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Ursula Joyce Torday (19 February 1912 - 6 March 1997) was born in London, England, UK, the daughter of a Scottish mother (Gaia Rose Macdonald) and a Hungarian father (anthropologist Emil Torday, 1875-1931). She received a BA in English from Lady Margaret Hall College (Oxford University) and a Social Science Certificate from the London School of Economics.

In 1930s, she published her first three novels under her real name, Ursula Torday. During World War II she worked as a probation officer for the Citizen's Advice Bureau. After the war she spent seven years working at the
Children’s Marrainage Scheme (a project of the Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad) assisting Jewish children refugees--inspiration for several novels published under the pseudonym Charity Blackstock: e.g. The Briar Patch (aka Young Lucifer, U.S. title) and The Children (aka Wednesday's Children, U.S.). Later she worked as a typist at the National Central Library in London, inspiration for her novel Dewey Death (also as Charity Blackstock). She also taught English to adult students.

When she returned to publishing in early 1950s she used the pseudonyms Paula Allardyce and Charity Blackstock (and in some cases reedited as Lee Blackstock in USA), to on her gothic romance and mystery novels; later she would also use the pseudonym Charlotte Keppel. Her novel Miss Fenny (aka The Woman in the Woods, U.S.) as Charity (or Lee) Blackstock, was nominated for the Edgar Award. In 1961, her novel Witches' Sabbath won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists' Association.
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