
(aka E. M. Butler)
Professor of German at Cambridge University for a time, and best known for her scholarly studies of German literature and culture and biographies of Sheridan (1931) and Rilke (1941). After her retirement from academia, however, Butler published two short novels, Daylight in a Dream (1951) and Silver Wings (1952). Her memoir, Paper Boats, appeared in 1959.

BUTLER, GWENDOLINE (19 Aug 1922 – 5 Jan 2013)
(née Williams, aka Jennie Melville)
1950s – 2000s
Author of more than 70 books in all, including both contemporary and historical mysteries and, under her pseudonym, of gothic romances and more mysteries. She published police procedurals in two series, one featuring Detective Inspector John Coffin, the other featuring a policewoman, Chief Superintendent Charmian Daniels. She also published historical mysteries set in Victorian or Edwardian England. Some of her many titles include Receipt for Murder (1956), Dead in a Row (1957), The Dull Dead (1958), Death Lives Next Door (1960), Come Home and Be Killed (1962), A Nameless Coffin (1966), A Coffin for Pandora (1973), The Red Staircase (1980), Windsor Red (1988), The Morbid Kitchen (1995), Coffin's Game (1997), Dead Again (2000), and Dread Murder (2007).

BUTLER, MARGUERITE L[UCY]. (1879 - 1951)
Cambridge-trained teacher and later missionary in Bangalore, India, where she ran a girls' high school. She published one girls' school story, Tulsi (1934), set in an Indian boarding school, which Sims and Clare praise for its cultural accuracy and realism, as well as the non-fiction Hindu Women at Home (1921).

BUTLER-JOYCE, JOAN [MARGUERITE] (23 Sept 1904 – 21 Apr 2001)
(née Butler)
Author of three children's books, including two school stories, Hot Water (1935) and No Responsibility (1940), praised by Sims and Clare for subverting the clichès of school stories, as well as She Went to London (1938). She also published one adult novel, Catherine-Wheel (1939), which according to reviews is a cheerful tale of a young woman's early adulthood.

BUTTENSHAW, DIANA [MARGUERITE] (24 Apr 1918 – 2 Mar 2013)
(married name Byrde)
1930s – 1950s
Author of two children's titles early in her career—Patrick (1939) and Dominic: Days in the Life of a Boy Who Lived in a Forest (1943)—and 10 novels for adults. Some may have been romances or light adventure, such as The Sleeping Princess (1941), Say Not Good-Night (1943), and Journey to Venice (1949), but other titles, such as Incident in Ismalia (1953) and Violence in Paradise (1957), suggest mysteries or thrillers. The others are The Villach Road (1947), Pepito of Guadiaro (1948), An Oak for Posterity (1952), The One Black Swan (1955), and Chain of Command (1956). She also published short fiction of suspense and horror.

BUTTS, MARY [FRANEIS] (13 Dec 1890 – 7 Mar 1937)
(married names Rodker and Aitken)
1920s – 1930s
Modernist author whose work was out-of-print for decades until something of a revival occurred in the 1990s. She published five novels—Ashe of Rings (1925), Armed with Madness (1928), The Death of Felicity Taverner (1932), The Macedonian (1933), and Scenes from the Life of Cleopatra (1935)—and three volumes of stories—Speed the Plough and Other Stories (1923), Several Occasions (1932), and Last Stories (1938). Her memoir, The Crystal Cabinet: My Childhood at Salterns (1937), was left unfinished at her death. Butts died suddenly, at the age of 46, of peritonitis. Most of her work is currently in print from McPherson & Company.

BYERS, [AMY] IRENE (30 Dec 1906 – 11 Feb 1992)
(née Cookson)
1950s – 1980s
Author of more than three dozen children's books, many of them adventure and holiday stories and some including recurring characters. Titles include Mystery at Barber's Reach (1950), The Adventure of the Floating Flat (1952), Tim of Tamberly Forest (1954), Adventure at Fairborough's Farm (1955), The Sign of the Dolphin (1956), The Missing Masterpiece (1957), Adventure at the Blue Cockatoo (1958), Kennel Maid Sally (1960), Tim Returns to Tamberly (1962), The Merediths of Mappins (1964), Joanna Joins the Zoo (1964), The Stage Under the Cedars (1969), Cameras on Carolyn (1971), and Fox on the Pavement (1984).

(née Ellen Mary Sowray)
Actress and "Gaiety Girl" who had a turbulent marriage with Lord Torrington, owned racehorses, and eventually opened a nightclub, before apparently committing suicide due to financial woes. She published one novel, Over the Garden Wall: A Story of Racing and Romance (1924). Bear Alley posted his research about her

BYNG, MARIE EVELYN (11 Jan 1870 – 20 Jun 1949)
(née Moreton)
Viscountess of Vimy and wife of Lord Byng, 12th Governor General of Canada. Author of two novels, Barriers (1912) and Anne of the Marshland (1914), as well as a memoir, Up the Stream of Time (1945).

Byrne, E. Fairfax
          see BROOKE, EMMA FRANCES

BYRON, MARY (28 Aug 1868 - 1935)
(née Anderson)
Author of two poetry collections, A Voice from the Veld (1913) and The Owls (1920), and a single collection of stories, Dawn and Dusk in the High Veld (1931), described as "[v]ivid short stories and true sketches of life among the scattered farms of South Africa." The birth date above comes from an Ancestry family tree—her actual birth records have so far eluded me.

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