Virago Remembrance Celebrations 2011, Part I
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Tillie Lerner Olsen (January 14, 1912–January 1, 2007). an American writer associated with the political turmoil of the 1930s and the first generation of American feminists.
Tillie Olsen Obit, NYTimes
Tillie Olsen Film Project
Tell Me A Riddle, Lippincott, 1961
Yonnondio: From the Thirties, 1974
Silences, Delacorte, 1978.
Mothers to Daughter, Daughter to Mother: Mothers on Mothering: A Daybook and Reader, 1989.
Mothers & Daughters: That Special Quality: An Exploration in Photographs with Estelle Jussim, 1995.
The Riddle of Life And Death with Leo Tolstoy, 2007.
Tea with Mr. Rochester endpapers
Frances Towers, born in Calcutta in 1885, was the eldest of five children of a British Government telegraph engineer. She went to school in Bedford from the age of nine and between 1905-31 worked at the Bank of England, as a clerk and then as Assistant to the Supervisor.
She wrote articles and entered literary competitions and spent her holidays abroad indulging her passions for Gothic architecture, Old Masters and mountains; her first short story was published in 1929. During the late 1930s 'Miss Fay', as she was known to her pupils, began teaching English and History at Southlands School, Harrow, where her sister was headmistress.
Most of Frances Towers' short stories were written during the late 1940s, but she died suddenly of pneumonia on New Year's Day 1948, the year before the publication of her only book Tea with Mr Rochester.
Our own Fleur Fisher's Review.
Pamela Frankau (January 3, 1908 - June 9, 1967) was a popular British novelist. Her father was the novelist Gilbert Frankau and her mother the satirist Julia Davis. Her uncle was the British radio comedian, Ronald Frankau.
She had success as a writer from a young age. A relationship with the married Humbert Wolfe ended only with his death in 1940. She then ceased to write for a long period. During the Second World War, she worked for the BBC, the Ministry of Food and with the Auxiliary Territorial Service.
First published in 1954, A Wreath for the Enemy is perhaps her best loved novel and is still in print on both sides of the Atlantic (McPherson & Virago). In the novel the events of one night transform what appears at first to be a typical adolescent crisis into a prolonged struggle for self-definition on the part of the novel's teenage protagonist. In part autobiographical, Frankau clearly identified with her lead character who is presented as a writer in development.
Frankau became a Roman Catholic convert in 1942, and spent much time in the United States. She was married there, though only for a few years. She returned to England in 1953. A long lesbian relationship with the theatre director Margaret Webster began in the 1950s.
Marriage of Harlequin (1927)
The Fig Tree (1928)
The Black Minute, and other stories (1929)
Three. A Novel (1929)
She and I (1930)
Born at Sea (1931)
Letters from a Modern Daughter to her Mother (1931)
The Devil We Know (1931)
“I was the Man.” (1932)
Women are so Serious, and other stories (1932)
The Foolish Apprentices (1933)
A Manual of Modern Manners (1933)
Walk into my Parlour (1933)
Tassell-Gentle (1934) as Fly Now Falcon (US)
I Find Four People (1935) autobiography
Fifty-Fifty, and other stories (1936)
Villa Anodyne (1936)
Some New Planet (1937)
No News (1938)
A Democrat Dies (1939)
The Devil We Know (1939)
Shaken in the Wind (1948)
The Willow Cabin (1949)
The Offshore Light (1952)
The Winged Horse (1953)
To The Moment of Triumph (1953)
A Wreath for the Enemy (1954)
The Bridge (1957)
Ask me no More (1958)
Road through the Woods (1960)
Pen to Paper. A novelist's notebook (1961)
Letter to a Parish Priest (1962)
Sing for Your Supper (1963)
Slaves of the Lamp (1965)
Over the Mountains (1967)
Colonel Blessington (1968) posthumous, editor Diana Raymond
She is lovely Cate. And I didn't realize how very much I have to look forward to. I loved The Willow Cabin and told myself I would be looking for more by her, thinking that it would be quite a search. But, oh my, how my wish list has grown and with all of her works, I should be able to find quite a few.
Thank you our own lovely Cate. I so appreciate all of your efforts and time.
I am off to seek out more Pamela Frankau
Belva - A Wreath for the Enemy is one of my favorite Viragos of all time. I did not, however, like The Willow Cabin. (At least I think it was The Willow Cabin. I read The Winged Horse at the same time.) Anyway, I was not in sympathy with the subject matter and where you wept buckets, I seem to remember that my response was a hollow laugh and a fist pump.
I just discovered that Road Through the Woods is available through Internet Archive.
It cracks me up how we can talk books the way we do and yet have totally different takes on a lot of them.
I think that I must be a wimp and you must have a cold heart. LOL!~!
wee wet rock
Charlotte Lennox (c. 1730 – January 4, 1804) was a British author and poet of the 18th century.
She is most famous now as the author of The Female Quixote (1752) and for her association with Samuel Johnson, Joshua Reynolds, and Samuel Richardson, but she had a long career and wrote poetry, prose, and drama.
Female Quixote or The Adventures of Arabella (a satire parodying Cervantes' style) tells of Arabella spending her time reading romances at her father's secluded castle. She began believing the romances to be true and models her life after them. Arabella's obsessions lead her through many adventures. After diving into a river, she falls ill, and a doctor comes to treat her. Using cold logic, he dissolves Arabella's misconceptions.
Lennox died in London on January 4, 1804 at the age of 84.
Poems on Several Occasions (1747)
The Art of Coquetry (1750)
The Life of Harriot Stuart (1751)
The Female Quixote (1752)
The Sister (1762)
Old City Manners (1775)
Barbara, I just plain love you. You crack me up. Yes, something like that. That's a dandy!~!
hugs to you and Paolina too.
love you guys.
Jean Margaret Laurence, CC (née Wemyss) 18 July 1926 – 5 January 1987.
One of Canada's most esteemed and beloved authors by the end of her literary career, Laurence began writing short stories shortly after her marriage, as did her husband. Each published fiction in literary periodicals while living in Africa, but Margaret continued to write and expand her range. Her early novels were influenced by her experience as a minority in Africa. They show a strong sense of Christian symbolism and ethical concern for being a white person in a colonial state.
Margaret Laurence: The First Lady of Canadian Literature
A Tree for Poverty (1954) Anthology of Somali poetry and folk stories
This Side Jordan (1960)
The Tomorrow-Tamer (1963) Collection of ten short stories set in West Africa
The Prophet's Camel Bell (1963) Non-fiction account of Laurence's life in British Somaliland
The Stone Angel (1964) was set in the fictional town of Manawaka, Manitoba (based on Neepawa, Manitoba, where Laurence grew up).
A Jest of God (1966) was also set in Manawaka. It won the Governor General's Award in 1967. The book was made into the 1968 movie Rachel, Rachel, starring Joanne Woodward.
Long Drums and Cannons: Nigerian Dramatists and Novelists 1952-1966 (1968)
A Bird in the House (1970) Collection of short stories
Jason's Quest (1970) Children's book
The Diviners (1974)
Heart of a Stranger (1976) Essays
Six Darn Cows (1979) Cchildren's book
The Olden Days Coat (1980) Children's book
A Christmas Birthday Story (1982) Children's book
Dance on the Earth: A Memoir (1989)
Margaret Laurence was one of the loveliest people as well. She was the Writer in Residence at Trent University in Peterborough when I was an undergrad, as she lived just up the road in Lakefield, Ontario. We were encouraged to take our writing to her and she was encouraging, thoughtful and honest in her appraisals. She was also very shy so that when she spoke to our class she trembled. I adored her.
I read The Fire-Dwellers just last week and look forward to reading more of her books, especially after reading these two posts!
Louise Bryant (December 5, 1885 – January 6, 1936) was an American journalist and writer. She was best known for her Marxist and anarchist beliefs and her essays on radical political and feminist themes. Bryant published articles in several radical left journals during her life, including Alexander Berkman's The Blast.
Bryant was born Anna Louisa Mohan in San Francisco, California. Her father, Hugh Mohan was a coal miner from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who made his way west with the Railroad crews. Her mother remarried Sheridan Bryant and Louise took her stepfather's name. The family moved to Nevada where Louise was a student at the University of Nevada. She later moved to the University of Oregon in Eugene. Her senior thesis was about the Modoc Indian War of Southern Oregon and was completed in 1908.
Bryant returned to San Francisco to become a journalist after graduation but was soon nudged, for financial reasons, to teach "school" in Salinas, California in her words "in a remote area, forty miles from a train station". She also wrote that "Mexicans and Spaniards are my students." She moved back to Oregon and became involved with the Suffrage Movement in Portland, worked for the Spectator, and married Paul Trullinger.
Bryant met journalist John Reed in Portland, Oregon while he was visiting his family after attending Harvard and moving in "Radical" circles of the Village in New York CIty. Louise moved with him to New York City, and amicably divorced Trullinger several months later. Reed and Bryant together traveled to Russia in 1917 where they witnessed the October Revolution. Both published books about the event, Reed's Ten Days that Shook the World and Bryant's Six Red Months in Russia.
Bryant was with Reed when he died of typhus in 1920. He is the only American to be buried at the Kremlin in Moscow.
In a 1920 letter to a friend, Bryant spoke of her typhus-stricken husband’s death in Moscow and how she watched Soviets pass his grave:
“I have been there in the busy afternoon when all Russia hurries by,” she wrote. “Once some of the soldiers came over to the grave. They took off their hats and spoke very reverently: ‘What a good fellow he was!” said one. ‘He came all the way across the world for us. He was one of ours.”’
Louise Bryant continued to work following her second husband's death and became a leading reporter for the Hearst newspaper chain.
After Reed's death, Bryant married William C. Bullitt in early 1924. The couple had one child, Anne, together. Becoming ill with what was diagnosed in 1928 as Adiposis dolorosa, "Dercum's Disease," and despite several treatments including stays at Dr. Dengler's Sanatorium in Baden Baden, Germany and a few sessions with Sigmund Freud in 1929, Bryant continued efforts to be a wife, mother, and writer.
Bullitt divorced Bryant in 1930, upon learning of her alleged lesbian affairs in Paris.
Upon her death in 1936, Bryant's personal papers were transferred to Bullitt, where they remained until their daughter Anne donated Bullitt's papers to his alma matter Yale University in 2004. Upon preparing them for transport to Yale, Bryant's papers were discovered amidst Bullitt's, and they currently reside in Sterling Memorial Library.
She died on Jan. 6, 1936 of a brain hemorrhage in Paris and is buried in Des Gonards Cemetery in Versailles, France.
The Louise Bryant Archives
Frances Burney (13 June 1752 – 6 January 1840), also known as Fanny Burney and, after her marriage, as Madame d’Arblay, was an English novelist, diarist and playwright.
She was born in Lynn Regis, now King’s Lynn, England, on 13 June 1752, to musical historian Dr Charles Burney (1726–1814) and Mrs Esther Sleepe Burney (1725–62). The third of six children, she was self-educated and began writing what she called her “scribblings” at the age of ten. In 1793, aged forty-two, she married a French exile, General Alexandre D'Arblay. Their only son, Alexander, was born in 1794. After a lengthy writing career, and travels that took her to France for more than ten years, she settled in Bath, England, where she died on 6 January 1840.
The History of Caroline Evelyn, (ms. destroyed by author, 1767.)
Evelina: Or The History of A Young Lady's Entrance into the World, London: Thomas Lowndes, 1778.
Cecilia: Or, Memoirs of an Heiress, 1782.
Camilla: Or, A Picture of Youth, 1796.
The Wanderer: Or, Female Difficulties, London: Longmans, 1814.
Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960) was an American folklorist, anthropologist, and author during the time of the Harlem Renaissance. Of Hurston's four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Color Struck (1925) in Opportunity Magazine, play
How It Feels to Be Colored Me (1928)
"Hoodoo in America" (1931) in The Journal of American Folklore
The Gilded Six-Bits (1933)
Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934), novel
Mules and Men (1935), non-fiction
Tell My Horse (1937)
Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), novel
Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939), novel
Dust Tracks on a Road (1942), autobiography
Seraph on the Suwanee (1948), novel
"What White Publishers Won't Print", Negro Digest (1950)
I Love Myself When I Am Laughing...and Then Again When I Am Looking Mean and Impressive: A Zora Neale Hurston Reader (edited by Alice Walker; introduction by Mary Helen Washington) (1979)
Sanctified Church (1981)
Spunk: Selected Stories (1985)
Mule Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life (play, with Langston Hughes; edited with introductions by George Houston Bass and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and the complete story of the Mule bone controversy.) (1991)
The Complete Stories (introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Sieglinde Lemke) (1995)
Collected Plays (introduction by Jean Lee Cole and Charles Mitchell) (2008)
Film and television
In 1989 PBS aired a drama based on Hurston's life titled Zora is My Name!.
The 2004 film, Brother to Brother, set in part during the Harlem Renaissance, featured Hurston (portrayed by Aunjanue Ellis).
Their Eyes Were Watching God was adapted for a 2005 film of the same title by Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions, with a teleplay by Suzan-Lori Parks. The film starred Halle Berry as Janie Starks.
On April 9, 2008 PBS broadcast a 90-minute documentary Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun written and produced by filmmaker Kristy Andersen, as part of the American Masters series.
In 2009, Hurston was featured in a 90-minute documentary about the WPA Writers' Project titled Soul of a People: Writing America's Story, which premiered on the Smithsonian Channel. Her work in Florida during the 1930s is also highlighted in the companion book, 7979892::Soul of a People: The WPA Writers' Project Uncovers Depression America.
Jean Devanny, (Jane Crook) was born on 7 January 1894 at Ferntown, Collingwood, New Zealand, eighth of ten children of William Crook, boilermaker and miner, and his wife Jane, née Appleyard.
She left school at 13 but read voraciously, observed constantly and was profoundly influenced by the premature death of her father and by trade union militancy. When barely 17 she met the militant Francis Harold (Hal) Devanny (1888-1966); they married in 1911 at Palmerston and soon had a son and two daughters. Jean became active in the labour movement, early contact with Marxist and other theories of socialism leading to the public speaking that filled much of her life.
'Spiritually committed to writing' by about 1923, her first novel, The Butcher Shop (1926), was a succès de scandale for its explicit condemnation of sexual oppression in marriage. Over the next three decades she published twenty books and many short stories and articles in Australia, England, United States of America, Germany and Russia.
The Devannys moved to Sydney in 1929, hoping to improve the health of their son who died in 1934. Jean was employed as a domestic in western New South Wales, then joined the Australian Communist Party in late 1930 or early 1931, was appointed national secretary of Workers' International Relief and in 1931 attended its Berlin conference. Despite an eight months organizing tour on behalf of the party in Queensland in 1935, she faced increasing official dissatisfaction which resulted in 1940 in her expulsion. Although she rejoined the party in 1944, she had lost many illusions and left it in 1949.
Jean Devanny played an active role in literary organizations. She helped to found the Writers League with Katharine Susannah Prichard and Egon Kisch, and was its first president in 1935; in 1937 it was converted into the Writers Association. By 1945 she was a leading light in the presentation by the Fellowship of Australian Writers of a submission to the Tariff Board seeking literary protection. The last two decades of her life were spent in North Queensland. During this period, she documented much of the area in very readable 'walkabout' books and articles.
Jean Devanny had close friendships with Miles Franklin, Marjorie Barnard and Winifred Hamilton, but her literary contemporaries found her intensity disturbing. To Miles Franklin she was 'vivid, valiant, temerarious', a person of extraordinary energy. Nettie Palmer respected her courage, admired her generosity and friendliness but 'resented her general cocksureness'. Hugh McCrae spoke of 'a tongue like an axe in a wood-chopping contest'.
For Jean, the novel was an instrument for propaganda, written often in a 'fiery agitational style'. Well aware of her own literary defects, Devanny feared she had wasted her life: 'I realise now that I have not exploited the small measure of ability for writing I possess one whit. I never really got down to it and THOUGHT. Thought was reserved for politics'.
Jean Devanny died with chronic leukaemia at Townsville on 8 March 1962 and was cremated at Rockhampton.
From the Australian Dictionary of Biography
Devanny's Australian Novels
Bibliography (as best assembled from various sources...)
Bird of Paradise
By Tropic Sea and Jungle
Out of Such Fires
Butcher Shop, 1926
Lenore Divine, 1926
Dawn Beloved, 1928
Bushman Burke, 1930
Devil Made Saint, 1930
Poor Swine, 1932
Devil Made Sait, 1930
Virtuous Courtesan, 1935
Sugar Heaven, 1936
Cindie, 1949 - Virago Modern Classics
Point of Departure, 1986 - autobiography
I got to take Tillie Olsen out for coffee when I was an undergraduate at UNC. I was her assigned companion for the day. It was my job to get her from place to place. In between one of her campus engagement, she said to me "why don't we just go out for coffee and talk." I was thrilled.
Get Out Mary!~! No shit? Wow!
That must have been some day!
What a tale for your grandchildren one day.
Tui AND Mary, both experiences very cool!
Tui, that Miss Laurence trembled as she spoke says so much about her gentle soul. Did you show her your writing? I can picture you sitting across from her at the kitchen table.
Mary, a one-on-one for the afternoon! How exhilarating! Were you familiar with Olsen's works at the time? Do you remember the conversations?
It's the birthday of (Margaret) Storm Jameson, (8 January 1891 – 30 September 1986) born in Whitby, Yorkshire, England, who in her 95 and one-half years wrote more than 45 novels. They were popular in England in the first half of the 20th century. After a book called The Pot Boils (1919), she wrote a trilogy of novels based on her own family of Yorkshire shipbuilders. These books, The Lovely Ship, The Voyage Home, and A Richer Dust, were published in 1932 as The Triumph of Time: A Trilogy.
She traveled extensively around Europe, adored France, and spent a lot of time during the course of World War II helping writers exiled from Germany and Eastern Europe find safe places to live. She wrote in her autobiography: "Writing is only my second nature. ... I would rather run around the world, looking at it, than write."
After the war she came to the States for a brief teaching stint at the University of Pittsburgh. She wasn't very fond of America in general, but she really loved the city of Pittsburgh — which surprised many of her American colleagues. She said that Pittsburgh was a "splendid city" and said that it reminded her of Europe. And she liked the people there.
She married the writer Guy Chapman. He said that the first time he met her, "she was wearing a heavy coat over a faded pink knitted dress, and a hat which did not suit her. ... She was rather lovely, with long cool grubby fingers, and she held herself badly: she made me think of a well-bred foal, unbroken and enchantingly awkward. Something she said at that first meeting, I forget what, made me laugh with pure pleasure."
Margaret Storm Jameson's novels include The Pitiful Wife (1923), Lady Susan and Life: An Indiscretion (1924), That Was Yesterday (1932), The Single Heart (1932), Love in Winter (1935), Delicate Monster (1937), The World Ends (1937), The Captain's Wife (1939), and Hear Singing: A Fantasy in C Major (1942).
Her advice to young aspiring novelists: wait until your "early 30s" until attempting to write a novel. She said that it was important not to wait too long, "not so long that the terrible sharpness of young senses — like the sharpness of sensual excitement which makes a traveler's first moments in a foreign country worth more to him in insight and emotion than a year's stay — had lost their acuteness, but long enough to be able to see … with a margin of detachment."
She said, "Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed."
The Pot Boils (1919)
The Happy Highways (1920)
Modern Drama in Europe (1920)
The Clash (1922)
Lady Susan and Life: An Indiscretion (1923)
The Pitiful Wife (1923)
Three Kingdoms (1926)
The Lovely Ship (1927) The Triumph of Time I
Farewell to Youth (1928)
The Georgian Novel and Mr. Robinson (1929)
The Voyage Home (1930) The Triumph of Time II
The Decline of Merry England (1930)
Richer Dust (1931) The Triumph of Time III
The Single Heart (1932)
That Was Yesterday (1932)
Women Against Men (1933)
No Time Like the Present (1933) autobiography
A Day Off (1933)
Company Parade (1934)
Mirror in Darkness (1934)
Love in Winter (1935)
Challenge to Death (1935) editor, essays
None Turn Back (1936)
In the Second Year (1936)
The Moon is Making (1937)
Delicate Monsters (1937)
Here Comes a Candle (1938)
The Novel in Contemporary Life (1938)
Farewell Night, Welcome Day (1939)
Civil Journey (1939)
Cousin Honoré (1940)
Europe to Let (1940)
The End of This War (1941)
The Fort (1942)
Then We Shall Hear Singing: A Fantasy in C Major (1942)
London Calling : A Salute to America (1942)
Cloudless May (1943)
The Journal of Mary Hervey Russell (1945)
The Other Side (1946)
Before the Crossing (1947)
The Black Laurel (1947)
The Moment Of Truth (1949)
The Writer's Situation (1950) essays
The Hidden River (1952)
The Green Man (1952)
The Intruder (1956)
A Cup of Tea for Mr. Thorgill (1957)
A Ulysses Too Many (1958)
Last Score,or the Private Life of Sir Richard Ormston (1961)
Morley Roberts: The Last Eminent Victorian (1961)
The Road from the Monument (1962)
A Month Soon Goes (1962)
The Aristide Case (1964)
The Early Life of Stephen Hind (1966)
The White Crow (1968)
Journey from the North (1969) two volumes, autobiography
Parthian Words (1970)
There Will Be A Short Interval (1973)
Speaking of Stendhal (1979)
>22: yes, Cate, I did...it was in an office at the University, not her kitchen table. Although her house in Lakefield came up for sale a few years ago... I wondered if I bought it if the writing vibes would seep into me somehow. And yes, I left a story I had written with her.
Re the trembling: I think she was very strong as a person but she was very, very shy, especially in front of crowds.
Tui, I'm awed. If I had met Margaret Laurence, I would have been so tongue-tied awkward that she would have lost her shyness in feeling sorry for me. OR have been so irritated that she would have lost me. I adore her at long distance. Mary, I'm less awed because I haven't read my Tillie Olson yet. (The only person I was ever allowed to guide around my little campus was a former ambassador from Columbia. I thought that he was greasy and wasn't awed at all. Hubris reigns.)
I love Margaret Laurence's work and I can imagine she would've been shy. I had a summer job on the West Coast of the south island of NZ and used to have amazing conversations about books with the local post mistress. She told me she wrote and had completed a book she was trying to get published. It turned out she had written The Bone People and was Keri Hulme.
She was situationally very shy although at the same time extremely friendly and outgoing. You might meet her in the evenings in the local pub but equally you might not see her for days. At the time I met her she had withdrawn her book from a publishing contract because they'd tried to alter it. So she was completely her own person and quite confident and yet, at the same time, totally reclusive. She refused to go to London to accept her Booker. That is the closest I've ever come to a published author and although I remember her very clearly she would not know me from a bar of soap.
I'm very impressed by the stories of two of my favourite writers -
Tillie Olsen and Margaret Laurence. Though Olsen's writing output was small, she also provided a generational writing link - she had work published in left wing literary journals in the 30s, and late in her life she wrote introductions and encouraged support for a new generation of writers including black women.
As well as Tell Me a Riddle and Yonondio which are VMCs, Silences is about how women (and others) can be silenced as writers. Olsen was a young single mother, she married again but struggled for many years to find time to write from necessary (low) paid work, childcare commitments (and possibly political engagement as well).
I also love Margaret Laurence's Manawaka novels - I haven't read the African book but maybe I should.
I haven't read her work but the Keri Hulme story is amazing too - my mum's parents were from New Zealand so I do like to read NZ writers' work.
Barbara Euphan Todd. (9 January 1890 – 2 February 1976) was a British writer, most notable for her children's books about the scarecrow Worzel Gummidge.
endpaper from Persephone's Miss Ranskill Comes Home
Todd was born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, the only child of Anglican minister Thomas Todd and Alice Maud Mary (née Bentham), but was brought up in the rural village of Soberton in Hampshire. She was educated at a girls' school in Guildford in Surrey.
She worked as a VAD during World War I, and after her father's retirement lived with her parents in Surrey and began writing. Her early work was published in magazines such as Punch and The Spectator.
In the 1920s, she started writing books for children and collaborated with her husband Commander John Graham Bower, RN (1886–1940), whom she married in 1932. The couple moved to an artistic colony in Blewbury near Oxford, where Bower, an officer in the Royal Navy, wrote fiction and essays under the pseudonym 'Klaxon'. As Barbara Euphan, in 1935 Todd wrote South Country Secrets and The Touchstone with her husband.
In 1946, after the death of her husband in World War II, she wrote her only adult novel, Miss Ranskill Comes Home (1946), about a woman who returns to England after being stranded on a desert island during the war. It was reissued in 2003 by Persephone Books.
Among other works written by Todd were folkstories adapted for radio, plays and stories written in collaboration with other writers, and two volumes of poetry, Hither and Thither (1927) and The Seventh Daughter (1935).
In 1936 she wrote what would become her best known-work, Worzel Gummidge or The Scarecrow of Scatterbrook. The title character is a scarecrow that comes to life. She would later write nine other books featuring the character.
In the 1950s Denis and Mabel Constanduros collaborated with Todd on a series of Worzel Gummidge radio plays for children. In 1967 five Worzel Gummidge stories were narrated by Gordon Rollings in five episodes of the BBC children's serial Jackanory. Todd continued to write novels into the 1970s, but her best work was by then behind her. She died in 1976, just as negotiations were in progress for the television rights to the Worzel Gummidge books.
Her stepdaughter, Mrs. Ursula Betts (née Bower), the wife of Frederick Nicholson Betts, remembered her as "warm and kind" but recalled mainly her "dry- and sometimes wry - sense of humour," the earmark of her Worzel Gummidge books.
Alethea Catharine Hayter OBE (7 November 1911 - 10 January 2006) was an English author and British Council Representative.
Hayter was the daughter of Sir William Goodenough Hayter, a legal adviser to the Egyptian government, and his wife, Alethea Slessor, daughter of a Hampshire rector. Her brother, another Sir William Goodenough Hayter, went on to become British ambassador to the Soviet Union and Warden of New College, Oxford, while her sister Priscilla Napier was a biographer.
Hayter spent her early years in Cairo, Egypt, in the years before the First World War, where the three Hayter children were well taught by a governess. The children’s lives changed dramatically when their father died, still in his fifties, and they returned to England in reduced circumstances. Alethea Hayter was only twelve years old. Her sister Priscilla later described their happy childhood in Cairo in her memoir A Late Beginner (1966). The three all won scholarships for their higher education.
Hayter was educated at Downe House School, in Berkshire, then under the headship of its founder Olive Willis, and at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where she arrived in 1929 and went on to graduate BA in modern history. Of her time at Oxford, Hayter later wrote "We were conventional and innocent, though we considered ourselves pioneering and revolutionary — not in politics, we were not much interested in them, but in our preferences in literature, the arts, social values... In our Oxford days, none of us could have boiled a potato, let alone made a soufflé, or would have known an azalea from a stinging nettle."
She never married.
Following her years at Oxford, Hayter was on the editorial staff of Country Life until 1938. During the Second World War she worked in postal censorship in London, Gibraltar, Bermuda, and Trinidad.
In 1945, she joined the British Council, and in 1952 was posted to Greece as an assistant Representative. In 1960, she went to Paris as Deputy Representative and assistant cultural attaché, and her apartment on the Île Saint-Louis became a meeting place for writers and artists. Her last British Council posting was as Representative to Belgium, and she retired in 1971.
She was a member of the governing bodies of the Old Vic and the Sadler's Wells Theatre and of the management committee of the Society of Authors.
Hayter Obit - Guardian
Hayter Obit - Times UK
Hayter Obit - Independent UK
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1962)
A Sultry Month (1965)
Opium and the Romantic Imagination (1968)
Horatio's Version (1972)
A Voyage in Vain (1973)
Charlotte M. Yonge (British Council's Writers and their Work series, 1996)
Lavinia Mynors (1996)
The Wreck of the Abergavenny (2002)
Elspeth Joscelin Huxley CBE (23 July 1907 - 10 January 1997) was a polymath, writer, journalist, broadcaster, magistrate, environmentalist, farmer, and government advisor.
She wrote 30 books; but she is best known for her lyrical books The Flame Trees of Thika and The Mottled Lizard which were based on her experiences growing up in a coffee farm in Colonial Kenya. Her husband, Gervas Huxley, was a grandson of Thomas Huxley and a cousin of Aldous Huxley.
Nellie and Major Josceline Grant, Elspeth Grant's parents, arrived in Thika in what was then British East Africa in 1912, when she was 5 years old, to start a life as coffee farmers and colonial settlers. Flame Trees of Thika explores how unprepared for rustic life the early British settlers really were.
Elspeth was educated at a white school in Nairobi. She left Africa in 1925, earning a degree in agriculture at Reading University in England and studying at Cornell University in upstate New York. Elspeth returned to Africa periodically, becoming the Assistant Press Officer to the Empire Marketing Board in 1929.
She married Gervas Huxley, the son of the doctor Henry Huxley (1865-1946) in 1931. They had one son, Charles, who was born in February 1944. She resigned her post in 1932 and traveled widely. During this period, she published her first works including Lord Delamere and the making of Kenya - a biography of the famous settler. In 1948 The Sorcerer's Apprentice - A Journey through Africa was published.
She was appointed an independent member of the Advisory Commission for the Review of the Constitution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (the Monckton Commission). An advocate of colonialism early in life, she later called for independence for African countries.
In the 1960s, she served as a correspondent for the National Review Magazine.
Huxley's Red Strangers was republished by Penguin Books in 1999 and by Penguin Classics in 2000; Richard Dawkins played an important role in getting the book to be republished, and he wrote a preface to the new edition. However, as of 2006, Red Strangers was once again out of print. This work describes life among the Kikuyu of Kenya around the time of arrival of the first European settlers.
There is a biography by Christine S. Nicholls, Elspeth Huxley: A Biography (Harper Collins, 2002). Huxley was a friend of Joy Adamson, the author of Born Free, and is mentioned in the biography of Joy and George Adamson entitled The Great Safari. Elspeth Huxley wrote the foreword to Joy's autobiography The Searching Spirit.
Huxley died in a nursing home at age 89 on 10 January 1997 at Tetbury in Gloucestershire, England.
White Man's Country: Lord Delamere and the Making of Kenya (1935)
Murder at Government House (1937)
Murder on Safari (1938)
Death of an Aryan UK; The African Poison Murders US (1939)
Red Strangers (1939) (ISBN 0141188502)
The Sorcerer's Apprentice: A Journey Through Africa (1948)
The Walled City (1948)
Four Guineas: A Journey Through West Africa (1954)
The Red Rock Wilderness (1957)
The Flame Trees of Thika: Memories of an African Childhood (1959)
A New Earth: An Experiment in Colonialism (1960)
The Mottled Lizard (1962)
The Merry Hippo UK; The Incident at the Merry Hippo US (1963)
A Man from Nowhere (1964)
Back Street New Worlds: A Look at Immigrants in Britain (1964)
With Forks and Hope: An African Notebook (1964)
Brave New Victuals: An Inquiry into Modern Food Production (1965)
Their Shining Eldorado: A Journey Through Australia (1967)
Love among the Daughters (1968)
The Challenge of Africa (1971)
Livingstone and His African Journeys (1974)
Florence Nightingale (1975)
Gallipot Eyes: A Wiltshire Diary (1976)
Scott of the Antarctic (1978)
Nellie: Letters from Africa (1980)
Whipsnade: Captive Breeding for Survival (1981)
The Prince Buys the Manor (1982)
Out in the Midday Sun: My Kenya (1985)
Nine Faces of Kenya (1990)
Peter Scott, Painter and Naturalist (1993)
Afrika, een uitdaging
Mit berühmten Entdeckern auf Abenteuer - Afrika
De laatsten in de Hof van Eden
Jennifer Johnston (born 12 January 1930 in Dublin) is an Irish novelist, winner of the Whitbread Book Award for The Old Jest in 1979, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1977. The Old Jest, a novel about the Irish War of Independence was later made into a film called The Dawning, starring Anthony Hopkins, produced by Sarah Lawson and directed by Robert Knights.
She was born in Dublin, Ireland, to the Irish actor/director Shelah Richards and the playwright Denis Johnston, a cousin of the late actress Geraldine Fitzgerald, via Fitzgerald's mother, Edith. She was educated at Trinity College Dublin, and currently lives in Derry, Northern Ireland. She was born into the Church of Ireland and many of her novels deal with the fading of the Protestant Anglo-Irish ascendancy in the 20th century.
She is a member of Aosdána.
The Captains and the Kings (1972) winner - Author's Club First Novel Award
The Gates (1973)
How Many Miles to Babylon? (1974)
Shadows on Our Skin (1977) shortlisted for the Booker Prize
The Old Jest (1979), winner of a Whitbread Book Award for 1979
The Christmas Tree (novel) (1981)
The Railway Station Man (1985)
Fool's Sanctuary (1988)
The Invisible Worm (1992)
The Illusionist (1995)
Finbar's Hotel, edited by Dermot Bolger (1997) (Contributor)
Two Moons (1998)
The Essential Jennifer Johnston (1999) (contains The Captains and the Kings, The Railway Station Man, and Fool's Sanctuary)
Great Irish Stories of Murder and Mystery (2000) (Contributor)
The Gingerbread Woman (2000)
This is not a Novel (2002)
Grace and Truth (2005)
Foolish Mortals (2007)
The Nightingale and Not the Lark (1981)
Indian Summer (1983)
Andante un Poco Mosso, in The Best Short Plays 1983, (1983)
The Porch (1986)
The Desert Lullaby: A Play in Two Acts (1996)
Emily Hahn (Chinese: 項美麗, January 14, 1905 - February 18, 1997) was an American journalist and author.
Called "a forgotten American literary treasure" by The New Yorker magazine, she was the author of 52 books and more than 180 articles and stories. Her writings in the 20th century played a significant role in opening up Asia to the west.
One of six children of a dry goods salesman and a free-thinking mother, Emily Hahn was born in St. Louis Missouri on January 14, 1905. Nicknamed "Mickey", she moved with her family to Chicago, Illinois when she was 15. In her memoir No Hurry to Get Home, she describes how being prevented from taking a chemistry class in which she was interested caused her to switch her course of study from English to Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In 1926 she was the first women to receive a degree there in Mining Engineering—despite the coolness of the administration and most of her male classmates. It was a testament to her intelligence and persistence that her lab partner grudgingly admitted, "you ain't so dumb!"
After graduation she worked briefly for an engineering company in Illinois, before traveling 2,400 miles (3,900 km) across the United States by car with a female friend, both disguised as men, and then working as a "Harvey Girl" tour guide in New Mexico. Later she traveled to the Belgian Congo, where she worked for the Red Cross, and lived with a pygmy tribe for two years, before crossing Central Africa alone on foot. Her first book, Seductio ad Absurdum: The Principles and Practices of Seduction--A Beginner's Handbook (1930), was a tongue-in-cheek exploration of how men court women.
Her years in Shanghai, China (from 1935 to the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong in 1941) were the most tumultuous of her life. There she became involved with prominent Shanghai figures, such as the wealthy Sir Victor Sassoon, and was in the habit of taking her pet gibbon, Mr. Mills, with her to dinner parties, dressed in a diaper and a minute dinner jacket.
Supporting herself as a writer for The New Yorker, she lived in an apartment in Shanghai's red light district, and became romantically involved with the Chinese poet and publisher Sinmay Zau (traditional Chinese: 邵洵美; pinyin: Shao Xunmei). He gave her the entrée that enabled her to write a biography of the famous Soong sisters, one of whom was married to Sun Yat-sen and another to Chiang Kai-shek.
Hahn frequently visited Sinmay's house, which was highly unconventional for a Western woman in the 1930s. The Treaty of the Bogue was in full effect, and Shanghai was a city divided by Chinese and Westerners at the time. Sinmay introduced her to the practice of smoking opium, to which she became addicted. She later wrote, "Though I had always wanted to be an opium addict, I can't claim that as the reason I went to China."
After moving to Hong Kong, she began an affair with Charles Boxer, the local head of British army intelligence. According to a December 1944 Time article, Hahn "decided that she needed the steadying influence of a baby, but doubted if she could have one. 'Nonsense!' said the unhappily-married Major Charles Boxer, 'I'll let you have one!' Carola Militia Boxer was born in Hong Kong on October 17, 1941".
When the Japanese marched into Hong Kong a few weeks later Boxer was imprisoned in a POW camp, and Hahn was brought in for questioning. "Why?" screamed the Japanese Chief of Gendarmes, "why ... you have baby with Major Boxer?" "Because I'm a bad girl," she quipped. Fortunately for her, the Japanese respected Boxer's record of wily diplomacy.
As Hahn recounted in her book China to Me (1944), she was forced to give Japanese officials English lessons in return for food, and once slapped the Japanese Chief of Intelligence in the face. He came back to see her the day before she was repatriated in 1943 and slapped her back.
China to Me was an instant hit with the public. According to Roger Angell of The New Yorker, Hahn "was, in truth, something rare: a woman deeply, almost domestically, at home in the world. Driven by curiosity and energy, she went there and did that, and then wrote about it without fuss."
In 1945 she married Boxer who, during the time he was interned by the Japanese, had been reported by American news media to have been beheaded; their reunion—whose love story had been reported faithfully in Hahn's published letters—made headlines throughout the United States. They settled in Dorset, England at "Conygar", the 48-acre (190,000 m2) estate Boxer had inherited, and in 1948 had a second daughter, Amanda Boxer (now a stage and television actress in London).
Finding family life too constraining, however, in 1950 Hahn took an apartment in New York City, and visited her husband and children from time to time in England. She continued to write articles for The New Yorker, as well as biographies of Aphra Behn, James Brooke, Fanny Burney, Chiang Kai-Shek, D. H. Lawrence and Mabel Dodge Luhan.
According to biographer Ken Cuthbertson, while her books were favorably reviewed, "her versatility, which enabled her to write authoritatively on almost any subject, befuddled her publishers who seemed at a loss as to how to promote or market an Emily Hahn book. She did not fit into any of the usual categories" because she "moved effortlessly ... from genre to genre."
In 1978 she published Look Who's Talking, which dealt with the controversial subject of animal-human communication (her personal favorite among her non-fiction books); she wrote her last book Eve and the Apes in 1988 when she was in her eighties.
Hahn reportedly went into her office at The New Yorker daily, until just a few months before she died on February 18, 1997 at the age of 92, following complications from surgery for a shattered femur.
"Chances are, your grandmother didn't smoke cigars and let you hold wild role-playing parties in her apartment", said her granddaughter Alfia Vecchio Wallace in her affectionate eulogy of Hahn. "Chances are that she didn't teach you Swahili obscenities. Chances are that when she took you to the zoo, she didn't start whooping passionately at the top her lungs as you passed the gibbon cage. Sadly for you ... your grandmother was not Emily Hahn."
In 1998, Canadian author Ken Cuthbertson published the biography Nobody Said Not to Go: The Life, Loves, and Adventures of Emily Hahn. "Nobody said not to go" was one of her characteristic phrases. In 2005 Xiang Meili (the name given to Hahn by Sinmay) was published in China. It looks back at the life and loves of Hahn in the Shanghai of the 1930s.
Seductio ad Absurdum: The Principles and Practices of Seduction—A Beginner's Handbook (1930)
Beginner's Luck (1931)
Congo Solo: Misadventures Two Degree North (1933)
With Naked Foot (1934)
Steps of the Sun (1940)
The Soong Sisters (1941, 1970)
Mr. Pan (1942)
China to Me: A Partial Autobiography (1944, 1975, 1988)
Hong Kong Holiday (1946)
China: A to Z (1946)
The Picture Story of China (1946)
Raffles of Singapore (1946)
Miss Jill (1947) also as House in Shanghai (1958)
England to Me (1949)
A Degree of Prudery: A Biography of Fanny Burney (1950)
Purple Passage: A Novel About a Lady Both Famous and Fantastic (1950) (published in the UK as Aphra Behn (1951))
Love Conquers Nothing: A Glandular History of Civilization (1952)
Francie Again (1953)
Mary, Queen of Scots (1953)
James Brooke of Sarawak: A Biography of Sir James Brooke (1953)
Meet the British (with Charles Roetter and Harford Thomas) (1953)
The First Book of India (1955)
Chiang Kai-shek: An Unauthorized Biography (1955)
Francie Comes Home (1956)
Diamond: The Spectacular Story of the Earth's Greatest Treasure and Man's Greatest Greed (1956)
Leonardo da Vinci (1956)
Kissing Cousins (1958)
The Tiger House Party: The Last Days of the Maharajas (1959)
Aboab: First Rabbi of the Americas (1959)
Around the World With Nellie Bly (1959)
June Finds a Way (1960)
China Only Yesterday, 1850-1950: A Century of Change (1963)
Africa to Me (1964)
Romantic Rebels: An Informal History of Bohemianism in America (1967)
Animal Gardens (1967)
The Cooking of China (1968)
Recipes: Chinese Cooking (1968)
Times and Places (1970, reissued as No Hurry to Get Home 2000)
Breath of God: A Book About Angels, Demons, Familiars, Elementals and Spirits (1971)
Fractured Emerald: Ireland (1971)
On the Side of the Apes: A New look at the Primates, the Men Who Study Them and What They Have Learned (1971)
Once Upon A Pedestal (1974)
Lorenzo: D. H. Lawrence and the Women Who Loved Him (1975)
Mabel: A Biography of Mabel Dodge Luhan (1977)
Look Who's Talking! New Discoveries in Animal Communications (1978)
Love of Gold (1980)
The Islands: America's Imperial Adventures in the Philippines (1981)
Eve and the Apes (1988)
She sounds fabulous, Cate!
ETA: just dashed over to the BookDepository to order China to Me by her.
She's my kind of lady, Tui. Were you able to get the edition published by Virago Travellers?
Oh! Lucky mE!! I own a V/BT copy of China to Me!!!! I didn't realize what a treasure I have. (And she's beautiful too.)
I never heard of Emily Hahn, but I'll be looking for her work now. What a woman!
I have it too, and this spurs me to put it on top of the TBR pile!
Bridget Boland (13 March 1913 - 18 January, 1988) was born in London, the fourth of six children of John Pius Boland, and Irish Barrister and his Australian wife, Eileen Maloney. Her father was the M.P. for South Kerry between 1900-18 and the family's parliamentary links continued for the next fifty years.
Bridget spent her early years commuting between London - when Parliament was sitting, and South Kerry, during Parliament recess. Thereafter, she was based in London. In 1921 she went to Sacred Heart, Roehampton, which she attended for nine years before going on to Oxford in 1932. She graduated in 1935 and three years later, her first novel, The Wild Geese appeared.
In the same year she collaborated on the script for Gaslight (1940). Thus began her long career as a film script writer. Among Boland's other films The Lost People (1950), War and Peace (1956), Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), Spies of the Air (1939), and The Fake (1953). Boland is best remembered for the war drama The Prisoner (1955).
Bridget Boland also wrote plays. These included: Cockpit (1948); The Damascus Blade (1950); The Return (1953); Temple Folly (1958) and Gordon (1962).
Her other two novels are Portrait of a Lady in Love (1942) and Caterina (1975). In 1976, she and her sister, Maureen, published Old Wives' Lore for Gardeners and in 1978, an autobiography of her childhood, At my Mother's Knee.
Bridget Boland lived in Hampshire until her death.
Ethel Davis Wilson, OC (January 20, 1888 - December 22, 1980) was a Canadian writer of short stories and novels.
The Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, established in 1985 as one of the BC Book Prizes, is awarded annually to the best work of fiction by a resident of British Columbia, Canada. The award is named after novelist and short story writer Ethel Wilson, author of Swamp Angel (1954) and The Innocent Traveller (1949).
Ethel Wilson and Swamp Angel
Hetty Dorval, 1947 (Republished in 2005 by Persephone Books)
The Innocent Traveller, 1949
The Equations of Love, 1952
Swamp Angel, 1954
Love and Salt Water, 1956
Mrs. Golightly and Other Stories, 1961
Ethel Wilson: Stories, Essays, and Letters, 1987 (edited by David Stouck)
On this day in 1926, 33-year-old novelist Vita Sackville-West wrote an impassioned love letter to 43-year-old novelist Virginia Woolf. Vita was a distinguished English writer, had been married for more than a decade, loved her husband, and was attracted to other women. All of these things applied to Virginia Woolf as well.
The two women had met through the Bloomsbury Group of London, which gathered to discuss things like philosophy, literature, and art. Their romance started cautiously, but by the time Vita composed this letter four years after they'd met, she was deeply smitten, languishing and lovesick. She was on a bumpy train ride from Milan to Trieste 85 years ago today when she wrote:
"I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your un-dumb letters, would never write so elementary a phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn't even feel it. And yet I believe you'll be sensible of a little gap. But you'd clothe it in so exquisite a phrase that it would lose a little of its reality. Whereas with me it is quite stark: I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal. So this letter is just really a squeal of pain. It is incredible how essential to me you have become. I suppose you are accustomed to people saying these things. Damn you, spoilt creature; I shan't make you love me any the more by giving myself away like this — But oh my dear, I can't be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don't love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defences. And I don't really resent it. However I won't bore you with any more. We have re-started, and the train is shaky again. I shall have to write at the stations — which are fortunately many across the Lombard plain. The waterfalls in Switzerland were frozen into solid iridescent curtains of ice, hanging over the rock; so lovely. And Italy all blanketed in snow. We're going to start again. I shall have to wait till Trieste tomorrow morning. Please forgive me for writing such a miserable letter."
The following January — a year later — Vita wrote to Virginia:
"My darling, I hoped I should wake up less depressed this morning, but I didn't. I went to bed last night as black as a sweep. The awful dreariness of Westphalia makes it worse: factory towns, mounds of slag, flat country, and some patches of dirty snow. ...
Why aren't you with me? Oh, why? I do want you so frightfully.
I want more than ever to travel with you; it seems to me now the height of my desire, and I get into despair wondering how it can ever be realised. Can it, do you think? Oh my lovely Virginia, it is dreadful how I miss you, and everything that everybody says seems flat and stupid.
I do hope more and more that you won't go to America, I am sure it would be too tiring for you, and anyway I am sure you wouldn't like it. ...
So we bundle along over Germany, and very dull it is — Surely I haven't lost my zest for travel? no, it is not that; it is simply that I want to be with you and not with anybody else — But you will get bored if I go on saying this, only it comes back and back till it drips off my pen — Do you realise that I shall have to wait for over a fortnight before I can hear from you? poor me. I hadn't thought of that before leaving, but now it bulks very large and horrible. What may not happen to you in the course of a fortnight? you may get ill, fall in love, Heaven knows what. I shall work so hard, partly to please you, partly to please myself, partly to make the time go and have something to show for it. I treasure your sudden discourse on literature yesterday morning, — a send-off to me, rather like Polonius to Laertes. It is quite true that you have had infinitely more influence on me intellectually than anyone, and for this alone I love you."
Shortly after she received this letter, Virginia Woolf came up with the idea for a new novel, inspired by Vita, who often liked to dress up in men's clothes. That novel was Orlando: A Biography (1928), about a transgender writer who lives for hundreds of years. Vita's son Nigel wrote, "The effect of Vita on Virginia is all contained in Orlando ... in which she explores Vita, weaves her in and out of the centuries, tosses her from one sex to the other, plays with her, dresses her in furs, lace and emeralds, teases her, flirts with her, drops a veil of mist around her." He calls Orlando "the longest and most charming love letter in literature."
They two ended their affair in the late 1920s but stayed friends until Virginia Woolf's death in 1941. There's a book out from Oxford University Press that chronicles their relationship: Vita and Virginia: The Work and Friendship of Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf (1993), written by Suzanne Raitt.
From The Writer's Almanac
>35 Re: Emily Hahn
I read Nobody Said Not to Go last year and fell in love with this woman. There is a group read of this book scheduled for February in the Missouri Readers group.
Emily Coleman (22 January 1899-13 June 1974) was an American born writer, and a lifelong compulsive diary keeper. She also wrote a single novel, The Shutter of Snow (1930), published under the name Emily Holmes Coleman. This novel, about a woman who spends time in a mental hospital after the birth of her baby, was based on Coleman's own experience of spending time in an insane asylum after contracting puerperal fever and suffering a nervous breakdown.
The diaries she kept as an American expatriate in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, and in England in the 1940s through the 1960s, are valuable for chronicling her relationships with literary friends such as Djuna Barnes, who wrote much of her novel Nightwood while staying with Coleman and others at Peggy Guggenheim's country manor, Hayford Hall. She also wrote about John Holms, Antonia White, Dylan Thomas, Phyllis Jones, George Barker, Gay Taylor, and a number of others.
But Coleman's diaries and other writings are also fascinating psychological revelations of her "passionate," "impatiently earnest" self on an anxious life quest. Coleman was always striving for something in her diaries, for effectiveness as a writer, for a lucid mind, for passion in love, for a seemingly spiritual grace. On her thirty-first birthday in 1930, she reflected on the "conscious effect" of Dante's simple ending to the Inferno and Goethe's words on putting his life in order, comparing her efforts to write and to live with self control.
Coleman's "spiritual odyssey" led her to the Catholic church. In her "efforts to discover God" she struck up a correspondence and later a personal acquaintance with French philosopher and theologian Jacques Maritain and his wife Raissa. She converted in 1944, and all of her writing afterwards was focused on her Catholic faith, which has been described as "mystical" and "fanatical."
"Thus supplied, I started for Saint-Tropez, a picturesque fisher nest in the south of France, in company of Emily Holmes Coleman, who was to act as my secretary. Demi, as she is familiarly called, was a wild wood-sprite with a volcanic temper. But she was also the tenderest of beings, without any guile or rancour. She was essentially the poet, highly imaginative and sensitive. My world of ideas was foreign to her, natural rebel and anarchist though she was. We clashed furiously, often to the point of wishing each other in Saint-Tropez Bay. But it was nothing compared to her charm, her profound interest in my work, and her fine understanding for my inner conflicts."
From Living My Life by Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman, left, dictates the last chapters of her memoirs to her secretary, Emily Holmes Coleman, on a terrace in the South of France. 19 October 1931
Emily Holmes Coleman Italian website (translated)
Attia Hosain (1913-25 January 1998) a writer, feminist and broadcaster. She was born in Lucknow in a taluqdar background.
Attia went to the local La Martiniere Girls' College. She was the daughter of Sheikh Shahid Husain Kidwai and Nisar Fatima, the daughter of Syed Maqbool Hussain Alvi of Kakori. She studied at Isabella Thoburn College from the age of fifteen. She became the first women from a Taluqdar family to graduate from the University of Lucknow in 1933.
She moved to Britain in 1947 and became a broadcaster for the BBC, hosting a popular women's radio programme.
Attia's great-niece is the Pakistani author Kamila Shamsie.
The Attia Hosain Trust at Newnham College, Cambridge was set up to fund public lectures on multiculturalism and is presently (2007) funding the fees of South Asian women students at the College.
Phoenix Fled, 1953
Sunlight on a Broken Column 1961
Cooking the Indian Way, 1967
Margery Sharp (January 25, 1905 - March 14, 1991).
Her best-known book was for children, and although Disney bowdlerised it into animated tosh, it made Margery Sharp more famous than she would otherwise have been. The Rescuers concerned a pair of rodent agents for the Prisoners' Aid Society of Mice, sent on a mission that involves the daring rescue of a Norwegian poet and the thwarting of an evil Persian cat named Mamelouk.
She was born Clara Margery Melita Sharp in Salisbury, 1905. Her output included 26 novels for adults and 14 stories for children. She often wrote from a male perspective and was entirely unsentimental, even when romantic moments were required. Her clear-eyed characters and fastidiously constructed, unpretentious plots made her work suitable for filming, so Cluny Brown and The Nutmeg Tree became movies, and she wrote the 1962 comedy The Notorious Landlady, starring Jack Lemmon and Kim Novak. "I absolutely believe it is fatal ever to write below your best," she said, "even if what you write may never be published."
She married a handsome aircraft engineer and lived happily ever after, but there were hints that she wanted her work to be taken more seriously, and that her comfortable life – the couple lived at the Albany, in Piccadilly – could have been more fulfilling.
Virago, ever the rescuer of forgotten women authors, has republished The Eye of Love, one of her cleverest novels, a double-plotted gem that starts with a love affair between a parcel and a Spanish dancer (at a costume party). The rest of Sharp's adult books are, sadly, out of print.
When accurately displayed, human emotions never date; Sharp's novels, written across half a century, feel fresh despite the vernacular of the times. Her imagery is carefully chosen and always a delight. Describing a family of generous-natured women, she explains that they had reached "a solar pitch of stately jollification", and so had Sharp's writing. She liked the words "tureen" and "vermin", the soft opening "v" of "velvet", "violets" and "voluptuousness". She cared deeply about words, which places her at odds with, and beyond the fashion of, the kind of women who now write pastel-cover tat for chicks and mummies.
From the Independent UK.....Forgotten authors No 16: Margery Sharp
Rhododendron Pie (1930)
Fanfare for Tin Trumpets (1932)
The Nymph and The Nobleman (1932)
The Flowering Thorn (1934)
Sophy Cassmajor (1934)
Four Gardens (1935)
The Nutmeg Tree (1937)
Harlequin House (1939)
The Stone of Chastity (1940)
Three Companion Pieces (1941)
Cluny Brown (1944), which was made into a movie of the same title
Britannia Mews (1946)
The Foolish Gentlewoman (1948)
Lise Lillywhite (1951)
The Gipsy in the Parlour (1954)
Something Light (1960)
The Sun in Scorpio (1965)
In Pious Memory (1967)
The Innocents (1972)
The Lost Chapel Picnic and Other Stories (1973)
The Faithful Servants (1975)
Summer Visits (1977)
The Eye of Love (1957)
Martha in Paris (1962)
Martha, Eric and George (1964)
Lost at the Fair (1965)
The Magical Cockatoo (1974)
The Children Next Door (1974)
The Rescuers series
The Rescuers (1959)
Miss Bianca (1962)
The Turret (1963)
Miss Bianca in the Salt Mines (1966)
Miss Bianca in the Orient (1970)
Miss Bianca in the Antarctic (1971)
Miss Bianca and the Bridesmaid (1972)
Bernard the Brave (1977)
Bernard into Battle (1978)
A thought just crossed my mind. Couldn't we ask Virago to reprint Rhododendron Pie? I have it but, since it is hard to find (and expensive), I think it would be a great idea.
I was just scrolling down to make that same suggestion, Paola. Why not, if they're republishing The Eye of Love...let's get all of her works back into print! I love her too.
>51-53 - Let's try an email to Donna Coonan, the commissioning editor at Virago - I have had some contact with her re VMCs in the past and she is always very helpful and interested to consider "new" titles for VMC editions.
Please do email her, dearest Patri! I cannot think of a better ambassadress (I don't know if the word exists, but it sounds good) than you! :-)))
Patricia, perhaps address your email to both Donna and Lennie Goodings. Miss Goodings has posted on Virago's FB page and seems very approachable. (Good to see you again, mrspenny!)
Amy Witting (26 January 1918 — 18 September 2001) was the pen name of an Australian novelist and poet born Joan Austral Fraser. She was widely acknowledged as one of Australia's "finest fiction writers, whose work was full of the atmosphere and colour or times past".
To coincide with her 80th birthday her Collected Poems were released in 1998, and the sequel to her much-acclaimed novel I for Isobel, Isobel on the Way to the Corner Shop was released in June 1999. In 2000 short stories written over a span of nearly fifty years were published in the collection Faces and Voices. Her work is based on life experiences, from her childhood in Annandale, Sydney, to study at Sydney University in the 1930s; her teaching experiences in both city and country NSW and her work in retirement, teaching English to migrant women. Amy Witting died on 18 September 2001 and her final novel, After Cynthia, was published posthumously later that month.
The Visit (1977)
I for Isobel (19900
A Change in the Lighting (1994)
Maria's War (1998)
Isobel on the Way to the Corner Shop (1999)
After Cynthia (2001)
Short story collections
Faces and Voices (2000)
Travel Diary (1985)
Beauty is the Straw (1991)
Collected Poems (1998)
Caresse Crosby (April 20, 1892 - January 26, 1970), born Mary Phelps Jacob, was a patron of the arts, poet, publisher, and peace activist. She took on the name Polly in childhood. Her parents William Hearns Jacob and Mary Phelps were both descended from American colonial families, William from the Van Renssalear family and Mary from William Phelps.
At age 19, she invented the first modern brassiere to receive a patent and gain wide acceptance.
Her life at first followed convention. In 1915, she married the well-to-do Richard R. Peabody, whose family had arrived in New Hampshire in 1635. They had two children, but following Richard's service in World War I, Richard turned into a drunk who loved to watch buildings burn.
Polly met Harry Crosby at a picnic in 1920 and they had sex within two weeks. Their public relationship scandalized proper blue blood Boston society.
Two years later Richard granted her a divorce and Harry and Polly were married. They immediately left for Europe, where they joined the lost generation of American expatriates. They embraced a bohemian and decadent lifestyle, living off of Harry's trust fund of USD$12,000 a year (or about $153,871 in today's dollars), had an open marriage with numerous ongoing affairs, a suicide pact, frequent drug use, wild parties, and long trips abroad.
At her husband's urging, Polly took the name Caresse in 1924.
In 1925 they began publishing their own poetry as Éditions Narcisse in exquisitely printed, limited-edition volumes. In 1927 they re-christened the business as the Black Sun Press. They became instrumental in publishing some of the early works of many emerging authors who were struggling to get published, including James Joyce, Kay Boyle, Ernest Hemingway, Hart Crane, D. H. Lawrence, Rene Crevel, T. S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound.
In 1929 one of her husband's affairs culminated in his death as part of a murder-suicide or double suicide at the studio of a friend. His death was marked by scandal as the newspapers speculated wildly about whether Harry shot his lover or not. Caresse returned to Paris where she continued to run the Black Sun Press. She was friends with many of the eminent authors of her time, including Robert Duncan, Anais Nin and Henry Miller. She left Europe in 1936 and bought Hampton Manor in Virginia outside Washington D.C. She married Selbert Young, an unemployed, drunk actor sixteen years younger than her. She helped Henry Miller by taking over writing pornography for an anonymous Texas oil baron. Her guests at Hampton Manor included Buckminster Fuller, Salvador Dali, Ezra Pound and other friends from Paris. She began a long-term love affair with black actor-boxer Canada Lee despite the threat of miscegenation laws.
She founded Women Against War. She continued after World War II to try to establish a Center for World Peace at Delphi, Greece. When rebuffed by Greek authorities, she purchased Castello di Rocca Siniblada, a 15th-century castle north of Rome, which she used to support an artists colony. She died of pneumonia related to heart disease in Rome in 1970.
Caresse Crosby from "Always Yes, Caresse," 1962 Film Clip.
Crosses of Gold, Black Sun Press, Paris, 1925
Painted Shores, Black Sun Press, Paris, 1927
The Stranger, Black Sun Press, 1927
Impossible Melodies, Black Sun Press, 1928
Poems for Harry Crosby, Black Sun Press, 1930
The Passionate Years Dial Press, 1953
The Cramoisy Queen: A Life of Caresse Crosby, Hamalian, Linda (2005)
Black Sun: The Brief Transit and Violent Eclipse of Harry Crosby. Wolff, Geoffrey (2003).
The Lady Caroline Lamb (13 November 1785 – 26 January 1828) was a British aristocrat and novelist, best known for her 1812 affair with Lord Byron. Her husband was the 2nd Viscount Melbourne, the Prime Minister. However, she was never the Viscountess Melbourne because she died before Melbourne succeeded to the peerage; hence, she is known to history as Lady Caroline Lamb. Her most famous work is the novel, Glenarvon.
Lady Caroline Lady by Eliza H. Trotter
Caro - The Lady Caroline Lamb Website
Wow, no flies on her, Cate.
ETA: Caresse Crosby that is, not Lady Caroline.
When I grow up, I want to be Caresse Crosby ... aside from the drunk husbands and the pneumonia, that is. Oh, and do you think we could possibly feature her dress and hat in The Glamorous Life?
On this day 93 years ago, modernist fiction writer Katherine Mansfield wrote to editor and essayist John Middleton Murry, whom she'd been dating for more than seven years:
"It is ten minutes past eight. I must tell you how much I love you at ten minutes past eight on a Sunday evening, January 27th 1918.
I have been indoors all day (except for posting your letter) and I feel greatly rested. Juliette has come back from a new excursion into the country, with blue irises — do you remember how beautifully they grew in that little house with the trellis tower round by the rocks? — and all sort and kinds of sweet-smelling jonquils. The room is very warm. I have a handful of fire, and the few little flames dance on the log and can't make up their minds to attack it.
There goes a train. Now it is quiet again except for my watch. I look at the minute hand and think what a spectacle I shall make of myself when I am really coming home to you. How I shall sit in the railway carriage, and put the old watch in my lap and pretend to cover it with a book — but not read or see, but just whip it up with my longing gaze, and simply make it go faster.
My love for you tonight is so deep and tender that it seems to be outside myself as well. I am fast shut up like a little lake in the embrace of some big mountains. If you were to climb up the mountains, you would see me down below, deep and shining — and quite fathomless, my dear. You might drop your heart into me and you'd never hear it touch bottom.
I love you — I love you — Goodnight. Oh Bogey, what it is to love like this!"
They got married that spring, in early May 1918 — but then split up two weeks after their wedding. They reunited shortly later and moved to a villa in Italy, since Katherine was ill with tuberculosis and they hoped the climate would help her health improve. They fought a lot, and less than a year after their wedding date they had taken to living separately.
But it was during that passionate and tumultuous period after their marriage that Katherine Mansfield Murry worked on her famous short story "The Man Without a Temperament," published in 1920. It's a modernist story about marriage, with not a lot of plot, and it features a woman named Jinnie Salesby, who suffers from chronic heart disease, and her long-suffering husband, Robert.
"He stood at the hall door turning the ring, turning the heavy signet ring upon his little finger while his glance travelled coolly, deliberately, over the round tables and basket chairs scattered about the glassed-in veranda. He pursed his lips — he might have been going to whistle — but he did not whistle — only turned the ring — turned the ring on his pink, freshly washed hands."
Flora Macdonald Mayor (20 October 1872, Kingston Hill, Surrey - 28 January 1932, Hampstead, London), was an English novelist and short story writer who published under the name F. M. Mayor.
Mayor's father, Joseph Bickersteth Mayor (1828-1916), was an Anglican clergyman and professor of classics and then of moral philosophy at King's College London; her mother, Alexandrina Jessie Grote (1830-1927), was niece of the utilitarian George Grote as well as the Anglican clergyman and Cambridge moral philosophy professor John Grote.
Flora Mayor read history at Newnham College, Cambridge, before becoming an actress. She later turned to writing. In 1903 she became engaged to a young architect, Ernest Shepherd, who died in India of typhoid before Mayor was able to travel out to join him. She never married, and lived closely with her twin sister Alice MacDonald Mayor (1872-1961).
Mayor's first book was a collection of stories, Mrs Hammond's Children, published in 1902 under the pseudonym Mary Strafford. Her short novel, The Third Miss Symons, was published in 1913 with a preface by John Masefield.
Her best-known novel is The Rector's Daughter (1924). In October 2009, this novel was identified in the BBC's 'Open Book' programme as one of the best 'neglected classics'.
She also wrote ghost stories, which were much admired by M.R. James. Correspondence and other literary papers are held at Trinity College, Cambridge.
The Rector's Daughter
The Third Miss Symons
The Squire's Daughter
>54-55 - an email has been forwarded to Donna re Rhodendron Pie - Let's hope it is viewed favourably - (I like the sound of ambassadress (any chance that title can take me to exotic places with all expenses catered for?) (It is good to be here again Cate).
>62 - A curious coincidence with Katherine Mansfield - she died on the same day as Edith Thompson on 9 January, 1923. Mansfield died peacefully in Switzerland in the evening.
Edith Thompson was hanged in Holloway Prison in London in the early morning. One of the greatest miscarriages of justice in the 20th century!!
Edith Thompson's story has been fictionalised by F Tennyson Jesse and published as a VMC in A Pin to See The Peepshow.
Shirley Hazzard (born 30 January 1931) is an Australian author of fiction and nonfiction. She was born in Australia, but holds citizenship in Great Britain and the United States. Her 1970 novel The Bay of Noon was shortlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize in 2010.
Hazzard was born in Sydney and attended Queenwood School for Girls in Mosman, but left in 1947 to travel through Southeast Asia with her parents. Her first landing was Hiroshima. Her diplomat father took her to Hong Kong, and then she was "brutally removed by destiny" to New Zealand where her father was Australian Trade Commissioner. Hazzard says of her experience of the East that "I began to feel that people could enjoy life, should enjoy life".
Hazzard's early life "was a carbon copy of Helen Driscoll's" (the heroine of The Great Fire). Helen and her brother, the dying Benedict, are described as "wonderfully well-read, a poetic pair who live in literature." Poetry, she says, has always been the centre of her life.
She travelled to Italy in 1956, and worked for a year in Naples.
In 1963, Hazzard married the writer Francis Steegmuller, who died in 1994. As of 2006, she lives in New York City, frequently travelling to her Italian residence in Capri.
Hazzard is best known as the author of four novels and two collections of short fiction, a body of fiction as distinguished as it is small. Her first book, the story collection Cliffs of Fall, was published in 1963. In 1977 her short story "A Long Story Short", originally published in The New Yorker on 26 July 1976, received an O. Henry Award.
The Transit of Venus, her third novel, won the 1980 National Book Critics Circle Award. Her next novel, The Great Fire, which took her twenty years to write, garnered the 2003 National Book Award and the 2004 Miles Franklin Award. It was also shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, longlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize, and named a 2003 Book of the Year by The Economist.
In addition to her fiction, Hazzard has written two books critical of the United Nations — Defeat of an Ideal (1973) and Countenance of Truth (1990) — and an account of her friendship with Graham Greene, Greene on Capri: A Memoir (2000). Her most recent work of nonfiction, The Ancient Shore: Dispatches from Naples (2008) is a collection of Hazzard’s writings on Naples, Italy, co-authored by her late husband, Francis Steegmuller.
In 1984 the Australian Broadcasting Corporation invited Hazzard to give the Boyer Lectures, a series of radio talks delivered each year by a prominent Australian. The talks were published the following year under the title Coming of Age in Australia.
The Evening of the Holiday (1966)
The Bay of Noon (1970) shortlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize
The Transit of Venus (1980)
The Great Fire (2003)
Short story collections
Cliffs of Fall and Other Stories (1963)
People in Glass Houses (1967)
Defeat of an Ideal: A Study of the Self-destruction of the United Nations (1973)
Coming of Age in Australia (1985)
Countenance of Truth: The United Nations and the Waldheim Case (1990)
Greene on Capri: A Memoir (2000)
The Ancient Shore: Dispatches from Naples (2008) (with Francis Steegmuller)
64: I must reread A Pin to See the Peepshow! There is also a novel by Jill Dawson, Fred and Edie about the same case, which I thought was very well done when I read it a few years ago.
Not a Virago author but of interest to Virago readers, Diana Norman died on Thursday 27 January - she wrote historical novels with brilliant female characters, some based on real people. She also wrote a biography of Constance Markievicz and seems to be best known for her recent historical mystery novels written under the name Ariana Franklin.
>66 - I agree Dawson's novel is well written but Tennyson Jesse seems to get to the very essence of Edie Thompson, the woman and illustrates most emphatically her powerlessness and treatment in the legal system. Although she was totally innocent of the crime, she had to be punished for her "immorality". I did read in one article, that her execution probably saved several other female offenders from the same fate as many people in Britain were outraged at her execution.
Rene Weis wrote a very good book on Edith Thompson called Criminal Justice. I read it a couple of years ago and could only read it in small sessions as the story was so distressing.
If you are interested n the life of Constance Markievicz, there is a later re-release of a biography by Anne Marreco called The Rebel Countesswhich is also very good. The life story of Constance's sister, Eva Gore-Booth is just as interesting but she seems to stand in the shadow of Constance.
Diana Norman died noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!
I love love love love the Mistress of the Art of Death series, and to think there will be no more...:-((
I first heard (A Pin to see the Peepshow) as a reading or perhaps a dramatization on the BBC in the late 50s early 60s and never forgot it, so it was amazing to come across the book again by chance many years later but before the advent of the computer and of course you dear smart, bright and well-read Viragos. I agree with all the comments here about how searing and haunting the story of Edith Thompson is. It was only the execution of Ruth Ellis in 1955 that marked the end of the death penalty for women in Britain. There is a biography of ((F Tennyson Jesse)), written by (( Joanna Colenbrander)): (A Portrait of Fryn )and yes she was related to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, he was her great-uncle.
^Pssst....It's square brackets you want, rather than ( ) or (( )).
Mona Caird (née Mona Alison, also called Alice Mona Henryson Caird) (1854?-1932) was a Scottish novelist and essayist whose feminist views sparked controversy in the late 19th century. (The year of her birth is uncertain, sometimes given as 1855 or 1858, but most often 1854.)
She was born in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, daughter of John Alison, Midlothian inventor of the vertical boiler, and Matilda Hector. She wrote stories and plays beginning in her early childhood, which reveal a proficiency in French and German as well as English.
In 1877, she married farmer James Alexander Henryson-Caird, son of Sir James Caird on whose land in Cassencary he worked. Her husband was supportive of her independence, and although he resided primarily at Casencary, she spent only a few weeks a year there, spending much of her time in London and traveling abroad. She associated with literary people, including Thomas Hardy who was an admirer of her work, and educated herself in many areas of the humanities and science. The Cairds had one child, Alister James in 1884, and remained married until his death in 1921.
Caird published her first two novels, Whom Nature Leadeth (1883) and One That Wins (1887), under the pseudonym "G. Noel Hatton", but these drew little attention. Subsequent writings were published under her own name, which came to prominence in 1888 when the Westminster Review printed her long article "Marriage". In it, she analyzed indignities historically suffered by women in marriage and called its present state a "vexatious failure", advocating the equality and autonomy of marriage partners. London's widely circulated Daily Telegraph quickly responded with a series called "Is Marriage a Failure?", which ran three months and drew a reported 27,000 letters from around the world. Feeling that her views had been misunderstood, she published another article called "Ideal Marriage" later that year. Her numerous essays on marriage and women's issues written from 1888 to 1894 were collected in a volume called The Morality of Marriage and Other Essays on the Status and Destiny of Women in 1897.
Continuing to write fiction, Caird published the novel The Wing of Azrael (1889), which deals with the subject of marital rape. In it, Viola Sedley murders her cruel husband in self-defense. Next was a short story collection, A Romance of the Moors (1891). In the title story, a widowed artist, Margaret Ellwood, stirs up the relationship of a young couple by counseling them to each become independent and self-sufficient persons. Her most famous novel, The Daughters of Danaus (1894), is the story of Hadria Fullerton, who has aspirations to become a composer, but finds that the demands on her time by family obligations, both to her parents and as a wife and mother, allow little time for this pursuit. The novel has since been regarded as a feminist classic. Also well known is her short story "The Yellow Drawing-Room" (1892), in which Vanora Haydon defies the conventional separation of "spheres" of men ans women. Such of her works have been referred to as "fiction of the New Woman".
Active in the women's suffrage movement from her early twenties, Caird joined the National Society for Women's Suffrage in 1878, and later the Women's Franchise League , the Women's Emancipation Union, and the London Society for Women's Suffrage. Her essay "Why Women Want the Franchise" was read at the 1892 WEU Conference. In 1908, she published the essay "Militant Tactics and Woman's Suffrage" and participated in the second Hyde Park Demonstration for women's suffrage. She was also an active opponent of vivisection, writing extensively on the subject, including "The Sanctuary Of Mercy" (1895), "Beyond the Pale" (1896), and a play "The Logicians: An episode in dialogue" (1902), in which the characters argue opposing views on the issue.
Caird was a member of the Theosophical Society from 1904 to 1909. Among her later writings are a large illustrated volume of travel essays, Romantic Cities Of Provence (1906), and novels The Stones Of Sacrifice (1915), which depicts harmful effects of self-sacrifice on women, and The Great Wave (1931), a social science fiction which attacks the racist policies of negative eugenics.
Mona Caird died February 4, 1932 at Hampstead.
Whom Nature Leadeth (1883) novel
One That Wins (1887) novel
Marriage (1888) essay
The Wing Of Azrael (1889) novel
The Emancipation of the Family (1890) essay
A Romance Of The Moors (1891) stories
The Yellow Drawing-Room (1892) story
A Defence of the So-Called Wild Women (1892) essay
The Daughters Of Danaus (1894) novel
The Sanctuary Of Mercy 1895) essay
A Sentimental View Of Vivisection (1895) essay
Beyond the Pale: An Appeal on Behalf of the Victims of Vivisection (1897) extended essay
The Morality of Marriage and Other Essays on the Status and Destiny of Women (1897) essays
The Pathway Of The Gods (1898) novel
The Ethics of Vivisection (1900) essay
The Logicians: An episode in dialogue (1902) play
Romantic Cities Of Provence (1906) travel
Militant Tactics and Woman's Suffrage (1908) essay
The Stones Of Sacrifice (1915) essay
The Great Wave (1931) novel
Diana Norman's obituary from the Guardian here:
I'm fascinated to read about Mona Caird -- I'm going to put The Daughter's of Danaus on my wishlist pronto. She's new to me! Thank you, this is a great thread.
Josephine Tey was a pseudonym used by Elizabeth Mackintosh (25 July 1896–13 February 1952) a Scottish author best known for her mystery novels.
Mackintosh was born in Inverness, and attended a physical training college in Birmingham before becoming a teacher. Her literary career began when she was forced to give up regular work in order to care for her invalid father.
In five of the mystery novels she wrote under the name of Josephine Tey, the hero is Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant (he appears in a sixth, The Franchise Affair, as a minor character).
The most famous of these is The Daughter of Time, in which Grant, laid up in hospital, has friends research reference books and contemporary documents so that he can puzzle out the mystery of whether King Richard III of England murdered his nephews, the Princes in the Tower. Grant comes to the firm conclusion that King Richard was totally innocent of the death of the Princes. (The novel has influenced later mystery writers, most notably Barbara Mertz, who writes under the name "Elizabeth Peters". Mertz refers explicitly to Tey in "The Murders of Richard the Third," which sets a country-house murder mystery among a group who believe that Richard III was innocent.)
The Franchise Affair also has a historical context: although set in the 1940s, it is based on the 18th-century case of Elizabeth Canning.
The Daughter of Time was the last of her books published during her lifetime. A further crime novel, The Singing Sands, was found in her papers and published posthumously.
As Gordon Daviot she wrote about a dozen one-act plays and another dozen full-length plays, but only four of them were produced during her lifetime. Richard of Bordeaux was particularly successful, running for fourteen months and making a household name of its young leading man and director, John Gielgud.
Proceeds from Tey's estate, including royalties from her books, were assigned to the National Trust.
Tey appears as a main character in An Expert In Murder (Faber 2008) by Nicola Upson, a detective story woven around the original production of Richard of Bordeaux. The second novel in the series, Angel with Two Faces, was published in 2009; further novels are planned.
Tey is mentioned in the 1982 Stephen King novella, Apt Pupil.
The heroine of Mary Stewart's The Ivy Tree uses Brat Farrar as a model when impersonating the missing heir to an estate. She describes the book as "the best of them all".
Mystery novels by Tey
The Man in the Queue also known as Killer in the Crowd (1929)
A Shilling for Candles (1936) (the basis of Hitchcock's 1937 movie Young and Innocent)
Miss Pym Disposes (1946)
The Franchise Affair (1948) (filmed in 1950 starring Michael Denison and Dulcie Gray)
Brat Farrar or Come and Kill Me (1949)
To Love and Be Wise (1950)
The Daughter of Time (1951)
The Singing Sands (1952)
Oh, how I adore Josephine Tey. I went to a talk last year by Nicola Upson which was really interesting. Upson first started out writing a biography of Tey, but it somehow morphed into her detective books. She had loads of fascinating insight about Tey. When in Scotland, Tey was a solitary spinster who looked after her father and led an extremely quiet life. But when she went to London she lived the high life! Upson said that she'd stay at the very best hotels and the first thing she'd do upon arriving is call to have her furs taken out of storage. She was friends with Gielgud and his crowd and was really the life of the party. Two such different lives.
I read An Expert in Murder and it was OK, but not good enough to tempt me to read the second one, I'm afraid. I think I'd have preferred the biography that never was.
Opal Whiteley (December 11, 1897—February 16, 1992) was an American nature writer and diarist whose childhood journal was first published in 1920 as The Story of Opal in serialized form in the Atlantic Monthly, then later that same year as a book with the title The Story of Opal: The Journal of an Understanding Heart.
Whiteley's true origins and the veracity of her diary were disputed during her lifetime, and continue to be questioned today.
Cicely Mary Barker (28 June 1895 – 16 February 1973) was an English illustrator best known for a series of fantasy illustrations depicting fairies and flowers.
Barker was born on 28 June, 1895 in Croyden, Surrey, England, to Walter Barker and Mary Eleanor Oswald. Walter Barker was descended from a long line of wood carvers, a profession which he also pursued. In 1909, he donated a hand-carved pulpit to the family church, St. Edmund’s in Croydon. His daughter also showed an innate sense of creativity early on, engaging in hours of drawing and painting as a child. She suffered from epilepsy as a child, a condition which disappeared after World War I and never afflicted her again. Because of her illness, she was treated as the baby of the family and overprotected her whole life. In part, this may have contributed to her understanding and portrayal of children in her artwork.
Due to her delicate condition, her parents thought it best to have her educated at home by governesses. Her father paid for a correspondence course in art which she continued until at least 1919. It provided her with details and the constructive criticism that she needed. He also enrolled her in an evening class at the Croyden School of Art when she was thirteen, which she continued to attend into the 1940’s, eventually earning a teaching position there.
At age 15, her father took examples of her work to the publisher Raphael Tuck. They were bought by them and published as a set of postcards. The next year, she won second prize in a poster competition run by the Croyden Art Society. She was soon elected to life membership in the Society, becoming their youngest member.
Barker had a special relationship with her father. He was proud of her and fond of calling her ‘Ciskin’. After her father’s untimely death in 1912, her older sister, Dorothy, tried to support the family with her small teaching salary. Barker also tried to help by selling poetry and illustrations to magazines such as My Magazine, Child’s Own, Leading Strings and Raphael Tuck annuals.
Barker is best-known for her ‘Flower Fairy’ series of books. Fairies were a popular topic at this time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s book The Coming of the Fairies had been published only the year before and included five photographs of fairies taken by two little girls. The photographs had been declared genuine by an expert only to be proven fakes in the 1980’s. Queen Mary was fond of the fairy-themed work of the Australian Ida Rentoul Outhwaite and would send out postcards with her fairy images to her friends. It was also a time when people wanted to escape the harsh realities of progress, and return to a simpler and more innocent pre-scientific age.
Barker’s fairies were based on her knowledge of plants and flowers and her artistic studies of real children, each dressed to represent a different flower. The success of her first volume in 1923, which she also wrote, led to the creation of seven more. Barker created a new costume for each of the fairies, carefully taking them apart when she was done in order to reuse the fabric. She never compiled a book of winter flower fairies. It was not until 1985, 12 years after her death, that Flower Fairies of the Winter was compiled from illustrations and poems in her other 7 Flower Fairies books.
In 1924 Barker had a studio built in the garden of their home at 23 The Waldrons, which also housed her sister’s kindergarten school. In 1961, she told a Croyden Advertiser reporter, “My sister ran a kindergarten and I used to borrow her students for models. For many years I had an atmosphere of children about me—I never forgot it.”
Many of these students appeared as her Flower Fairies until 1940 when her sister closed down the school. After Dorothy died in 1954, Barker designed a stained glass window for St. Edmund’s Church in memory of her sister.
Barker was a devout Christian, contributing designs for postcards and greeting cards over the years to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, the Girls’ Friendly Society, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. In 1925, one of these paintings, ‘The Darling of the World is Come’ was purchased by Queen Mary. In addition, she also made paintings for churches, as well as donating paintings to help raise money.
She continued to paint until her eyesight began to fail her towards to end of her life. She died on February 16, 1973 at the age of 77 years old. Coincidentally, it was the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of her first Flower Fairy book that year.
Who doesn't love Barker's fairies? I grew up believing in them and even to this day have an embossed biscuit tin with her fairies on it.
I used to take my girls, when they were little, to the local library almost every week and the Flower Fairy books were always among their favourites. This was long before computers so it isn't until today that the identity of the author has crystalized for me. So a special thank you to you, Bleuroses, for this post. I have this very minute sent it onto my now grown up girls with instructions to copy and paste Miss Barker's name into Google Images and give themselves a treat because what comes up is a screen full of those exquisite fairies!
Years ago I bought a beautiful edition of the book with her complete fairy collection for my daughter. She does not care for it now, and so guess what I did? I claimed it as my own, and happy to have done so!
Sybille Bedford, OBE (16 March 1911 – 17 February 2006) was a German-born English writer. Many of her works are partly autobiographical. Julia Neuberger proclaimed her "the finest woman writer of the 20th century" while Bruce Chatwin saw her as "one of the most dazzling practitioners of modern English prose"
She was born as Freiin Sybille Aleid Elsa von Schoenebeck in Charlottenburg on the noble outskirts of Berlin to Baron Maximilian Josef von Schoenebeck (1853-1925), a German aristocrat, retired lieutenant colonel and art collector, and his German-Jewish wife, Elizabeth Bernard (born 1888-died 1937).
Sybille was raised in the Roman Catholic faith of her father at Schloss Feldkirch in Baden. She had a half sister, by her father's first marriage, Maximiliane Henriette von Schoenebeck (later Nielsen, aka Jacko or Catsy). Her parents divorced in 1918, and she remained with her father, under somewhat impoverished circumstances, where she was home schooled. He died in 1925, when she was 14 years old and Sybille went to live in Italy with her mother and stepfather, an Italian architectural student. During these years she studied in England, lodging in Hampstead.
In the early 1920s, Sybille often traveled between England and Italy. With the rise of fascism in Italy, though, her mother and stepfather settled in Sanary-sur-Mer, a small fishing village in the south of France. Sybille herself settled there as a teenager, living near Aldous Huxley, with whom she became friends. Bedford interacted with and was influenced by many of the German writers who settled in the area during that time, including Thomas Mann and Bertolt Brecht. During this time, her mother became addicted to morphine prescribed by a local doctor, and became increasingly dysfunctional.
In 1933, Sybille published an article critical of the Nazi regime in Die Sammlung, the literary magazine of Klaus Mann, the son of Thomas Mann. When her Jewish ancestry was subsequently discovered by the Nazis, her German bank accounts were frozen. At this time it was difficult for her to renew her German passport, and staying in Italy without a valid passport or source of income carried the risk of being deported to Germany. Maria Huxley came with a solution in 1935. Maria is known to have said, on occasion who should marry Sybille "We need to get one of our bugger friends". Sybille entered a marriage of convenience with an English Army officer, Walter "Terry" Bedford, (who had been an ex-boyfriend of a former man-servant of W.H Auden's) whom she described as a friend's "bugger butler", and obtained a British passport. The marriage ended shortly thereafter, but Sybille took her husband's surname, publishing all of her later work as Sybille Bedford.
With assistance from Aldous Huxley and his wife Maria, Bedford left France for America in advance of the German invasion of 1940. She followed the Huxleys to California and spent the rest of World War II in America.
After the war, Bedford spent a year traveling in Mexico. Her experiences on that trip would form the basis of her first published book, a travelogue entitled The Sudden View: a Mexican Journey, which was published in 1953. Bedford spent the remainder of the 1940s living in France and Italy. During this time she had a love affair with an American woman, Evelyn W. Gendel, who left her husband for Bedford and became a writer and editor herself.
In the 1950s she became Martha Gellhorn's confidante.
A Legacy, Bedford's second book and first novel, was published in 1956 and was described by Francis King as "one of the great books of the 20th century". Though ostensibly a work of fiction, it was somewhat autobiographical - it presents a stylized version of her father's life, as well as some of the author's early childhood, in Germany. That novel was a success, and enabled Bedford to continue writing. In her lifetime, she published three more novels as well as numerous works of non-fiction. As a writer of non-fiction, Bedford was best known as a travel writer and as a legal reporter.
Bedford spent the 1950s, 60s and 70s living in France, Italy, Britain and Portugal, and during this period had a twenty-year relationship with the American female novelist Eda Lord.
In 1979 she settled in Chelsea in London. In 1981 she was appointed OBE. She worked for PEN, was a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and in 1994 became a Companion of Literature. Bedford's final work was Quicksands, a memoir published in 2005.
The Sudden View: a Mexican Journey - 1953
A Legacy: A Novel - 1956
The Best We Can Do: (The Trial of Dr Adams) - 1958
The Faces of Justice: A Traveller's report - 1961.
A Favourite of the Gods - 1963
A Compass Error - 1968
Aldous Huxley: A biography - 1973
Jigsaw: An Unsentimental Education - 1989
As It Was: Pleasures, Landscapes and Justice - 1990
Pleasures and Landscapes: A Traveller's Tales from Europe
Quicksands: A Memoir - 2005
I am a Bedford fan! Wonderful to read and think about her. She is someone I would love to reread much of. I haven't read the bio of Huxley and a couple of the others.... will have to fix that! Thank you so much!
Ella Maillart (or Ella K. Maillart; February 20, 1903, Geneva - March 27, 1997, Chandolin) was a French-speaking Swiss adventurer, travel writer and photographer, as well as a sportswoman. She had been captain of the Swiss Women's land hockey team and was an international skier. She also competed in the 1924 Summer Olympics as sailor in the Olympic monotype competition.
Ella Maillart, Uzbekistan, 1932
From the 1930s onwards she spent years exploring oriental republics of the USSR, as well as other parts of Asia, and published a rich series of books which, just as her photographs, are today considered valuable historical testimonies. Her early books were written in French but later she began to write in English. Turkestan Solo describes a journey in 1932 in Soviet Turkestan.
In 1934, the French daily Le Petit Parisien sent her to Manchuria to report on the situation under the Japanese occupation. It was there that she met Peter Fleming, a well-known writer and correspondent of The Times, with whom she would team up to cross China from Peking to Srinagar (3,500 miles), much of the route being through hostile desert regions and steep Himalayan passes. The journey started in February 1935 and took seven months to complete, involving travel by train, on lorries, on foot, horse and camelback. Their objective was to ascertain what was happening in Sinkiang (then also known as Chinese Turkestan) where a civil war had been going on. Ella Maillart later recorded this trek in her book Forbidden Journey, while Peter Fleming's parallel account is found in his News from Tartary.
In 1937 Ella Maillart returned to Asia for Le Petit Parisien to report on Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, while in 1939 she undertook a trip from Geneva to Kabul by car, in the company of the Swiss writer, Annemarie Schwarzenbach. The Cruel Way is the title of Ella Maillart's book about this experience, cut short by the outbreak of the second World War.
She spent the war years in the South of India, learning from different teachers about Advaita Vedanta, one of the schools of Hindu philosophy. On her return to Switzerland in 1945, she lived in Geneva and at Chandolin, a mountain village in the Swiss Alps. She continued to ski until late in life and last returned to Tibet in 1986.
Books by Ella Maillart
Turkestan Solo - One Woman's Expedition from the Tien Shan to the Kizil Kum (her journey from Moscow to Kirghizstan and Uzbekistan in 1932)
Forbidden Journey - From Peking to Cashmir (her trek across Asia with Peter Fleming in 1935)
Gypsy Afloat (an account of her years at sea)
Cruises and Caravans (autobiographical narrative)
The Cruel Way (from Geneva to Kabul with Annemarie Schwarzenbach) Virago/Beacon Traveller
Ti-Puss (the story of her years in India with a tiger cat as her companion)
The Land of the Sherpas (photographs and texts on her first encounter with Nepal in 1951)
Publications concerning Ella Maillart
News from Tartary by Peter Fleming, 1936
Mount Ida by Monk Gibbon, 1948
A Forgotten Journey by Peter Fleming, 1952
Love this lady - what a life! I have only read The Cruel Way so far.
Audrey Lilian Barker (13 April 1918 – 21 February 2002) was an English novelist and short story writer. She was born in St Pauls Cray, Kent and brought up in Beckenham. During her lifetime, she published ten collections of short stories and eleven novels, one of which - John Brown's Body - was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1970. She was also the winner of the inaugural Somerset Maugham Prize in 1947, with her collection of short stories called Innocents.
A.L. Barker Obituary, Guardian
A.L. Barker Obituary, Independent
Apology for a Hero (1950)
A Case Examined (1965)
The Middling (1967)
John Brown's Body (1970)
Source of Embarrassment (1974)
Heavy Feather (1978)
Relative Successes (1984)
The Gooseboy (1987)
The Woman Who Talked to Herself (1989)
The Haunt (1999)
Short Story Collections
Novelette, with Other Stories (1951)
The Joy-Ride and After (1963)
Lost Upon the Roundabouts (1964)
Femina Real (1971)
Life Stories (1981)
No World of Love (1985)
Any Excuse for a Party (1991)
Element of Doubt (1992)
Joyce Dennys was born 14 August 1893 in Simla, India. She came from a military family and her father was a professional soldier in the Indian Army. The Dennys family relocated to England in 1886. Joyce was a keen artist from a very young age when she was a young woman she enrolled at Exeter Art School.
Joyce married Tom Evans, a young doctor, in 1919 and they moved to Australia. While living in New South Wales, Joyce's work was constantly in print and her art was exhibited in many galleries.
In 1922, Joyce became a mother and moved back to England. Her drawing took second place to the domestic and social duties of a doctor's wife and mother and she became increasingly frustrated, trying to work whenever she could.
The struggle for women artists to have space to work is a theme that pervades much of her writing. She voiced her frustrations through Henrietta, a heroine she created for Sketch who wrote a series of letters showing a woman's experience of the war. This character was to become very important to her, and she claimed: ‘When I stopped doing the piece after the war, I felt quite lost. Henrietta was part of me. I never quite knew where I ended and she began.' These letters were later compiled to form Henrietta's War.
She died in London on the 23rd February 1991
Eliza Haywood (1693 – 25 February 1756), born Elizabeth Fowler, was an English writer, actress and publisher. Since the 1980s, Eliza Haywood’s literary works have been gaining in recognition and interest. Described as “prolific even by the standards of a prolific age” (Blouch, intro 7), Haywood wrote and published over seventy works during her lifetime including fiction, drama, translations, poetry, conduct literature and periodicals. Haywood is a significant figure of the 18th century as one of the important founders of the novel in English. Today she is studied primarily as a novelist.
Haywood, Delarivier Manley and Aphra Behn were known as the Fair Triumvirate of Wit and are considered the most prominent writers of amatory fiction. Eliza Haywood’s prolific fiction develops from titillating romance novels and amatory fiction during the early 1720s to works focused more on “women's rights and position” in the later 1720s into the 1730s. In the middle novels of her career, women were locked up, tormented and beleaguered by domineering men. In the later novels of the 1740s and 1750s however, marriage was viewed as a positive situation between men and women.
The Female Spectator
Love in Excess or The Fatal Enquiry (1719–1720)
The British Recluse (collected edition 1724)
The Injur’d Husband
Idalia; or The Unfortunate Mistress (1723)
Lasselia; or The Self-Abandon’d
The Rash Resove; or, The Untimely Discovery (1723)
Fantomina; or Love in a Maze (1724)
Secret Histories, Novels, and Poems (4 volumes, 1724)
The Masqueraders; or Fatal Curiosity (1724-5)
The Fatal Secret; or, Constancy in Distress (1724)
The Surprise (1724)
The Arragonian Queen: A Secret History (1724)
The City Jilt; or, The Alderman Turn’d Beau (1726)
The Force of Nature; or, The Lucky Disappointment (1724)
Memoirs of a Certain Island Adjacent to the Kingdom of Utopia (1725)
Bath Intrigues: in four Letters to a Friend in London (1725)
Memoirs of the Baron de Brosse (1724)
The Secret History of the Present Intrigues of the Court of Carimania (1726)
Letters from the Palace of Fame (1727)
The Unequal Conflict (1725)
The Fatal Fondness (1725)
The Mercenary Lover; or, the Unfortunate Heiresses (1726)
The Double Marriage; or, The Fatal Release (1726)
The Distressed Orphan; or, Love in a Madhouse (1726)
Cleomelia; or The Generous Mistress (1727)
The Fruitless Enquiry (1727)
The Life of Madam de Villesache (1727)
Philadore and Placentia (1727)
The Perplex’d Dutchess; or Treachery Rewarded (1728)
The Padlock; or No Guard Without Virtue (1728)
Irish Artifice; or, The History of Clarina (1728)
Persecuted Virtue; or, The Cruel Lover (1728)
The Agreeable Caledonian; or, Memoirs of Signiora di Morella (1728)
The Fair Hebrew; or, A True, but Secret History of Two Jewish Ladies (1729)
The Anti-Pamela; or Feign’d Innocence Detected (1741)
The Fortunate Foundlings (1744)
Life’s Progress through the Passions; or, The Adventures of Natura (1748)
Dalinda; or The Double Marriage (1749)
A Letter from H------ G--------, Esq., One of the Gentlemen of the Bedchamber of the Young Chevalier (1750)
The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless (1751)
The History of Jemmy and Jenny Jessamy (1753)
The Invisible Spy (1754)
I taught Haywood's Fantomina a few years ago. The students were quite surprised by it!
Haywood sounds like a candidate for a VMC revival -- looks like most of her works are out of print.
I really liked The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless. I have yet to read the other Haywoods I've managed to scrounge up, though.
I haven't explored further, but The Fortunate Foundlings at least is available for Kindle for $0! I'm downloading now!!
In researching Miss Haywood, I couldn't help but think of our urania.....Miss Eliza, please, meet Miss Mary! Oh to be a fly on the wall!!
Sara Maitland (born 27 February 1950, London) is a British writer and feminist. An accomplished novelist, she is also known for her short stories. Her work has a magic realist tendency.
Originally spelt Sarah Maitland, she was the second of six children to an upper-class London family, which she has described as "very open and noisy". In her childhood she went to school in a small Wiltshire town and attended a girls' boarding school from age twelve until her admission to university. Maitland thought this school a terrible place and became very excitable.
Growing up, Maitland developed a wild reputation: in 1966 she scandalised one of her brothers by winning a foot race in a very short cotton dress. On entering Oxford University in 1968 to study English, she shared a house with future US President Bill Clinton and suffered from problems of mental disarray and inability to carry out routine tasks. During her college years, Maitland was taken to a mental hospital on several occasions for this reason, but she completed her course and soon turned to writing.
Maitland became regarded as one of those at the vanguard of the 1970s feminist movement and is often described as a feminist writer. Religion is another theme in much of her work: from 1972 to 1993 she was married to an Anglican vicar. In 1993 she became a Roman Catholic. In 1995 she worked with Stanley Kubrick on the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
She has two grown-up children. Polly Lee is an aspiring actress and Adam Lee is beginning a career as a photographer. Since Adam left college, Maitland has moved towards a solitary, prayerful life in a variety of locations, first of all on the Isle of Skye and ultimately in her present house in Galloway. She says today that she wants to avoid most of the comforts of life, especially those that intrude into her quest for silence such as mobile phones, radio, television and even her son. She has described these changes in her life and the experiences leading to them in the autobiographical A Book of Silence.
Maitland's 2003 collection of short stories, On Becoming a Fairy Godmother, is a fictional celebration of the menopausal woman, whilst the title story of 2008's Far North was originally published as "True North" in her first collection Telling Tales and was made into a film of the same title in 2007. The rest of Far North collects dark mythological tales from around the world.
Sara Maitland, A Very Unlikely Modern Hermit
Daughter of Jerusalem 1978 (also published as "The Languages of Love")
Virgin Territory 1984
Arky Types 1987 (with Michelene Wandor)
Three Times Table 1991
Home Truths 1993 (published as Ancestral Truths in the US)
Brittle Joys 1999
Short story collections
Telling Tales 1983
A Book of Spells 1987
Women Fly When Men Aren't Watching 1992
Angel and Me (for Holy Week) 1996
On Becoming A Fairy Godmother Maia, 2003
Far North & Other Dark Tales, 2008
A Map of the New Country: Women and Christianity, 1983
Vesta Tilley Virago, 1986
A Big-Enough God: Artful Theology Mowbray, 1994
Virtuous Magic: Women Saints and Their Meanings (with Wendy Mulford), 1998
Novel Thoughts: Religious Fiction in Contemporary Culture Erasmus Institute, 1999
Awesome God: Creation, Commitment and Joy SPCK, 2002
Stations of the Cross (with Chris Gollon), 2009
A Book of Silence Granta, 2008 (hardcover); 2009 (paperback)
Very Heaven: Looking Back at the 1960s, 1988
The Rushdie File 1990 (with Lisa Appignanesi)
Lorna Sage (1999) The Cambridge Guide to Women's Writing in English, Cambridge University Press
I love the term "mental disarray"....I feel I often suffer from it myself, but I've never had a formal diagnosis!
Susanna Rowson, née Haswell (1762–2 March 1824) was a British-American novelist, poet, playwright, religious writer, stage actress and educator. Rowson was the author of the novel Charlotte Temple, the most popular bestseller in American literature until Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in 1852.
Susanna Haswell was born in 1762 in Portsmouth, England to Royal Navy Lieutenant William Haswell and his first wife, Susanna Musgrave, who died within days of her birth. Her father was stationed in Boston as a customs officer, and there married Rachel Woodward, returning to England to bring his daughter to Massachusetts. On arrival in 1767, their ship grounded on Lovells Island in Boston Harbor, the crew and passengers being rescued from the wreck days later. They lived at Hull, where family friend James Otis took a special interest in her education. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, the father was placed under house arrest, and subsequently the family was moved inland, to Hingham and Abington, Massachusetts. In 1778, the failing health of Lieutenant Haswell led to a prisoner exchange, and the family was sent via Halifax, Nova Scotia to England, settling near Kingston upon Hull. Their American property having been confiscated, they lived in relative poverty, Susanna helping to support the family by serving as a governess.
It was as governess that she wrote her first work, Victoria, dedicated to the Duchess of Devonshire, published in 1786, and in the same year she married William Rowson, a hardware merchant and horse guards trumpeter. In 1791, she published the novel now referred to as Charlotte Temple; it became the first American best-selling novel. After William's hardware business failed, he and Susanna turned to acting. In 1793, as a member of the theater company of Thomas Wignell, she returned to America, performing in Philadelphia.
Over the next three years there she wrote a novel, an opera, a musical farce about the Whiskey Rebellion (The Volunteers), a poetical address to the American troops, and several songs for the company in addition to performing 57 roles on the stage in two seasons. In response to her seemingly new-found republicanism and the liberal gender roles in her work, Slaves in Algiers, she was attacked by William Cobbett who referred to her as "our American Sappho" (she returned fire, calling him a "loathsome reptile" in her introduction to Trials of the Human Heart). In 1796, she and Rowson removed to Boston, performing at the Federal Street Theatre.
The next year, she gave up the stage, and founded a boarding school for girls, which she would later move to Medford and Newton, returning to Boston in 1809 and training hundreds of girls. She also continued her writings, producing several novels, an additional work for the stage, a dictionary and two geographies as well as being editor of the Boston Weekly Magazine (1802-1805). She was also called on to support her husband, and (though they had no children of their own) an increasingly growing household including her husband's illegitimate son, two adopted daughters, and the widow and daughters of her half-brother Robert Haswell who had been lost at sea in 1801. (One of these nieces, Rebecca Haswell, was great-grandmother of poet E. E. Cummings.) She also headed a charity for widows and the fatherless.
She retired from her school in 1822, and died in Boston two years later, 2 March 1824. She was buried in the family vault of friend Gottlieb Graupner at St. Matthew's Church, South Boston. When this church was demolished in 1866, her remains could not be distinguished, and all remains were moved together to the Mount Hope Cemetery, Boston. A monument was later raised for Susanna Rowson and brothers Robert and John Montresor Haswell in Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood, where she is memorialized as the author of Charlotte Temple.
The Inquisitor (1788)
Mary, or, The Test of Honour (1789)
Charlotte: a Tale of Truth (1790; retitled Charlotte Temple after the 3rd American edition, 1797)
Rebecca, or, The Fille de Chambre (1792)
Trials of the Human Heart (1795)
Reuben and Rachel (1798)
Charlotte's Daughter, or, The Three Orphans (a sequel to Charlotte's Temple published posthumously in 1828, with a memoir by Samuel L. Knapp; also known as Lucy Temple)
Mary Franeis Butts (13 December 1890 – 5 March 1937)
A minor talent is often the best window on to an age. Mary Butts is not exactly a household name, but this new edition of her journals provides a fascinating insight into the mindset of the early 20th-century literary "modernists". She was acquainted with T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf and many other major figures; her preoccupations, ranging from spiritualism to quantum physics, were wholly characteristic of the period.
Born in 1890, Mary Butts was a lesbian and a pacifist during the Great War, when she undertook voluntary work for the Children's Care Committee in the East End. After the war her sexual orientation altered and she married a Jewish writer and publisher called John Rodker. They had one child but soon separated.
Mary spent the 1920s in artistic circles, moving between London, Paris and the French Riviera; she had affairs with a French writer, with the American composer Virgil Thomson, and with a Scottish magician (an adept in the occult, that is to say, not a children's conjuror). She then married an English painter and settled in the far west of Cornwall, where she died in 1937 at the age of just 46.
Butts was a prolific writer of stories, essays, poems, non-fiction and reviews. Like many freelance authors of the period, she could turn her hand to anything: a pamphlet called Warning to Hikers one moment, a selection of Scenes from the Life of Cleopatra the next. Some of her short fiction, notably Speed the Plough, the story of a shell-shocked soldier returning from the war, was highly admired and frequently anthologised.
Her most notable achievement was a pair of novels, Ashe of Rings (1925) and Armed with Madness (1928), that combine such modernist literary techniques as "stream of consciousness" and complex symbolism with a quasi-mystical rootedness in the English land. The nearest parallel is the rambling and chaotic but strangely haunting fiction of John Cowper Powys.
The journals reveal that the seed for Butts's novels was sown by a visionary daydream experienced on Badbury Rings early in the war. Like Powys, she found a key to both personal and national identity by tuning into the deep history of the Dorset landscape. Her ecological grounding in sacred places and folk traditions offers a welcome contrast to the rootlessness of much modernist writing, which so often turned on the condition of exile.
Nathalie Blondel, Butts's biographer, has edited the journals with careful attention to detail - to the point of excess in the commentary, which includes such unnecessary footnote identifications as "Sigmund Freud, Austrian founder of psychoanalysis" and "E. M. Forster, British novelist" (I always think of Forster as English rather than British - and I'm sure that Butts did too: she reserved the word "British" for the Celtic fringes such as the Cornwall where she spent her final years).
Though the body of the diaries contains much that will be of interest only to academic specialists, there are many entries that give a sharp sense of Butts's ardent but insecure character. We see her falling under the spell of the dark arts of Aleister Crowley, complaining that T. S. Eliot - "the only writer of my quality" - has pre-empted the book-titles she would have liked for herself (The Sacred Wood, The Waste Land), and showing good judgment with respect to Rebecca West ("I want to know why a woman who brilliantly and honourably has demonstrated the feminist position should by her malice avail herself of the worst and cruellest weapon of the worst of dependent women").
A touch of "neurasthenia", a whiff of anti-Semitism, a taste for table-tapping and "teleplasm", an obsession with the classicist Jane Harrison's investigation of ancient mystery cults and the anthropologist Jessie Weston's elucidation of the Grail myth: to see Mary Butts dabbling in these areas is to realise that the similar preoccupations of better-known writers such as W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot were altogether typical of the fractured, nervous, bewildered years following the trauma of the war that was supposed to end all wars.
Mary Butts; Scenes from a Life
The Journals of Mary Butts (pdf file)
1912 Magick (Book 4), by Aleister Crowley, Butts given co-authorship credit
1923 Speed the Plough and other Stories
1925 Ashe of Rings
1928 Armed with Madness
1928 Imaginary Letters
1932 Death of Felicity Taverner
1932 Traps for Unbelievers
1932 Several Occasions
1932 Warning to Hikers
1933 The Macedonian
1935 Scenes from the Life of Cleopatra
1937 The Crystal Cabinet: My Childhood at Salterns, autobiography
1938 Last Stories
Mary Anne Barker, Lady Barker (1831 – 6 March 1911), later Mary Anne Broome, Lady Broome.
Lady Barker only lived in New Zealand for three years but she turned her experience into two classic accounts of life on a sheep station in the early days of the Canterbury settlement. Station Life in New Zealand (1870) and Station Amusements in New Zealand (1873) have been reprinted many times.
Mary Anne Stewart was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica where her father was Island Secretary. She returned to England when she was aged two.
About 1852 she married a soldier, George Robert Barker. In 1859 he was knighted for his military service in India. Lady Barker went to Bengal, India in 1860 with her husband. In July 1861 he died and she returned to England. She remarried to Canadian-born Frederick Napier Broome, sportsman, poet, journalist and diplomat, in June 1865. Frederick Broome was 11 years younger than Lady Barker, and had immigrated to New Zealand when he was 15 years old. He met Lady Barker on a visit to England in 1864 and persuaded her to leave her two sons in England and travel with him to New Zealand.
Moving to New Zealand
Frederick and Mary Anne arrived at Lyttelton in October 1865. Broome and his partner bought Steventon, a sheep run of 9,700 acres on the Selwyn River near Whitecliffs. Mary Anne (or Lady Barker as she still called herself) spent her time writing in the morning and involving herself in the outdoor life of the station. After the great snowstorm of 1867 when they lost 4,000 out of 7,000 sheep, Frederick sold his interest in Steventon, returning with Lady Barker to England in December 1868.
'Station' books published
In 1870 Lady Barker published Station Life in New Zealand, based on the letters she had sent home to her younger sister, Jessie. It described life in Canterbury, from problems in housekeeping and entertaining visitors on the station, to travel on horseback and hunting wild cattle, and was a big success.
In 1873 she published a sequel, Station Amusements in New Zealand, which provided would-be settlers with information on buying land, coping with servants, and other problems.
They became classics of New Zealand literature and were reprinted many times in Britain and, more recently, here in New Zealand. Although criticised as exaggerated, her discerning eye and deft style provide memorable pictures of rural events, personalities, pursuits and problems. None was more arresting than her account of the great snowstorm of 1867.
The adventurous life continues..
Lady Barker had six children. She continued to write and to travel, spending time in South Africa, Mauritius, Western Australia (where her husband Frederick was Governor), and Trinidad. She published 18 books including stories for children, a cookery book based on her skills learnt in New Zealand and books about her travel experiences.
Frederick Broome was knighted in 1884 and Lady Barker changed her name to Lady Broome. After her husband's death in 1896 in Trinidad Lady Broome returned to England where she died on 6 March 1911, in London.
104> Intriguing life--but I have to say that she's wearing the most hideous outfit on this thread so far!
I highly recommend her Station Life in New Zealand unlike her clothes sense! Anyone else read it?
I have read part of it and did enjoy it. The problem was that I started it in my previous pregnancy and when I got to the part (sorry to be spoiling here, but I can't see any way around it) when her baby died, I decided I'd have to finish it some other time. I do think I will get back to it sometime. I will say that her outfit is the last thing I'd expect to see her in based on the bit of her narrative that I read. Mary Kingsley's press photos were almost equally overdressed...maybe it was to counteract, or even maybe to enhance, the "adventuress" image?
>103: Fascinating to read about Mary Butts, as I have just started reading The Taverner novels.
Keri Hulme (born March 9, 1947) is a New Zealand writer, best known for The Bone People, her only novel.
Hulme was born in Christchurch, in New Zealand's South Island. The daughter of a carpenter and a credit manager, she was the eldest of six children. Her parents were of English, Scottish, and Māori (Ngāi Tahu) descent. "Our family comes from diverse people: Kai Tahu, Kāti Mamoe (South Island Maori iwi); Orkney islanders; Lancashire folk; Faroese and/or Norwegian migrants,"
Hulme told Contemporary Women Poets.
Her early education was at North New Brighton Primary School and Aranui High School. Her father died when she was 11 years old.
Hulme worked as a tobacco picker in Motueka after leaving school. She began studying for an honours law degree at the University of Canterbury in 1967, but left after four terms and returned to tobacco picking.
By 1972, she decided to begin writing full-time, but, despite family support, was forced to go back to work nine months later. She continued writing, some of her work appearing under the pseudonym Kai Tainui. During this time, she continued working on her novel, The Bone People, ultimately published in February 1984. The novel was returned by several publishers before being accepted by the Spiral Collective. It won the 1984 New Zealand Book Award for Fiction and the Booker Prize in 1985.
Hulme was a writer-in-residence at the University of Otago in 1978, and at the University of Canterbury in 1985. She lives in Okarito, on New Zealand's West Coast. Hulme has been the Patron of the Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand since 1996. She identifies as an aromantic asexual and is an atheist.
Katherine Mansfield Memorial Award, 1975;
New Zealand Literary Fund grant, 1975, 1977, 1979,
Maori Trust Fund Prize, 1978
East-West Centre Award, 1979;
Book of the Year Award', 1984
Mobil Pegasus Prize, 1985
Booker Prize, 1985
Scholarship in Letters, 1990
The Bone People (1984)
Bait and On the Shadow Side (in progress; referred to by Hulme as 'twinned novels')
The Silences Between (Moeraki Conversations) (1982)
Lost Possessions (1985)
Te Kaihau: The Windeater (1986)
Te Whenua, Te Iwi/The Land and The People (1987)
Homeplaces: Three Coasts of the South Island of New Zealand (1989)
It was on this day in 1913 that Virginia Woolf delivered the manuscript for her first novel, The Voyage Out, to the Duckworth Publishing House. She had been working on it for almost seven years. She first mentioned it in a letter to her friend Violet Dickinson in 1907, full of excitement at the thought of a future, however uncertain, as a writer; she wrote, "I shall be miserable, or happy; a wordy sentimental creature, or a writer of such English as shall one day burn the pages."
By 1912, she had written five drafts of the novel, including two different versions that she worked on simultaneously. Between December 1912 and March 1913, she rewrote the entire novel one more time, almost from scratch, typing 600 pages in two months.
The book was finally accepted, but the extensive revision process took its toll on Woolf and may have contributed to a mental breakdown that delayed the novel's publication. The Voyage Out was eventually published in 1915 and received generally favorable reviews. The London Observer remarked that the book showed "something startlingly like genius ... a wild swan among good grey geese." It sold slowly in spite of its reviews; it took 15 years to sell 2,000 copies. The novel does show glimpses of what would become Woolf's Modernist style, and what's more, one of its characters — Clarissa Dalloway — would stick in Virginia Woolf's mind for more than a decade, until she wrote an entire novel about that woman called Mrs. Dalloway (1927).
Florence Louisa White, (born 20 June 1863 in Peckham, London; died 12 March 1940 in Fareham, Hampshire) was a food writer who established the English Folk Cookery Association, and published a number of books on cookery and other domestic matters.
At age 18, White was sent to live with two elderly aunts in Fareham, where she was introduced to traditional cookery. She later held a number of jobs, including schoolteacher and shopkeeper, before writing her first book Easy Dressmaking (1891), which was published by the Singer Sewing Machine Company and, over eight years sold 110,000 copies.
This was followed by Good Things in England (1932), a traditional cookery book, Flowers as Food (1934) and an autobiography, A Fire in the Kitchen (1938). Good English Food was published posthumously in 1952. Good Things in England was also published by Persephone Books in 1999 and reprinted in 2003 and 2007.
In later years, White returned to Fareham and established a cookery and domestic training school there. The English Folk Cookery Association, founded in 1928, published the Good Food Register, a directory of restaurants and other places which produced English cooking, which White edited.
Easy Dressmaking (1891)
Good Things in England (1932), (1999) Persephone Books
Flowers as Food (1934)
A Fire in the Kitchen (1938)
Good English Food (1952), Jonathan Cape
Beatrice Wood (March 3, 1893 – March 12, 1998) was an American artist and studio potter, who late in life was dubbed the "Mama of Dada," and served as a partial inspiration for the character of Rose DeWitt Bukater in James Cameron's 1997 film, Titanic. Beatrice Wood died nine days after her 105th birthday in Ojai, California.
Beatrice Wood was born in San Francisco, California, the daughter of wealthy socialites. Despite her parents' strong opposition, Wood insisted on pursuing a career in the arts. Eventually her parents agreed to let her study painting and because she was fluent in French, they sent her to Paris where she studied acting at the Comédie-Française and art at the prestigious Académie Julian.
The onset of World War I forced Wood to return to the United States. She continued acting with a French Repertory Company in New York City, performing over sixty roles in two years and spent a number of years thereafter performing on the stage.
During this time period, Wood was introduced to Marcel Duchamp, who in turn introduced her to her first great love interest, Henri-Pierre Roché, a man fourteen years her senior. She worked with Duchamp and Roché in the 1910s to create The Blind Man, a magazine that was one of the earliest manifestations of the Dada art movement in New York City.
Roché, Duchamp, and Jules et Jim
Though she was involved with Roché, the two would often spend time with Duchamp, creating a love triangle. Biographies of Wood traditionally link Roché's novel (and the consequent film), Jules et Jim, with the relationship between Duchamp, Wood, and himself. Other sources link their triangle to Roché's unfinished novel, Victor, and Jules et Jim with the triangle between Roché, Franz Hessel, and Helen Hessel. Beatrice Wood commented on this topic in her 1985 autobiography, I Shock Myself:
Roché lived in Paris with his wife Denise, and had by now written Jules et Jim ... Because the story concerns two young men who are close friends and a woman who loves them both, people have wondered how much was based on Roché, Marcel, and me. I cannot say what memories or episodes inspired Roché, but the characters bear only passing resemblance to those of us in real life!
Beatrice with Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia at Coney Island, 21 June, 1917.
Beatrice Wood goes to the amusement park with Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia:
‘One night he Duchamp and Picabia took me to Coney Island. Because I feared roller coasters, they made me go on the most dangerous one over and over, until I could control my screams. They enjoyed themselves enormously. So did I, with Marcel’s arms around me. I would have gone on any ride into hell, with the same heroic abandon as Japanese lovers standing on the rim of volcanoes, ready to take the suicide leap.
It was late at night when we returned from Coney Island. Walking ahead of both men, I noticed three sailors coming towards me. A policeman saw them divide as I passed through and was about to arrest me for soliciting, when Marcel came to my defense, while Picabia, who was Spanish, attacked the policeman with his fiery temper. To be mistaken for a prostitute crowned the dreamy evening.’
-from I Shock Myself: The Autobiography of Beatrice Wood (1985)
The Arensbergs and their circle
Wood was next introduced to the art patrons, Walter and Louise Arensberg (who would become her lifelong friends). They held regular gatherings in which artists, writers, and poets were invited for intellectual discussion. Besides herself, Duchamp, and Roché, the group included Man Ray and Francis Picabia. Beatrice Wood's relationship with them and others associated with the avant-garde movement of the early 20th century, earned her the designation "Mama of Dada." Beatrice did not stay at the academy because it was too academic for her.
In her early forties, after a succession of failed artistic careers (most notably as an actress) and an annulled marriage, Beatrice moved back to Los Angeles, California.
It was at this time that she bought a pair of baroque plates with a luster glaze. She wanted to find a matching teapot to go along with it, but was unsuccessful. Deciding to make the teapot herself, she enrolled in a ceramic class at Hollywood High School. This hobby turned into a passion that would last over the next sixty years, as she developed a unique form of luster-glaze technique that proved successful.
In 1947, Beatrice felt that her career was established enough for her to build a home. She settled in Ojai, California in 1948 to be near the Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti and became a lifelong member of the Theosophical Society – Adyar, events which would greatly influence her artistic philosophies. She also taught and lived at the Happy Valley School, which is now known as Besant Hill School. Ever the comedienne, when asked the secret to her incredible longevity, she would respond, "I owe it all to chocolate and young men."
In 1994, the Smithsonian Institution named Wood an "Esteemed American Artist."
Her home still rests on the campus of Besant Hill School and can be visited by appointment as it is still an active art gallery called The Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts.
The secondary market in Beatrice Wood art still thrives, and the largest collection can be viewed here, where major pieces such as "Good Morning America", "Madame Lola's Pleasure Palace", "Chez Fifi", "Waiting for Kennedy", and the last figurative work completed by Wood in 1997, "Men With Their Wives", can be viewed.
Thank you, Cate! Your enterprise continues to amaze and delight me. ("I owe it all to chocolate and young men." !)
Janet Flanner (13 March, 1892 - 7 November, 1978) was an American writer and journalist who served as the Paris correspondent of The New Yorker magazine from 1925 until she retired in 1975. She wrote under the pen name Genet. She also published a single novel, The Cubical City, set in New York City.
Janet Flanner was born in Indianapolis, Indiana to Frank and Mary Flanner. She had two sisters, Marie and Hildegarde Flanner. Her father co-owned a mortuary and ran the first crematorium in the state of Indiana. After a period spent traveling abroad with her family and studies at Tudor Hall School for Girls, she enrolled in the University of Chicago in 1912, leaving the university in 1914. Two years later, she returned to her native city to take up a post as the first cinema critic on the local paper, the Indianapolis Star.
In 1918 she married William "Lane" Rehm, a friend that she had made while at the University of Chicago. He was an artist in New York City, and she later admitted that she married him to get out of Indianapolis. The marriage lasted for only a few years and they divorced amicably in 1926. Rehm was supportive of Flanner's career until his death.
Flanner was bisexual. In 1918, the same year she married her husband, she met Solita Solano (Sarah Wilkinson). They met in Greenwich Village, and the two became lifelong lovers, although both became involved with other lovers throughout their relationship. Solita Solano was drama editor for the New York Tribune and also wrote for National Geographic. The two women are portrayed as "Nip" and "Tuck" in the 1928 novel Ladies Almanack, by Djuna Barnes, who was a friend of Flanner's. While in New York, Janet Flanner moved in the circle of the Algonquin Round Table, but was not a member. She also met the couple Jane Grant and Harold Ross through painter Neysa McMein. It was this connection that Harold Ross offered her the position of French Correspondent to the New Yorker.
After periods in Pennsylvania and New York, in her mid twenties, Flanner left the United States for Paris, quickly becoming part of the group of American writers and artists who lived in the city between World War I and World War II.
As Paris correspondent for the New Yorker during the 1920s and 1930s, under the pen-name "Genêt", Flanner was a prominent member of the American expatriate community which included Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, e. e. cummings, Hart Crane, Djuna Barnes, Ezra Pound, and Gertrude Stein - the world of the Lost Generation and Les Deux Magots. While in Paris she became very close friends with Gertrude Stein and her lover, Alice B. Toklas. In 1932 she fell in love with Noel Haskins Murphy, a singer from a village just outside Paris, and had a short-lived romance. This did not affect her relationship with Solano.
She played a crucial role in introducing her contemporaries - or at least those who read the New Yorker - to new artists in Paris, including Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, André Gide, Jean Cocteau, and the Ballets Russes, as well as crime passionel and vernissage, the triumphant crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by Charles Lindbergh and the depravities of the Stavisky Affair.
In September 1925 Flanner published her first "Letter from Paris" in The New Yorker, launched the previous February, launching a professional association destined to last for five decades. Flanner had first came to the attention of editor Harold Ross through his first wife, Jane Grant, who was a friend of Flanner's from the Lucy Stone League, an organization that fought for women to preserve their maiden names after marriage in the manner of Lucy Stone. Flanner joined the group in 1921. Ross famously thought "Genêt" was French for "Janet".
Her prose style has since come to epitomise the "New Yorker style" - its influence can be seen decades later in the prose of Bruce Chatwin. An example: "The late Jean De Koven was an average American tourist in Paris but for two exceptions: she never set foot in the Opéra, and she was murdered."
She lived in New York City during World War II with Natalia Danesi Murray and her son William B. Murray; still writing for The New Yorker. She went back to Paris in 1944 and continued her "Letters" until finally returning to New York City in 1975 when her failing health needed extra care. In 1948 she was made a knight of Legion d'Honneur.
Her New Yorker work during World War II included not only her famous "Letter from Paris" columns (disrupted for a period), but also included a seminal 3-part series profiling Hitler (1936), and coverage of the Nuremberg trials (1945). Additionally, she contributed a series of little-known weekly radio broadcasts for the NBC Blue Network during the months following the liberation of Paris in late 1944.
Flanner authored one novel, The Cubical City, which achieved little success.
In 1958 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Smith College. She covered the Suez crisis, the Soviet invasion of Hungary, and the strife in Algeria which led to the rise of Charles de Gaulle. She was a leading member of the influential coterie of mostly lesbian women that included Natalie Clifford Barney and Djuna Barnes. She was friends with Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas as well as Ernest Hemingway. Flanner lived in Paris with Solano, who put away her own literary aspirations to be Flanner's personal secretary. Even though the relationship was not monogamous, they lived together for over 50 years.
Extracts of her Paris journal were turned into a piece for chorus and orchestra by composer Ned Rorem.
In 1971, she was the third guest during the infamous scuffle between Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer on the Dick Cavett Show, getting in between the two after a drunken Mailer started insulting his fellow guests and their host.
Four years later, she returned to New York City permanently to be cared for by Natalia Danesi Murray.
Solano died in 1975 at the age of 87. Flanner died on 17 November, 1978 due to unknown causes.
Flanner was cremated and her ashes were scattered with Murray's over Cherry Grove in Fire Island where they met in 1940 according to Murray's son in his book Janet, My Mother, and Me.
Christa Wolf's Accident: A Day's News is a brilliant meditation on the Chernobyl disaster and our Faustian bargain with technology -- particularly pertinent right now.
Catherine Carswell (27 March 1879 - 19 March 1946) was a Scottish author, biographer and journalist, now known as one of the few women who took part in the Scottish Renaissance. Unlike her controversial biography of Scotland's literary hero Robert Burns, her earlier work, two novels set in Edwardian Glasgow, lived in the shadows until their republication by feminist publishing house Virago in the seventies. Her work is now considered an integral part of Scottish women's writing of the early 20th century.
Carswell was born in Glasgow, the second of the four children of George and Mary Anne Macfarlane, God-fearing middle-class Free Church Glaswegians. After attending the New Park School for Girls she spent two years of musical studies at the Frankfurt Hoch Conservatory only to come back realising that her future was in the arts.
In 1901 she enrolled for English literature classes at the University of Glasgow. Among her professors were Walter Raleigh and Adolphus A. Jack. Although considered a star pupil she could not, as a woman, be awarded a degree.
In September 1904 she met her first husband Herbert Jackson, a Second Boer War veteran and artist who suffered from paranoid delusions. She married him after a "whirlwind courtship" only a month later. Thinking that he was sterile he accused Carswell of betraying him upon the news of her pregnancy and threatened to kill her in March 1905. He was taken to a mental institution where he remained for the rest of his life, considered too dangerous to be discharged. He never met his daughter Diana who was born the following October.
In 1908 she made legal history when her marriage with Herbert Jackson was dissolved after she established that his mental illness had started prior to their engagement and he was not aware of what he was doing when he married her.
Working as a critic for the Glasgow Herald she entered into a lengthy affair with the artist Maurice Greiffenhagen who then was at the heights of his fame and went on to be an academician, her elder by seventeen years. He was married and with a family. It was also around this time that she began to establish her numerous literary connections and later became a close friend of D. H. Lawrence.
Her daughter Diana died of pneumonia in 1913 two years after they had moved to London. Around that time she started working on her first novel Open the Door! and became engaged to Donald Carswell, an old acquaintance from Glasgow University and the Glasgow Herald, whom she married early in 1915. Their son John was born in the following autumn.
The same year she lost her job after a favourable review of Lawrence's The Rainbow, but continued in journalism as assistant drama critic for the Observer. During the autumn of 1916 she had nearly finished the work on her novel and she exchanged lengthy letters about it with Lawrence, who in return asked her for advice with his newest novel, Women in Love.
Her first novel Open the Door! was finally published in 1920 and won the 250-guinea Andrew Melrose Prize. Although by no means autobiographical, the story of a Glaswegian girl called Joanna, resembles in many ways her own life and represents her search for independence. Melrose, who selected the book personally, recorded the "profound impression" it made on him.
Only two years later she published her second and last novel, The Camomile, another portrait of a woman living in the Second City of the Empire at the turn of the century.
Neither of her first two books had brought her fame or fortune and she became only well known after finishing a controversial biography of Scotland's national poet Robert Burns in 1930. Orthodox Burns-fans dismissed this frank, demystifying account of the poet's life, the Burns club attacked her with sermons in Glasgow Cathedral and someone sent her a bullet accompanied by a letter asking her to "make the world a cleaner place".
After the death of D. H. Lawrence she immediately started working on his biography which was published in 1932 as The Savage Pilgrimage. This was regarded as libellous by John Middleton Murry who tried to suppress the book and insisted on changes and deletions. The original edition was republished in 1981 by Cambridge University Press.
In the 1930s there followed three anthologies, journalistic reviews and a third biography The Tranquil Heart about the Italian writer Boccaccio (1937).
1936 saw the collaborative publication dedicated to Lord Tweedsmuir (John Buchan) with her husband Donald and illustrator Evelyn Dunbar (later commissioned as the only female Official British WW2 artist) of The Scots Week-End and Caledonian Vade-Mecum for Host, Guest and Wayfarer (George Routledge & Sons Ltd.)
In 1940 her husband Donald was killed in a street accident during the Blackout. She continued to live alone in London where she worked on a two-volume biography of John Buchan together with his widow Lady Tweedsmuir. Volume 1, The Clearing House, was published in 1946, and Volume 2, John Buchan by His Wife and Friends, in 1947.
Catherine Carswell died in March 1946, aged 66. Her son John edited her fragmentary autobiographical texts, and published it in 1950 under the title Lying Awake: An Unfinished Autobiography.
Charlotte Mary Mew (15 November 1869 – 24 March 1928) was an English poet, whose work spans the cusp between Victorian poetry and Modernism.
Charlotte was born in Bloomsbury, London the daughter of the architect Frederick Mew, who designed Hampstead town hall and Anna Kendall. She attended Lucy Harrison's School for Girls and lectures at University College London. Her father died in 1898 without making adequate provision for his family; two of her siblings suffered from mental illness, and were committed to institutions, and three others died in early childhood leaving Charlotte, her mother and her sister, Anne. Charlotte and Anne made a pact never to marry for fear of passing on insanity to their children. (One author calls Charlotte "chastely lesbian".) Through most of her adult life, Mew wore masculine attire and kept her hair short, adopting the appearance of a dandy.
In 1894, Mew succeeded in getting a short story into The Yellow Book, but wrote very little poetry at this time. Her first collection of poetry, The Farmer's Bride, was published in 1916, in chapbook format, by the Poetry Bookshop; in the USA, it was entitled Saturday Market and published in 1921. It earned her the admiration of Sydney Cockerell.
Her poems are varied: some of them (such as 'Madeleine in Church') are passionate discussions of faith and the possibility of belief in God; others are proto-modernist in form and atmosphere ('In Nunhead Cemetery'). Many of her poems are in the form of dramatic monologues, and she often wrote from the point of view of a male persona ('The Farmer's Bride'). Two concern mental illness - Ken and On the Asylum Road.
Mew gained the patronage of several literary figures, notably Thomas Hardy, who called her the best woman poet of her day, Virginia Woolf, who said she was 'very good and quite unlike anyone else', and Siegfried Sassoon. She obtained a small Civil List pension with the aid of Cockerell, Hardy, John Masefield and Walter de la Mare. This helped ease her financial difficulties.
After the death of her sister from cancer in 1927, she descended into a deep depression, and was admitted to a nursing home where she eventually committed suicide by drinking Lysol.
Mew is buried in the northern part of Hampstead Cemetery, London NW6.
Charlotte Mew Chronology
Penelope Gilliatt (née Penelope Ann Douglass Conner, 25 March 1932 – 9 May 1993) was an English novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and film critic.
She was born in London. Her father, Cyril Conner, was originally a barrister, while her mother was Marie Stephanie Douglass. Both came from Newcastle upon Tyne. Penelope Gilliatt herself was brought up in Northumberland, where her father was director of the BBC in the North East from 1938-41, and she retained a lifelong love of the Roman Wall country. John Osborne, for a time her husband, once said in answer to her phone-call, that he was giving his all "for the burghers of Geordieland, your compatriots."
Gilliatt wrote several novels, including One by One (1965) and A State of Change (1967). Her short stories were collected in What's it Like Out (1968) and in Nobody's Business (1972).
As a film critic, Gilliatt wrote numerous reviews for The Observer before she began a column that ran for years in The New Yorker, in which she alternated for six month intervals with Pauline Kael as that publication's chief film critic. Gilliatt's column ran from late spring - early fall, and Kael's for the remainder of the year.
Penelope Gillliatt is perhaps best known for writing the screenplay for Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971). She won several prestigious Best Screenplay awards for the film, including the New York Film Critics Circle Award, Writers Guild of America, USA, and Writers' Guild of Great Britain. The screenplay was also nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA.
Her novel Mortal Matters (1983), much concerned with shipbuilding and suffragettes, is largely set in Northumberland and Newcastle. There are several loving pages devoted to Hexham, and numerous mentions of Newcastle locations. She celebrates the achievements of the North East, including the famous vessels Mauretania and Charles Parsons'Turbinia. Gilliatt also praises the Torrens, the Sunderland-built ship on which Joseph Conrad served for two years from 1891. The house Braw Fell is clearly Cragside, Lord Armstrong's Northumberland mansion, and the master, Sir William Douglass, is obviously modelled on Lord Armstrong himself. Douglass of course was the family name of Penelope’s mother, Mary.
Gilliatt was married to playwright John Osborne from 1963 to 1968, giving him his only natural child — a daughter, Nolan (whom he later disowned). The New York Times film critic Vincent Canby was for many years her companion.
Her death was due to alcoholism.
What's It Like Out?, 1968
Nobody's Business, 1972
Splendid Lives, 1978
Quotations from Other Lives, 1982
They Sleep without Dreaming, 1985
22 Stories, 1986
One by One, 1965
A State of Change, 1967
The Cutting Edge, 1979
Mortal Matters, 1983
A Woman of Singular Occupation, 1988
Jean Stafford (July 1, 1915 – March 26, 1979) was an American short story writer and novelist, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford in 1970.
She was born in California. Her first novel, Boston Adventure was a best-seller, earning her national acclaim. She wrote two more novels in her career, but her greatest medium was the short story: her works were published in The New Yorker and various literary magazines. For the academic year 1964-1965, she was a Fellow on the faculty at the Center for Advanced Studies of Wesleyan University.
Stafford's personal life was often marked by unhappiness. Her first marriage, to the brilliant but mentally unstable poet Robert Lowell, left her with lingering emotional and physical scars. She was seriously injured in an automobile accident with Lowell at the wheel, a trauma she described in one of her best-known stories, The Interior Castle, and the disfigurement she suffered as a result was a turning point in her life. A second marriage to Life magazine photographer Oliver Jensen also ended in divorce. Stafford enjoyed a brief period of domestic happiness with her third husband, A. J. Liebling, a prominent writer for The New Yorker. After his death, she virtually ceased writing fiction.
For many years Stafford suffered from alcoholism, depression, and pulmonary disease. By age sixty-three she had almost stopped eating and died of cardiac arrest in White Plains, New York in 1979. She was buried in Green River Cemetery, East Hampton, New York.
Several biographies of Jean Stafford were written following her death: David Roberts' Jean Stafford, a Biography (1988), Charlotte Margolis Goodman's Jean Stafford: The Savage Heart (1990), and Ann Hulbert's The Interior Castle: The Art and Life of Jean Stafford (1992). Among these, Goodman's deals most successfully with Stafford as a proto-feministwriter.
Boston Adventure (1944)
The Interior Castle (1947, short story)
The Mountain Lion (1947)
The Catherine Wheel (1952)
Collected Stories (1969)
Jean Stafford's someone I've been meaning to read for years.
Not a Virago author, but one of my favourite female children's authors died on Saturday 26 March. RIP Diana Wynne Jones.
>123: Here is a lovely tribute to Diana Wynne Jones and her books from the Guardian.
Can anyone read A tale of Time City and not want a butter-pie?!
Cora Sandel (20 December 1880, Oslo — 3 April 1974, Uppsala) was the pen name of Sara Cecilia Görvell Fabricius, a Norwegian writer who lived most of her life abroad. Sandel is most frequently associated with a series of three books which became known as the Alberta Trilogy.
When she was 12 years old, financial difficulties forced her family to move to Tromsø where her father was appointed a naval commander. In her youth she tried, without much success, to establish herself as a painter. She started painting under the tutelage of Harriet Backer, and while still a teenager moved to Paris, where she married the Swedish sculptor Anders Jönsson (1883-1965). In 1921 they returned to Sweden, where she won custody of her son Erik after divorcing Jönsson.
It wasn't until she was 46 years old that her debut novel, Alberte and Jakob was published, the first in what became the semi-autobiographical Alberta trilogy. Sandel used many elements from her own life and experiences in her stories, which often centre on the spiritual struggles of inarticulate and isolated women.
The Alberta Trilogy traced the emotional development of a lethargic and unhappy girl into a self-sufficient woman. These novels earned her an immediate place in the Scandinavian canon, but it was not until the 1960s that Sandel, now living as a recluse in Sweden, was discovered by the English-speaking world.
Despite her great literary success, she remained hidden behind her pseudonym and lived a rather secluded life. She was decorated with the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav in 1957. Her home in Tromsø, built in 1838, now houses the Perspektivet Museum.
Alberte og Jakob, novel ("Alberta and Jacob", 1926, tr. 1962)
En blå sofa, short story collection ("A Blue Sofa", 1927)
Alberte og friheten, novel ("Alberta and Freedom", 1931, tr. 1963)
Carmen og Maja, short story collection ("Carmen and Maja", 1932)
Mange takk, doktor, short story collection ("Many Thanks, Doctor", 1935)
Bare Alberte, novel ("Alberta Alone", 1939, tr. 1965)
Dyr jeg har kjent, short story collection ("Animals I've Known", 1945)
Kranes konditori, novel ("Krane's Café", 1945-1946, tr. 1968)
Figurer på mørk bunn, short story collection ("Figures on a dark background", 1949)
Translation of Colette's La Vagabonde (1952)
Kjøp ikke Dondi, novel ("Don't Buy Dondi", 1958, tr. 1960 as "The Leech")
Vårt vanskelige liv, short story collection ("Our Difficult Life", 1960)
Barnet som elsket veier, short story collection with artwork ("The Child Who Loved Roads", 1973)
Daisy Ashford, full name Margaret Mary Julia Ashford (7 April 1881 – 15 January 1972) was an English writer who is most famous for writing The Young Visiters, a novella concerning the upper class society of late 19th century England, when she was just nine years old. The novella was published in 1919, preserving her juvenile spelling and punctuation. She wrote the title as "Viseters" in her manuscript, but it was published as "Visiters".
She was born in Petersham, Surrey, the daughter of Emma Georgina Walker and William Henry Roxburgh Ashford, and was largely educated at home with her sisters Maria Veronica 'Vera' (born 1882) and Angela Mary 'Angie' (born 1884). At the age of 4, Daisy dictated her first story, The Life of Father McSwiney, to her father; it was published in 1983. From 1889 to 1896 she and her family lived at 44 St Anne's Crescent, Lewes, where she wrote The Young Visiters.
As well as The Young Visiters, she wrote several other stories; a play, A Woman's Crime; and one other short novel, The Hangman's Daughter, which she considered to be her best work.
She stopped writing during her teens. In 1896 the family moved to the Wallands area of Lewes, and in 1904 she moved with her family to Bexhill, and then to London where she worked as a secretary. She also ran a canteen in Dover during the First World War.
When published in 1919, The Young Visiters was an immediate success, and several of her other stories were published in 1920. In the same year, she married James Devlin and settled in Norfolk, at one time running the King's Arms Hotel in Reepham. She did not write in later years, although in old age she did begin an autobiography which she later destroyed. She died in 1972.
Ashford's name was sometimes used as a way to criticize adult authors of the 1920s if their style was deemed too childish or naïve; Edmund Wilson referred to the novel This Side of Paradise by his friend F. Scott Fitzgerald as "a classic in a class with The Young Visiters."
Roman à clef Daisy Goes to the Moon by Matt K. stars Daisy Ashford, is written in Ashford's distinctive style, and is the first of a series of "Daisy Ashford Adventures" to be published.
The Young Visiters, or, Mr Salteena's Plan London: Chatto and Windus, 1919
Daisy Ashford: Her Book: A Collection of the Remaining Novels London: George H. Doran and Company, 1920
Love and Marriage: Three Stories London: Hart-Davis, 1965
Where Love Lies Deepest London: Hart-Davis, 1966
The Hangman's Daughter and Other Stories Oxford University Press 1983 (Includes The Life of Father McSwiney)
Hope Mirrlees (8 April 1887 – 1978) was a British translator, poet and novelist. She is best known for the 1926 Lud-in-the-Mist, a fantasy novel and influential classic, and for Paris: A Poem, a modernist poem which critic Julia Briggs deemed "modernism's lost masterpiece, a work of extraordinary energy and intensity, scope and ambition."
Hope Mirrlees Website
>101: word for word what I was going to say
Huge amount of catching up to do here but Cate, this is invaluable. Again, thank you so much for it.
Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards (7 June 1831 – 15 April 1892)
Anyone who has lost themselves in one of Elizabeth Peters' "Amelia Peabody" mysteries, daydreaming of high adventure amid the pyramids of Egypt, will be intrigued by the writings of her real-life contemporary Amelia Edwards. Edwards enjoyed three separate careers: as an journalist, a novelist, and an egyptologist. She was also an active supporter of the suffrage movement, serving at one time as Vice-President of the Society for Promoting Women's Suffrage. Unlike the fictional Amelia Peabody, Amelia Edwards never married, but lived and travelled for much of her life with a female companion.
Born in London to an Irish mother and a father who had been a British Army officer before becoming a banker, Edwards was educated at home by her mother, showing considerable promise as a writer at a young age. She published her first poem at the age of 7, her first story at age 12. Edwards thereafter proceeded to publish a variety of poetry, stories and articles in a large number of magazines that included Chamber's Journal, Household Words and All the Year Round. She also wrote for the newspapers, the Saturday Review and the Morning Post.
Edwards' first full-length novel was My Brother's Wife (1855). Her early novels were well received, but it was Barbara's History (1864), a novel of bigamy, that solidly established her reputation as a novelist. She spent considerable time and effort on their settings and backgrounds, estimating that it took her about two years to complete the researching and writing of each. This painstaking work paid off, her last novel, Lord Brackenbury (1880), emerged as a run-away success which went to 15 editions.
In the winter of 1873–1874, accompanied by several friends, Edwards toured Egypt, discovering a fascination with the land and its cultures, both ancient and modern. Journeying southwards from Cairo in a hired dahabiyeh (manned houseboat), the companions visited Philae and ultimately reached Abu Simbel where they remained for six weeks. During this last period, a member of Edwards' party, the English painter Andrew McCallum, discovered a previously-unknown sanctuary which bore her name for some time afterwards.
Having once returned to the UK, Edwards proceeded to write a vivid description of her Nile voyage, publishing the resulting book in 1876 under the title of A Thousand Miles up the Nile. Enhanced with her own hand-drawn illustrations, the travelogue became an immediate bestseller.
Edwards' travels in Egypt had made her aware of the increasing threat directed towards the ancient monuments by tourism and modern development. Determined to stem these threats by the force of public awareness and scientific endeavour, Edwards became a tireless public advocate for the research and preservation of the ancient monuments and, in 1882, co-founded the Egypt Exploration Fund (now the Egypt Exploration Society) with Reginald Stuart Poole, curator of the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum. Edwards was to serve as joint Honorary Secretary of the Fund until her death some 14 years later.
With the aims of advancing the Fund's work, Edwards largely abandoned her other literary work to concentrate solely on Egyptology. In this field she contributed to the ninth edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, to the American supplement of that work, and to the Standard Dictionary. As part of her efforts Edwards embarked on an ambitious lecture tour of the United States in the period 1889–1890. The content of these lectures was later published under the title Pharaohs, Fellahs, and Explorers (1891).
After catching influenza Amelia Edwards died on 15 April 1892 at Weston-super-Mare. She had lived at Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol since 1864. She bequeathed her collection of Egyptian antiquities and her library to University College London, together with a sum of £2,500 to found an Edwards Chair of Egyptology.
She was buried in St Mary's Church, Henbury, Bristol. Her grave is marked by an obelisk at the foot of which lies a stone ankh.
16-I wanted to mention some of the dramas of Fanny Burney's life. She had a mastectomy without anaesthesia, and was cured of breast cancer.
She was a dear friend of Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale, and was for many years a mistress of the robes for the queen. She begged her father to let her be released from the court; she hated court life.
Her novel, Evelina, was published pseudonymously, and was very popular. She had been afraid it would embarrass her father, who was a very famous musician and musical scholar. When it became a popular success, her father was reconciled to her writing.
She was very shy and considered rather spinsterish, but she fell in love with the handsome french general, and they were very happy together. He had lost his estates in France due to the revolution and she was able to support the family through her writing.
Her novel Camilla paid for their house which they called 'Camilla Cottage'.
Her son trained for the clergy, but died young. She is considered by many to be one of the mothers of the novel and was a model for Austen.
I am reading China to Me.
Have you read it too?
I want to travel back in time to ask this woman if she would have a drink.
Preferably without the company of her gibbons.
Direct me to someone who knows more about her, please.
Fantastic book! Here is a review of a biography if you want to learn more.
Nobody Said Not to Go The Life Loves and Adventures of Emily Hahn
Author: Ken Cuthbertson
Known as "Mickey" to her friends, Emily Hahn traveled across the country dressed as a boy in the 1920s; ran away to the Belgian Congo as a Red Cross worker during the Great Depression; was the concubine of a Chinese poet in Shanghai in the 1930s; had an illegitimate child with the head of the British Secret Service in Hong Kong just before the o... more »utbreak of World War II; was involved in underground relief work in occupied Hong Kong; and moved back to the United States and became a pioneer in the fields of wildlife preservation and environmentalism before her death in 1997 at the age of ninety-two. A feminist trailblazer before the word existed, Hahn also wrote hundreds of articles and short stories for The New Yorker from 1925 to 1995, as well as fifty books in many genres. As Roger Angell wrote in her obituary in The New Yorker: "She was, in truth, something rare: a woman deeply, almost domestically, at home in the world. Driven by curiosity and energy, she went there and did that, and then wrote about it without fuss." 32 Black-and-White Photographs Notes/Bibliography/Index Ken Cuthbertson is a journalist and historian.
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