Saturday, September 14, 2013

Update: 23 New Additions to the List

Theodora FitzGibbon, author of the WWII
memoir With Love

Nancy Brysson Morrison, author of The Gowk
, highly acclaimed in its day

A mixed bag of 23 more writers, including a few mystery writers and World War II writers who didn't make it into the last update.  I'm particularly interested in:

Elizabeth Ferrars' I, Said the Fly, a mystery set in wartime London, which is—amazingly enough—actually available in e-book format

Theodora FitzGibbon's memoir of life in Chelsea during the Blitz, With Love

N. Brysson Morrison's The Gowk Storm, which is reportedly an understated examination of the day-to-day existence of three young sisters living lochside in Scotland

The light, humorous, highly-praised 1930s novels of Barbara Worsley-Gough, which sound like fun but are steeped in darkest obscurity.  A Feather in Her Cap (1936) is, according to the Adelaide Advertiser, "a delightfully jaunty novel about the doings of a party of young English people who visit Salzburg for the Music Festival."  Admittedly, with a description like that the book could be either a pleasant few hours' reading or an unbearably cutesy morass.  But I am eternally optimistic—at least when it comes to long-forgotten writers.

Ah, still more titles to add to my "to read" list!

I also said goodbye to Annie Philippine Eichberg Lane (aka Mrs. John Lane), who, upon a bit of further research, turned out to be American.

So, the current count: 451 writers

NINA BRADSHAW (dates unknown)

Author of numerous romantic novels from the 1930s to the 1950s, including Wild Sanctuary (1933), The Net Love Spread (1935), Millionaire's Widow (1938), The Way of the Huntress (1948), and Stern Sentinel (1956).

(pseudonym of Morna Doris MacTaggart, married name Brown)

A popular author of mystery novels from the 1940s to the 1990s, including I, Said the Fly (1945), set in wartime London, some of which are still in print; under her real name, MacTaggart published two mainstream novels, Turn Simple (1932) and Broken Music (1934).


Known as a popular cookbook author, FitzGibbon published two acclaimed memoirs—With Love (1982), about WWII and her life in Chelsea during the Blitz, and Love Lies a Loss (1985), which covers the postwar years; she also published one novel, The Flight of the Kingfisher (1967).

[NAOMI] ANNE HOCKING (1890-1966)
(aka Mona Messer)

Mystery novelist active from the 1930s to the 1960s; titles include Walk Into My Parlour (1934), What A Tangled Web (1937), The Vultures Gather (1945), And No One Wept (1954), and Poisoned Chalice (1959).

M[ABEL]. E[MILY]. INCE (????-1941)

Now forgotten author of two novels of rural life, The Preacher (1935) and Man's Estate (1937), both of which were acclaimed in their day.

IANTHE JERROLD (1898-1977)

Largely forgotten now, Jerrold was once a praised member of the Detection Club, as well as a mainstream novelist; title include Dead Man’s Quarry (1930), Seaside Comedy (1934), The Dogs Do Bark (1936), and The Coming of Age (1950).

MARY KELLY (1927-     )

Author of 10 acclaimed mystery novels, Kelly stopped publishing after 1974's That Girl in the Alley; other titles include A Cold Coming (1956), The Spoilt Kill (1961, reprinted by Virago), and Dead Corse (1966).

JANET LAING (1870-1953)

Author of eight light, popular novels between 1903 and 1929, including the WWI-themed Before the Wind (1918) and Wintergreen (1921), as well as The Honeycombers (1922) and The Villa Jane (1929).

LORNA LEWIS (1910?-1962)

Primarily known as a children's author, her novel Tea and Hot Bombs (1943) has gained some attention in recent years for its portrayal of the Blitz; Feud in the Factory (1944) also deals with wartime conditions.


Prolific author of children's fiction, usually featuring spunky girls who encounter adventure in exotic locales before settling into domestic bliss; titles include A Countess from Canada (1911), Harriet Goes a-Roaming (1922), and The Homesteader Girl (1932).

(aka Christine Strathern)

Biographer and novelist, acclaimed for her novels The Gowk Storm (1933), The Winnowing Years (1950), and The Hidden Fairing (1951); also wrote numerous romantic novels under her pseudonym, including The Buchanans Move In (1943), Sun on His Face (1951), and April Folly (1953).

DILYS POWELL (1901-1995)

A prominent film critic, Powell also wrote biographies and travel books, most notably Remember Greece (1941) and An Affair of the Heart (1958), as well as the memoir The Villa Ariadne (1973), about the classicists and archaeologists who stayed at the home of Sir Arthur Evans in Crete.

(aka Mrs. Baillie-Reynolds and Gertrude M. Robins)

Popular novelist whose publishing life extended from the 1880s to the 1930s; titles include The Girl from Nowhere (1910), The Notorious Miss Lisle (1911), and the World War I themed The Lonely Stronghold (1918) and Also Ran (1920).

(aka ECR Lorac and Carol Carnac)

Prolific mystery novelist whose works often feature the Scottish Chief Inspector Robert MacDonald or Inspector Julian Rivers; titles include Murder in St. John's Wood (1934), A Pall for a Painter (1936), Death Came Softly (1943), and Murder of a Martinet (1951).

HARRIET RUTLAND (dates unknown)
(pseudonym of Olive Shinwell??)

Mystery writer who apparently published only three books—Knock, Murder, Knock! (1938), Bleeding Hooks (1940, aka The Poison Fly Murder), and Blue Murder (1942).

NANCY RUTLEDGE (1901-1976)

Mystery novelist whose works were often serialized in the Saturday Evening Post; titles include Beware the Hoot Owl (1944), Blood on the Cat (1946), Murder For Millions (1949), and Death Stalks the Bride (1958).

SHELLEY SMITH (1912-????)
(pseudonym of Nancy Hermione Bodington)

Successful author of psychological mysteries; titles include Death Stalks a Lady (1945), Come and Be Killed! (1946), Man Alone (1952, aka The Crooked Man), The Party at No. 5 (1954), and The Lord Have Mercy (1956, aka The Shrew Is Dead).

(pseudonym of Joan Collings [married name Kelly])

Author of more than 40 novels of romantic adventure, including Beyond the Shadow (1914), Beauty for Ashes (1920), Onslaught (1927), Silver Mist (1935), and Dust Before the Wind (1940).

URSULA TORDAY (1912–1997)
(aka Paula Allardyce, Charity Blackstock, Lee Blackstock, and Charlotte Keepel)

Prolific author of mysteries and historical romance, as well as The Children (1966), about her social work with Jewish children who survived Nazi concentration camps; novels include Dewey Death (1956), Miss Fenny (1957), and The Knock at Midnight (1966).

BARBARA WHITTON (dates unknown)

Untraceable novelist who apparently published only one novel, Green Hands (1943), an enthusiastic tale of a group of girls in the Women's Land Army during World War II, which went through at least five printings.

SUSAN WOOLFITT (1907-1978)

Memoirist and children's author, whose Escape to Adventure (1948), about youngsters having adventures on the canals of England, clearly draws on her own experiences as a canal boat worker during World War II, recounted in her memoir Idle Women (1947).


Intriguing, if utterly forgotten, author of several highly-praised humorous novels including Public Affaires (1932), Nets to Catch the Wind (1935), A Feather in Her Cap (1936), and The Sly Hyena (1951), and two mysteries, Alibi Innings (1954, reprinted by Penguin) and Lantern Hill (1957).


Diarist and author of two novels; best known for Pilot's Wife's Tale (1942), about her attempts to maintain a domestic life with her pilot husband during World War II, and his recovery from injuries in the Battle of Britain; her novels are The Prophet Bird (1958) and A Vacant Chair (1979).


  1. Scott, Have you heard of Brenda Jagger? I have her novel Days of Grace.

  2. Hi, Elljay,

    Thanks for mentioning a writer I didn't know about. It looks like Jagger is a bit late for my list--I'm only going up to 1960 or so and Jagger's first novel seems to have been 1978. But she looks interesting, and I do appreciate the suggestion. Let me know if you think of anyone else.


  3. Totally forgot about your time frame and forgot to mention I'm in the DES group..

    Linda Jacks

  4. Hi, Linda. Of course I know you now! I seem to recall from DES discussions that we share a lot of the same literary interests, so I'm really glad you checked in. Let me know if you have any other recommendations!



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