Picture of author.

Margaret Forster (1938–2016)

Author of Lady's Maid

39+ Works 4,280 Members 130 Reviews 16 Favorited

About the Author

Margaret Forster was born in Carlisle, England on May 25, 1938. She read history at Somerville College, Oxford. Before her writing career took off, she was a teacher at a girls' school. She is the author of over 40 books of fiction and non-fiction. Her novel include Mother, Can You Hear Me?, Have show more the Men Had Enough?, Lady's Maid, Private Papers, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, Over, Isa and May, The Unknown Bridesmaid, and How to Measure a Cow. Georgy Girl, published in 1965, was made into a film starring Lynn Redgrave in 1966. She has written several memoirs including Hidden Lives, Precious Lives, and My Life in Houses. Her biography Elizabeth Barrett Browning won the Heinemann award and her 1993 biography of Daphne du Maurier won the Fawcett book prize and was filmed for the BBC as Daphne in 2007. She also wrote a history of feminism entitled Significant Sisters in 1984. She died of cancer on February 8, 2016 at the age of 77. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Margaret Forster

Lady's Maid (1990) 653 copies
Diary of an Ordinary Woman (2003) 329 copies
Keeping the World Away (2006) 291 copies
The Memory Box (1999) 279 copies
Have the Men Had Enough? (1989) 165 copies
Shadow Baby (1996) 134 copies
Private Papers (1986) 125 copies
Significant Sisters (1984) 115 copies
The Battle for Christabel (1991) 108 copies
Georgy Girl (1965) 106 copies
Over (2007) 103 copies

Associated Works

Is Anyone There? (1978) — Contributor — 27 copies
Georgy Girl [1966 film] (1966) — Original book — 25 copies


Common Knowledge



A splendid evocation of the biscuit manufacturing Carr clan of Carlisle. Hard work, thrift and uplift were the messages and, in relating the story of God-fearing enterprise, Forster manages to illuminate a great deal of bygone social history.
PendleHillLibrary | 1 other review | Sep 27, 2022 |
This was a reading group suggestion and I wasn't particularly thrilled. It wasn't as bad as I expected. It's a long book and I did have to commit myself to 100 pages a day to get through it. I found that when I picked it up, I could read the 100 pages and quite enjoy it but once put down, I would not be enthused to pick it back up. It definately becomes far too long towards the end and I was just waiting for it to be over. But it does have its interesting side - in its portrait of Elizabeth Barret Browning, its description of a servant's life - always at the mercy of those who called themselves poor but weren't really. The description of depression at the end is particularly good. So for a book that is the kind that I normally avoid, it was OK.… (more)
infjsarah | 10 other reviews | Mar 27, 2021 |
Dit boek gaf ik aan ma en zij vond het heel goed. Na haar overlijden heb ik het voor de tweede keer gelezen en er opnieuw van genoten. Het verhaal van een aantal vrouwen met een klein schilderij als rode draad.
elsmvst | 11 other reviews | Mar 20, 2021 |
Margaret Forster’s brilliant novel Lady’s Maid introduces us to a young woman in service in mid-19th-century London. Yet Elizabeth Wilson is no ordinary maid. She is lady’s maid to Miss Elizabeth Barrett, the invalid daughter of a wealthy London gentleman, who has made a name for herself as a poetess. When Wilson enters Miss Elizabeth’s service in 1844, her mistress is withdrawn and easily tired, plagued by mysterious physical weakness and given to depression. As time passes, the patient Northern maid and her mercurial employer find a sympathy, deepened by Wilson’s reverence for books and by her compassion for the unworldly Miss Elizabeth. Gradually, Wilson convinces Miss Elizabeth to take turns in the park, coaxing colour into her face and strength into her limbs. Yet Wilson’s ministrations are nothing beside the impact that a new correspondent has on her mistress. Letters from the poet Mr Browning are soon the highlight of Miss Elizabeth’s day and Wilson finds herself drawn into a daring plan that will take her further from home than she ever dreamed possible. Amazingly rich, thoughtful and evocative, Forster’s novel introduced me to the full picture of the great Browning romance – seen through Wilson’s loyal but unsentimental eyes.

For the full review, please see my blog:
… (more)
TheIdleWoman | 10 other reviews | Mar 15, 2021 |



You May Also Like


Also by

Charts & Graphs