This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Simona Pakenham (1916–2010)

Author of Sixty miles from England: the English at Dieppe, 1814-1914

MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
150498,454 (2)00

Top members (works)

Member favorites

Members: None

Add to favorites
biography (2) Cheltenham (1) eng (1) England (1) France (1) history (2) music (1) seaside (1) to-read (1)
No events listed. (add an event)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical name
Legal name
Other names
Date of birth
Date of death
Burial location
Country (for map)
Place of death
Places of residence
Awards and honors
Short biography
Simona Pakenham was the child of a brief marriage between her mother Phyllis and her father Captain Compton Pakenham, a British army officer who left them when Simona was a baby. She attended boarding school and was raised mainly by her maternal grandparents, first in Edinburgh Scotland, then in Dieppe, France, which had a large British colony. Her experiences there were the inspiration for her book Sixty Miles from England: The English at Dieppe (1967). After leaving school, she became am actress, training at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and the Old Vic. In 1938, she married theater producer Noel Iliff, with whom she had a son. During World War II, she worked for the BBC as a radio announcer and also adapted plays for broadcast. In the 1950s, she was a lead actress in a theater company established by her husband, with roles that included Shaw’s Saint Joan, and worked as a costume designer. In 1957, she published the acclaimed biography Ralph Vaughan Williams: A Discovery of his Music, launching her career as a writer. Her books included The Absence of the Emperor: London-Paris 1814-15 (1968); the memoir Pigtails and Pernod (1961); and Cheltenham (1971), as well as Sixty Miles from England. After the death of her first husband, she remarried a cousin, Kenneth Middleton, and embarked on a new career as a London-based tour guide. In 2008, she appeared in two documentary films made to mark the 50th anniversary of Vaughan Williams’s death, O Thou Transcendant and The Passions of Vaughan Williams.
Disambiguation notice


Member ratings

Average: (2)
2 1

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

Simona Pakenham is currently considered a "single author." If one or more works are by a distinct, homonymous authors, go ahead and split the author.


Simona Pakenham is composed of 1 name.

Combine with…


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 128,961,042 books! | Top bar: Always visible