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Virago Author Remembrance Celebrations - PART III

Virago Modern Classics

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Edited: Aug 8, 2010, 1:50pm Top

On this day, in 1949, Emily Hilda Young died. (March 21, 1880 - August 8, 1949)


A Corn of Wheat (1910)
Yonder (1912)
Moor Fires (1916)
A Bridge Dividing (1922) (subsequently published as The Misses Mallett)
William (1925)
The Vicar's Daughter (1927)
Miss Mole (1930)
Jenny Wren (1932)
Celia (1937)
The Curate's Wife (1934)
Chatterton Square (1947)

Children's Fiction:
Caravan Island (1940)
River Holiday (1942)

Aug 9, 2010, 8:16pm Top

I love her writing.

Aug 10, 2010, 10:52pm Top

That makes at least two of us.

Aug 16, 2010, 6:41pm Top

On this day in 1998, Dorothy West (June 2, 1907 – August 16, 1998) - novelist and short story writer and an integral part of the Harlem Renaissance, died.

The Living Is Easy (1948; reissued 1982)
The Wedding (1995)
The Richer, The Poorer: Stories, Sketches, and Reminiscences (1995)

Edited: Aug 16, 2010, 7:01pm Top

Catching up a little...

Kate O'Brien
(3 December 1897 - 13 August 1974), Irish novelist and playwright.

After the success of her play, Distinguished Villa in 1926, she took to full-time writing and was awarded the 1931 James Tait Black Prize for her novel Without My Cloak. She is best known for her 1934 novel The Ante-Room, her 1941 novel The Land of Spices and the 1946 novel That Lady. Many of her books dealt with issues of female sexuality — with several exploring gay/lesbian themes — and both Mary Lavelle and The Land of Spices were banned in Ireland.

Kate O'Brien Weekend 2010

Aug 16, 2010, 7:12pm Top

Enid Mary Blyton (11 August 1897 – 28 November 1968). An English children's writer known as both Enid Blyton and Mary Pollock. She was one of the most successful children's storytellers of the twentieth century.

Enid Blyton Society

Remembering the creator of Noddy and the Famous Five

Aug 16, 2010, 7:27pm Top

Winifred Eileen Watson (20 October 1906 - 5 August 2002), English writer. She is most well known for her novel, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.

Winifred Watson Obituary

Interview with Anne Sebba, 2000

Edited: Aug 17, 2010, 4:01pm Top

Mae West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980), an American actress, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol.

Virago published The Constant Sinner, She Done Him Wrong and Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It.

Aug 17, 2010, 4:13pm Top

Thea Astley (25 August 1925 – 17 August 2004) An Australian novelist and short story writer, she was a prolific writer who was published for over 40 years from 1958. At the time of her death, she had won more Miles Franklin Awards, Australia's major literary award, than any other writer.

Literary World Mourns Thea Astley


Girl with a Monkey (1958)
A Descant for Gossips (1960)
The Well Dressed Explorer (1962)
The Slow Natives (1965)
A Boat Load of Home Folk (1968)
The Acolyte (1972)
A Kindness Cup (1974)
An Item from the Late News (1982)
Beachmasters (1985)
It's Raining in Mango (1987)
Reaching Tin River (1990) REVIEW
Vanishing Points (1992)
Coda (1994)
The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow (1996)
Drylands (1999)

Short stories
Hunting the Wild Pineapple (1979)
Collected Stories (1997)

Edited: Aug 17, 2010, 4:27pm Top

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (July 3, 1860 – August 17, 1935) was a prominent American sociologist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction, and a lecturer for social reform. Her best remembered work is The Yellow Wallpaper.

Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper" CPG, 1913

The Photographer Francesca Woodman's "Yellow Wallpaper"

Aug 17, 2010, 11:08pm Top

Great stuff, Cate, thanks! I loved Gilman's explanation of her book. And what on earth is she doing in that photo?

Aug 18, 2010, 6:52am Top

Thea Astley looks like someone I'd want to be friends with.

And thanks for the Mae West photo. How fabulous does she look?!?!

Aug 18, 2010, 10:08am Top

And Woodman's photographs are pretty amazing too....

Aug 18, 2010, 10:27am Top

Echoing Tui's post. Me too!
Is CPG perhaps making a speech? Perhaps for women's suffrage?!!!

Edited: Aug 18, 2010, 1:12pm Top

Isobel Dorothy Joyce Dennys
was born 14th 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 1986. Joyce enjoyed drawing lessons throughout her schooling, which was often interrupted due to financial problems, and later enrolled at Exeter Art School.

While studying at Exeter, she wished to take part in the war effort and worked as a Voluntary Aid Detachment after passing her Red Cross exams. Joyce designed a recruitment poster to encourage women to join up. She later wrote and illustrated the VAD alphabet while on duty on a ward and this was published by John Lane.

Joyce married Tom Evans, a young doctor, in 1919 and his father demanded they move to Australia. While living in New South Wales, Joyce’s work was constantly in print and 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 were later compiled into Henrietta’s War. Henrietta Sees it Through, published by Bloomsbury in July 2010 as part of the Bloomsbury Group, is the charming sequel to the much-loved Henrietta’s War.

She died in London on the 23rd February 1991.

Some blogs that I follow and their reviews of Henrietta's War......





Edited: Aug 18, 2010, 1:21pm Top

Elsa Morante (18 August 1912 – 25 November 1985) An Italian novelist, perhaps best known for her novel La storia (History).

Books and Writers on Elsa Morante

The Dark in the Piazza Partial article in the New York Review of Books....

Aug 18, 2010, 1:30pm Top

Anita Loos (April 26, 1888 – August 18, 1981) was an American screenwriter, playwright and author. On pronouncing her name, "The family has always used the correct French pronunciation which is lohse. However, I myself pronounce my name as if it were spelled luce, since most people pronounce it that way and it was too much trouble to correct them."

Aug 18, 2010, 1:41pm Top

Aug 18, 2010, 1:42pm Top

Oh my, how did HE get here!! Hmmmm Saw Eat, Pray and Love yesterday. Must have posted this while dreaming......

Aug 18, 2010, 3:29pm Top

Come on Cate, admit it, you first fell in love with him with the pudding bowl haircut in No Country for Old Men, right?


Aug 18, 2010, 4:44pm Top

He really can be so unattractive at times!!

Aug 18, 2010, 8:51pm Top

Thank you for mentioning Elsa Morante, Cate. You know how much I love her!
Also, I would like to point out that House of Liars and Arturo's Island are far superior to La Storia.

Aug 18, 2010, 10:00pm Top

Ah Cate, you do make me laugh!

Aug 19, 2010, 12:13am Top

And sometimes you do surprise us. I had to do a double take. There for a second, I forgot what thread I was on. LOL!~!

Aug 19, 2010, 2:58am Top

He looks a bit cross to me! Oh well...

Aug 19, 2010, 7:23am Top

Cate, you are too funny ...

Aug 19, 2010, 10:12am Top

And what book did he write?
Cate, Cate, Cate...
Silly pea.

Aug 20, 2010, 2:08pm Top

Julia Strachey (August, 1901 - 1979) was born in Allahabad, India, where her father, Oliver, the elder brother of Lytton Strachey, was a civil servant. Her mother, Ruby, was of Swiss-German origin.

For most of Julia's life she lived in England, where she worked as a model at Poiret, as a photographer and as a publisher's reader, before she embarked upon a career in novel-writing.

She is perhaps best remembered for her work Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, a book originally published by the Hogarth Press.

Aug 20, 2010, 2:16pm Top

Jacqueline Susann (August 20, 1918 – September 21, 1974) was an American author known for her best-selling novels. Her most notable work was Valley of the Dolls, a book that broke sales records and spawned an Oscar nominated 1967 film and a short-lived TV series.

Valley of the Dolls was published by Virago in 2008 in celebration of Virago's 30th Anniversary.

Aug 20, 2010, 2:24pm Top

It is the birthday of Deirdre Madden (born 20 August 1960). An author from Toomebridge, County Antrim in Northern Ireland.

Hidden Symptoms (1986)
The Birds of the Innocent Wood (1988)
Remembering Light and Stone (1993)
Nothing Is Black (1994)
One by One in the Darkness (1996) (Shortlisted for the 1997 Orange Prize)
Authenticity (2002)
Snake's Elbows (2005)
Thanks for Telling Me, Emily (2007)2
Molly Fox's Birthday (2008)

Aug 22, 2010, 2:51pm Top

I had to laugh. The guy as the pinup and the women as the serious stuff. A turnabout on the usual riff. Viragos level the playing field yet again.

Aug 24, 2010, 2:42pm Top

May Sinclair was the pseudonym of Mary Amelia St. Clair (24 August 1863 - 14 November 1946), was born in Liverpool 1863 as the youngest of six children and the only daughter of a ship-owner who went bankrupt. Initially educated at home, May spent a year at Cheltenham Ladies Collage under Dorothea Beale, who encouraged her in her lifelong interest in philosophy, psychology and Greek literature.

May lived with her mother in London until her mother's death in 1901. Her first published fiction came in 1897, Audrey Craven.

May supported herself by writing short stories, poems, reviews, philosophical articles and translations. A keen supporter of women's suffrage from 1908 and with an interest in psychoanalysis, her work was much influenced by Freud and Jung.

During the First World War Sinclair served with the Red Cross in the Field Ambulance Corps, one of the first women to go out to the Belgian front in 1914, although she was soon sent back home. Her notable war poetry includes Field Ambulance in Retreat.

She wrote 24 novels including The Divine Fire, published in 1904, and The Three Sisters (1914), the latter a study in female frustration. Much of Mary Olivier: A Life (1919) is autobiographical: the alcoholic father, the dominating mother, the death of several brothers from heart failure: four of May's brothers died before age 50).

After the First World War she was considered for a time the most distinguished female novelist, until Virginia Woolf emergence.

Whilst her writings fell into obscurity following her death, her work underwent a revival in the 1980s.

Settling in Buckinghamshire in 1932, May Sinclair, who never married, died in 1946, having suffered from Parkinson's Disease for the last 15 years of her life.

May Sinclair and the First World War

The Small Room
Audrey Craven (1897)
Two Sides of a Question (1901)
Divine Fire (1904)
Superseded (1906)
The Helpmate (1907)
Kitty Taileur (1908)
The Creators (1910)
Feminism (1912)
The Combined Maze (1913)
The Return of the Prodigal (1914)
The Belfry (1916)
Tasker Jervons (1916)
The Tree of Heaven (1917)
Mary Olivier: A Life (1919)
The Romantic (1920)
Mr. Waddington Of Wyck (1921)
Anne Severn and the Fieldings (1922)
Life and Death Of Harriett Frean (1922)
Arnold Waterlow: A Life (1924)
A Cure of Souls: A Novel (1924)
The Rector of Wyck (1925)
Far End (1926)
The Allinghams (1927)
History of Anthony Waring (1927)
The Three Sisters (1982)

Edited: Aug 24, 2010, 3:17pm Top

Today is the birthday of Dame Antonia Susan Duffy, DBE (born 24 August 1936, Sheffield). She is an English novelist, poet and Booker Prize winner. In 2008, The Times newspaper named her among their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".

She is the daughter of His Honour John Frederick Drabble, QC and the late Kathleen Marie Bloor, and is married to Peter Duffy. She is usually known as A. S. Byatt. Her younger sisters are the novelist Dame Margaret Drabble and the art historian Helen Langdon.

Aug 24, 2010, 9:09pm Top

Oh! I LOVE HER!!!!!!!

Aug 25, 2010, 11:10am Top

Mary Patricia (Mollie) Panter-Downes (born 25 August 1906; died 22 January 1997 in Compton, Surrey) was a novelist and newspaper columnist for the New Yorker. Aged sixteen, she wrote The Shoreless Sea which became a bestseller; eight editions were published in 1923 and 1924, and the book was serialised in The Daily Mirror. Her second novel The Chase was published in 1925.

After her marriage to Aubrey Robinson in 1927, the couple moved to Surrey, and in 1938 Panter-Downes began writing for the New Yorker, first a series of short stories, and from September 1939, a column entitled Letter from London, which she wrote until 1984. The collected columns were later published as Letters from England (1940) and London War Notes (1972).

A Wartime Voice to Treasure

Interesting site about her father, Edward Martin Panter-Downes

Selected works

The Shoreless Sea (1923)
The Chase (1925)
One Fine Day (1947)
Minnie's Room (Short stories collected between 1947–1965)
Good Evening, Mrs Craven (short stories collected between 1938–1944)

Aug 25, 2010, 4:48pm Top

Phew - thank you dear Cate - I have just caught up again and have greatly enjoyed my indulgence.

Aug 26, 2010, 12:00pm Top

Eleanor Dark (née O'Reilly) (26 August 1901 – 11 September 1985) An Australian author whose novels included Prelude to Christopher (1934) and Return to Coolami (1936), both winners of the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal for literature.

Eleanor Dark: Child of the Century

Slow Dawning (1932)
Prelude to Christopher (1934)
Return to Coolami (1936)
Sun Across the Sky (1937)
Waterway (1938)
The Little Company (1945)
The Timeless Land (1941)
Storm of Time (1948)
No Barrier (1953)
Lantana Lane (1959)

Aug 26, 2010, 1:03pm Top

I like Eleanor Dark.
I have read Waterway, The Little Company, and Lantana Lane (which is my favourite of the three). I also have The Timeless Land trilogy, but did not get to that, yet.

Aug 26, 2010, 6:47pm Top

Lantana Lane is sitting on my nightstand -- I guess I should pick it up soon.

Aug 26, 2010, 9:13pm Top

You will not regret it, Jane. Lantana Lane is wonderful!

Edited: Aug 30, 2010, 12:46pm Top

Ada Leverson (10 October, 1862- 30 August, 1933)

More on Ada at wikiquote.

Jewish Woman Archives on Ada


The Twelfth Hour (1907)
Love's Shadow (1908)
The Limit (1911)
Tenterhooks (1912)
Bird of Paradise (1914)
Love at Second Sight (1916)
Letters To The Sphinx From Oscar Wilde and Reminiscences of the Author(1930)
Little Ottleys (Virago 1982) omnibus: Love's Shadow", "Tenterhooks", "Love at Second Sight"

Edited: Aug 31, 2010, 12:05pm Top

Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey born August 31, 1938 in Dallas, Texas.

A Short Clip - Listen to EFH

Interview with EFH

Virago published her first novel, A Woman of Independent Means in 2000.

Edited: Aug 31, 2010, 12:26pm Top

The Russian poet and playwright Marina Tsvetaeva committed suicide on this day in 1941, perhaps forced to it by the secret police. Even without its final chapter, the story of Tsvetaeva’s life is a tumultuous and tragic one of dislocation, starvation, denied love, espionage, persecution, execution, censorship and more. At the end, she was so branded and blacklisted by the Stalinists that when she applied to the Soviet LitFund for help she was denied work even as a dishwasher in their canteen. She committed suicide six days later, during or just after a visit from agents of the NKVD.

She had written in 1922 in 'The Tsar-Maiden': "I am nowhere. / I've vanished in no land. / Nobody catches up with me. / Nothing will bring me back." According to Boris Pasternak, her suicide might have been prevented if the literary bureaucrats had not behaved with such appalling heartlessness to her. Nobody attended her funeral. The exact location of her grave is not known.

Translations of Marina's Poetry

Aug 31, 2010, 1:45pm Top

How very, very sad. Life can indeed, sometimes, be such a bitter pill to swallow. But this bit you have shared with us is like a carrot dangling before my nose now and I want to find out much more about her. Will be seeking a biography on Marina Tsvetaeva.
Thank you so much darling Cate. You are so appreciated my dear.

Aug 31, 2010, 2:26pm Top

Yes, how appalling and how grateful I am for my boring little life. Got just a taste of this reading Sofia Petrovna which Andrew and Mary recommended last year.

Aug 31, 2010, 4:31pm Top

Lily Feiler wrote a biography of Tsvetaeva a few years ago: Marina Tsvetaeva: The Double Beat of Heaven and Hell -- lots of information there, but I found it a bit over the top with the psychobabble. My review is on the book page.

Sep 4, 2010, 12:39am Top

Lettice Ulpha Cooper, born Eccles, Lancashire, 3 September 1897; died Coltishall, Norfolk 24 July 1994.

British Women Novelists, 1910s-1960s:The 'middle-brows'

Janet Wolff on The New House by Lettice Cooper

Letice Cooper's Obit


The Lighted Room (1925)
The New House (1936) (Reprinted by Persephone Books in 2004)
National Provincial (1938)
Fenny (1953)
Biography of Robert Louis Stevenson (1947)Black Bethlehem (1947)
Blackberry's Kitten (1960)
Tea on Sunday (1973)
Snow and Roses (1976)
Desirable Residence (1980)
Unusual Behaviour (1986)
Une Journee avec Rhoda (1994)

Sep 4, 2010, 12:40am Top

Lettice Ulpha Cooper, born Eccles, Lancashire, 3 September 1897; died Coltishall, Norfolk 24 July 1994.

British Women Novelists, 1910s-1960s:The 'middle-brows'

Janet Wolff on The New House by Lettice Cooper

Letice Cooper's Obit


The Lighted Room (1925)
The New House (1936) (Reprinted by Persephone Books in 2004)
National Provincial (1938)
Fenny (1953)
Biography of Robert Louis Stevenson (1947)Black Bethlehem (1947)
Blackberry's Kitten (1960)
Tea on Sunday (1973)
Snow and Roses (1976)
Desirable Residence (1980)
Unusual Behaviour (1986)
Une Journee avec Rhoda (1994)

Sep 5, 2010, 1:09pm Top

Katherine Cecil Thurston. 18 April 1875 - 5 September 1911


The Circle (1903)

John Chilcote M.P. (aka The Masquerader) (1904) - # 3 best selling book in the U.S. for the year 1904 and # 7 for 1905
(Also made into film - first in the USA in 1922, then in Russia in 1923 (as Lord Chilcott), then remade in the USA in 1933.)

The Gambler (1905) - # 6 best selling book in the U.S. for the year 1905

The Mystics (1907)

The Fly on the Wheel (1908) (published by Virago)

Max (1910) - #4 best selling book in the U.S. for the year 1910

Sep 7, 2010, 11:35am Top

Scottish novelist Susan Edmonstone Ferrier (September 7, 1782 in Edinburgh - 1854) was the daughter of James Ferrier, one of the principal clerks of the Court of Session, in which office he was the colleague of Sir Walter Scott.

Ferrier wrote three novels, Marriage (1818), The Inheritance (1824), and Destiny (1831), all characterised by racy humour and acute character-painting. Her cheerful and tactful friendship helped to soothe the last days of Sir Walter Scott.

Classic Encyclopedia on Susan Ferrier

Sep 7, 2010, 12:05pm Top

Margaret Landon (September 7, 1903 – December 4, 1993).

An American writer who became famous for Anna and the King of Siam, her 1944 novel of the life of Anna Leonowens. Her book on Leonowens was published in 1944 and became an instant bestseller. It eventually sold over a million copies and was published in more than twenty languages.

Sep 7, 2010, 2:46pm Top

Elizabeth Jenkins, who died on Sunday aged 104, was a sensitive and perceptive novelist and biographer; having been introduced to the Bloomsbury Group in the 1920s, she soon turned her back on Virginia Woolf, whom she found “appalling”, to achieve success in her own right.

Elizabeth Jenkins, 31 October 1905 - 5 September 2010

Memoirs of 100 years as a literary lion.

Sep 8, 2010, 1:36pm Top

Alexandra David-Neel died on this day in 1969. She was a Belgian-French explorer, anarchist, spiritualist, Buddhist and writer, most known for her visit to Lhasa, Tibet, in 1924, when it was forbidden to foreigners.

She became famous for the third of her two-dozen books, My Journey to Lhasa (#55 of National Geographic’s 100 Greatest Adventure Books). It describes David-Neel’s four-month trek through the Himalayas in 1924 in order to become the first European woman to enter (disguised as a pilgrim) the forbidden Tibetan city. She was fifty-five at the time, and she had been on and off the road since a teenager — Europe, Japan, and two trips to India. The photo shows David-Neel in front of the Tibetan cave where she lived for two years:

"I am haunted by the steppes, the solitude, the everlasting snow and the great blue sky "up there"! The difficult hours, the hunger, the cold, the wind slashing my face, leaving me with enormous, bloody, swollen lips. The camp sites in the snow, sleeping in the frozen mud, none of that counted, those miseries were soon gone and we remained perpetually submerged in a silence, with only the song of the wind in the solitude, almost bare even of plant life, the fabulous chaos of rock, vertiginous peaks and horizons of blinding light. A land that seems to belong to another world...."

(24 October 1868 - 8 September 1969)

Alexandra David-Neel website

Sep 8, 2010, 2:13pm Top

That is my dream trip......

Edited: Sep 9, 2010, 12:01pm Top

Anna Haycraft (September 9, 1932 – March 8, 2005). An English writer and essayist who wrote under the nom de plume Alice Thomas Ellis. She was the author of numerous novels, and also of some non-fiction, including cookery books.

Obit in the Guardian

Obit in the Times


The Sin Eater (1977)
The Birds of the Air (1980)
The 27th Kingdom (1982)
The Other Side of the Fire (1983)
Unexplained Laughter (1985)
The Clothes in the Wardrobe (1987) (Summerhouse Trilogy I.)
The Skeleton in the Cupboard (1988) (Summerhouse Trilogy II.)
The Fly in the Ointment (1990) (Summerhouse Trilogy III.)
The Inn at the Edge of the World (1990)
Pillars of Gold (1992)
The Evening of Adam (1994) (stories)
Fairy Tale (1996)
Hotel Lucifer (1999)

Sep 9, 2010, 2:32pm Top

My, oh my; and she liked her flip flops. Wow! I am thinking that this was a very independent woman.

Sep 10, 2010, 10:09am Top

I especially enjoyed The Inn at the Edge of the World by Alice Thomas Ellis.

Must look for David-Neel books, and those photos of her are wonderful!

Sep 10, 2010, 11:11am Top

Something written recently about Beryl Bainbridge (soon after her death) contained some very negative comments on Anna Haycraft and there was a furious response from, I think, her son. It was probably the Guardian/Observer.

Sep 10, 2010, 2:19pm Top

#58> If I manage to find my other copy of My Journey to Lhasa (which is not a Virago), I will be happy to send it your way, Christine.

Sep 10, 2010, 3:40pm Top

It's the birthday of the poet who wrote under the initials H.D., Hilda Doolittle, born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (1886).

She met Ezra Pound when she was a teenager and they fell in love, but her father forced her to break off the relationship. They stayed friends, and Pound brought her armfuls of books to read every day. She followed him to Europe, and when she showed him some of her poems, he loved them and sent them to Poetry magazine, signing them for her, "H.D. Imagist." He invented a new school of poetry based on her work that he called Imagism, which broke from formal metered verse and used clear, simple language to describe the world. She went on to publish many collections of poetry, including Sea Garden (1916) and Red Roses for Bronze (1929).

She wrote, "To sing love, / love must first shatter us."

HD Website

Sep 10, 2010, 4:42pm Top

What an interesting obit but quite awful of A N Wilson to use it as a vehicle to attack others. I have no clue who was wrong or who was right in this mess. I do know that despite many attempts to like Bainbridge's work, I still don't and I do like A T Ellis, a lot. However the obit was unnecessarily bitchy and I think quite a bit less of A N Wilson for writing it.

Sep 10, 2010, 4:56pm Top

>61 aluvalibri: Goody!

>63 romain: I quite agree with your assessment of the obit, romain! Too bad.

Sep 10, 2010, 8:36pm Top

>60 marise:: that was rich, Christine, thanks for posting those links. Whew! All very hissy spitty and knives flashing, wasn't it!

Edited: Sep 10, 2010, 10:21pm Top

Thanks elkiedee, marise and romain for the backstories on Miss Haycraft & Co.

Adelaide Crapsey (September 9, 1878 – October 8, 1914). American Poetess.

More on Adelaide Crapsey HERE

Edited: Sep 11, 2010, 1:16pm Top

Mary Noel Streatfeild OBE (24 December 1895–11 September 1986), known as Noel Streatfeild, was an author, most famous for her children's books including Ballet Shoes (1936).

Persephone Books reissued Streadfield's Saplings.

Sep 12, 2010, 7:43am Top

Lovely cover-art there. Thank you once again our beloved Cate and thank you to all of you others who added bits and pieces. Nicely done.

Sep 12, 2010, 10:37am Top

Ohhhh "The Ballet Shoes".....I haven't read that since I was a sprat. I wonder if I would still like it?

Sep 12, 2010, 10:38am Top

Yes, you would! It's still lovely! There was a good BBC adaptation of it a few years ago as well.

Sep 12, 2010, 12:11pm Top

I loved all those shoes books when I was in grade school, half a century ago.

Sep 12, 2010, 12:45pm Top

Elsa Yur'evna Triolet(September 12 (or September 24) 1896 - June 16, 1970)

The following is taken from a Russian website on Elsa. Note the translation!!

They were born in an intellectual Jewish family in Moscow. Parents are big fans of Goethe, was named in honor of the heroines of girls' favorite writer - Lily (later became Lily) and Elsa. The eldest, Lily, was born in 1891, Elsa - 12 (24) September 1896. The sisters received an excellent education, from childhood spoke French and German and, of course, played the piano.

Lily was bright red with huge brown eyes, and Elsa, the blonde, blue-eyed. While the elder sister was rushing to find a professional 'I' and build a family life with Osip Brik, younger successfully graduated from Architectural Institute. The summer of 1915 was an acquaintance of Elsa Triolet Vladimir Mayakovsky, she was busy with a poet's verse and his own. Acquainted with his sister. IV.. powerful love flooded a married Lily Brik. Elsa without a battle lost Volodya sister. Perhaps she felt that the left fan, but there were other, equally interesting writers. Especially blazed Viktor Shklovsky. 'I love you unthinkable - he wrote to Elsa Shklovsky. - Just lie down and die '.

Elsa, rejecting all domestic suitors, in 1918, she married a French officer, Andrц╘ Triolet and drove off with him to Paris, leaving hungry and cold Russia. The first part of the life of Elsa Kagan ended, began the second - Elsa Triolet. In one of the first letters to Elsa, Lily wrote: 'Andrew, as befits a French husband, I shpynyaet that I do not darn his socks, steaks are not zharyu and that disorder. Had become a rough mistress ... In all other cases, absolutely all - I have complete freedom ... '

Of course, when the 'full freedom', then the marriage is failing. Here and Elsa Triolet separated from her first husband, a few years later met his second chosen - Louis Aragon. Meeting October 6, 1928 in the cafe 'Font' in Montparnasse identified further way of two lives, draining them together.

32-year-old woman from Russia at once charmed the beautiful and intelligent Frenchman. Elsa Triolet, as Lilya Brik, was able to enslave men and dictate its will. Lily dominated Mayakovsky, Elsa sway over Aragon. She managed to drive off the French poet and a rebel from hobbies surrealism and homosexuality and forced him to worship the new religion - communism (to be Communists in France in those years had some pragmatic meaning). Aragon joined the Communist Party, cooperated with the newspaper 'L'Humanite', visited the Soviet Union. And only later, on the side of his life, Louis Aragon, receive your sight, made a sad confession: 'I'm not the one who you want me to submit. I ruined my life, that's all. "

But back to Elsa. Their marriage was successful, and it is surprising that the two creative people lived relatively quiet for 42 years. Here I wrote Maya Plisetskaya, when staying at Elsa and Louis in Paris: 'Live at the Aragon and Elsa was amusing. Both writers woke up at dawn, drinking a cup of black coffee and wrote, half-sitting up in bed until noon. In those hours I have for them does not exist. The questions are not answered calls at the door - and even more so, the phone did not fit. Quietness. Only the creaking of feathers posapyvaniya yes'.

Tirol's first book, written in Russian, 'Tahiti', published in 1925. The first book in French 'Good-evening, Teresa! " appeared in 1938. Collection Elsa Triolet 'for damage to cloth fine of 200 francs' in 1945, received the prize Goncourt, the highest literary award of France, for the first time in 40 years, award woman. In the novel 'Wedding Crashers' ( 'Appointment of strangers'), Elsa Triolet in May 1957 was awarded the 'Prize Fellowship' organization authorized by the movement against racism, antisemitism and in defense of peace.

. Elsa Triolet wrote a book on Chekhov, his stories translated into French, it is one of the authors of the script of the famous film 'Normandie-Niemen'
. Of course, it is translated by Vladimir Mayakovsky and promoted his work in France. During the visits to France, poet Elsa Triolet was a translator and guide his old friend. As noticed Mayakovsky, he said in Paris, only 'in the language of Tirol'.

Elsa Triolet spent 73 пЁп╬п╢п╟. She died June 16, 1970. In the same year she released her latest novel 'The Nightingale stops at dawn'. Louis Aragon survived his wife for several years. They are buried together in the garden of his suburban home in St. Arnuan-Yvelines (Department of Seine and Oise). On the tombstone of a quotation from the novel by Elsa: 'The dead are defenseless. But we hope that our books will protect us'.

Edited: Sep 12, 2010, 8:17pm Top

I think the translation just makes it! Having a bright red sister would be fascinating, although being told to lie down and die by someone who loved me unthinkable might be a bit offputting. And to learn that homosexuality and surrealism are hobbies! But to wake up with coffee, write until noon, with a phone that doesn't fit and only the sound of feathers creaking, ah, heaven!

Sep 12, 2010, 3:39pm Top

I liked the bit about the rough mistress... I thought it absolutely delightful and given that I could not do anything like as well if called to translate something into Russian I should not say this, but it was also hysterically funny.

Sep 12, 2010, 3:53pm Top

Best giggle of the day. I must learn more about this remarkable woman!

Sep 12, 2010, 6:45pm Top

She died June 16, 1970. In the same year she released her latest novel 'The Nightingale stops at dawn'. Was that before or after she died, I wonder?

Sep 12, 2010, 10:49pm Top

How 'bout that translation! Really cute, I thought. So glad it gave a chuckle to all!

Sep 13, 2010, 1:39pm Top

This thread would win "The L.T. Thread Award", hands down; were they to have them.
Coffee with Cate; lovely.

Edited: Sep 13, 2010, 4:58pm Top

Oh ..... roftl!! Now, Elsa Triolet is an author with whom I fell in love with despite only having read one of her books A Fine of Two HUndred Francs. So very pleased you featured her - thank you so much Cate.

Sep 15, 2010, 11:28am Top

You're welcome! To my knowledge, most of her work is not translated. Hint Hint, nudge, nudge, Juliette avec l'âme française

Sep 15, 2010, 12:38pm Top

Ann Bannon (pseudonym of Ann Weldy, born September 15, 1932). American author who wrote six lesbian pulp fiction novels known as The Beebo Brinker Chronicles from 1957 to 1962.

Ann Bannon Website

Sep 15, 2010, 4:33pm Top

Fascinating website, Cate. Thanks for that one.

Sep 16, 2010, 1:02pm Top

She brings to mind a very young Ingrid Bergman. Lovely girl.

Sep 17, 2010, 2:49pm Top

Cate -when the great day of retirement arrives .... all in good time! It is a long way off so don't hold your breath :)

Edited: Sep 19, 2010, 1:24pm Top

Penelope Ruth Mortimer, born Penelope Fletcher (19 September 1918 - 19 October 1999)

Married to Sir John Mortimer

Mortimer Family, 1960

Penelope Mortimer Obit


Johanna (as Penelope Dimont)
A Villa in Summer
The Bright Prison
Daddy's Gone A-Hunting, Persephone Books
The Pumpkin Eater, Virago
My Friend Says It's Bulletproof, Virago
The Home
Long Distance
The Handyman
Short Stories
Saturday Lunch with the Brownings
Humphrey's Mother

About Time
About Time Too

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

With Love and lizards

Sep 19, 2010, 1:36pm Top

Hmm... I love John Mortimer's Rumpole. I had no idea his wife was an author too.

Sep 19, 2010, 4:35pm Top

OMG Layton! Their marriage was a doozy. She got half a dozen books out of it.

Edited: Sep 19, 2010, 7:30pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Sep 19, 2010, 8:02pm Top

Miles from Brindabella

'Banjo' Paterson was in his late thirties when he first met Miles Franklin (born "Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin"; 14 October 1879 – 19 September 1954). He took quite a fancy to the bright young lady from the country and there is some evidence to suggest he may have even proposed marriage to her.

She was the 20-year-old author of the newly-acclaimed My Brilliant Career, and he was a sophisticated Sydney solicitor who had written the best-known poem of the day, The Man from Snowy River.

Banjo Patterson

Their first meeting did not go well. Paterson offered Miles professional advice on her publishing contract and dismissed, rather off-handedly, some new stories offered for his appraisal. 'Banjo', we're told, suggested they should work together on a book, and Miles counter-proposed the writing of a joint play.

While she may have been flattered by the attention of such a literary celebrity, Miles Franklin ultimately drafted a letter to Paterson in which she satirically parodied his approach. It was a clear rebuttal, and their relationship foundered.

Miles was born at Talbingo homestead in the Snowy Mountains in 1879 and grew up at Brindabella, 40kms closer to Canberra. Her best book, an autobiography named Childhood at Brindabella , covers this period of her life. Her first book, My Brilliant Career , caused a minor furore when some of Miles' friends and family thought they recognized themselves in it. The author had it withdrawn from sale. Another writer said of this incident, it was 'a storm in a billycan, but Miles took them seriously. She cleared out of Australia, to get away from all the provincial fuss ...'

She lived and worked in American and England, and did not return to Sydney until 1933.

When Miles Franklin died in 1954 she bequeathed funds for an annual literary prize for "a published novel portraying some aspect of Australian life" - today's most prestigious prize for writers - Miles Franklin Literary Award.

She never married.

Judy Davis as Miles in the cinematic version of My Brilliant Career

(Check out YouTube for the trailer - I can't get the link to post here).

Selected Works

My Brilliant Career (1901)
Some Everyday Folk and Dawn (1909)
Old Blastus of Bandicoot (1931)
Bring the Monkey (1933)
All That Swagger (1936)
Pioneers on Parade (1939) - with Dymphna Cusack
My Career Goes Bung (1946)
On Dearborn Street (1981)

Under the pseudonym of "Brent of Bin Bin"
Up the Country (1928)
Ten Creeks Run (1930)
Back to Bool Bool (1931)
Prelude to Waking (1950)
Cockatoos (1955)
Gentleman at Gyang Gyang (1956)

Joseph Furphy: The Legend of a Man and His Book (1944)
Laughter, Not for a Cage (1956)
Childhood at Brindabella (1963)

Sep 19, 2010, 7:54pm Top

Ethel May Dell or Ethel Mary Dell (August 2, 1881 – 19 September 1939).


The Way of an Eagle (1912)
The Knave of Diamonds (1912)
Greatheart (1912)
The Rocks of Valpré (1914)
The Keeper of the Door (1915)
The Bars of Iron (1916)
The Hundredeth Chance (1917) - also as The Hundredth Chance
The Rose of Dawn (1917)
The Safety Curtain and Other Stories (1917) - collection
The Lamp in the Desert (1919)
The Tidal Wave and Other Stories (1920) - collection
The Desire of His Life (1920)
The Top of the World (1920)
The Obstacle Race (1921)
Rosa Mundi and Other Stories (1921) - collection
The Knight Errant (1922) - 1922 movie, novel's date uncertain
The Odds and Other Stories (1922) - collection
Charles Rex (1922)
Verses (1923)
The Swindler and Other Stories (1923) - collection
Tetherstones (1923)
The Unknown Quantity (1924)
The Passer-By and Other Stories (1925)
A Man Under Authority (1926)
The Black Knight (1926)
The House of Happiness and Other Stories (1927) - collection
The Gate Marked Private (1928)
By Request (1928) - U.S. title Peggy by Request
The Altar of Honour (1929)
Storm Drift (1930)
The Silver Bride (1932) – U.S. title The Silver Wedding (1933)
The Live Bait and Other Stories (1932) - collection
Dona Celestis (1933)
The Prison Wall (1933)
The Electric Torch (1934)
Where Three Roads Meet (1935)
Honeyball Farm (1937)
The Juice of the Pomegranate (1938)
The Serpent in the Garden (1938)
Sown Among Thorns (1939)

Sep 20, 2010, 8:34am Top

Thank you, Cate dear. I love Miles Franklin. I also enjoyed The Way of an Eagle, which I found strangely entertaining, considering it was not the kind of story I would usually find interesting.

Edited: Sep 20, 2010, 11:46am Top

Welcome, Miss P. ;~)

by Stevie Smith;
introduced by Mick Imlah

Famous for four words – "Not Waving but Drowning" – the Londoner Stevie Smith (20 September 1902 – 7 March 1971) is otherwise a difficult poet to classify. Her milieu is somewhere between the comic, the twee and the neurotic: her chief virtues are her oddnesss, and the discipline with which that oddness is sustained through single poems. "Pretty", for instance – published in the TLS in 1959 – seems at first an obsessive, atmospheric reprise of the theme of Nature "red in tooth and claw", until the closing stanzas, which reveal a human raptor and an unsuspected impulse behind the poem.


Why is the word pretty so underrated?
In November the leaf is pretty when it falls
The stream grows deep in the woods after rain
And in the pretty pool the pike stalks.

He stalks his prey, and this is pretty too,
The prey escapes with an underwater flash
But not for long, the great fish has him now
The pike is a fish who always has his prey,

And this is pretty. The water rat is pretty
His paws are not webbed, he cannot shut his nostrils
As the otter can and the beaver, he is torn between
The land and water. Not ‘torn’, he does not mind.

The owl hunts in the evening and it is pretty
The lake water below him rustles with ice
There is frost coming from the ground, in the air mist
All this is pretty, it could not be prettier.

Yes, it could always be prettier, the eye abashes,
It is becoming an eye that cannot see enough,
Out of the wood the eye climbs. This is prettier
A field in the evening, tilting up.

The field tilts to the sky. Though it is late
The sky is lighter than the hill field
All this looks easy but really it is extraordinary
Well, it is extraordinary to be so pretty,

And it is careless, and that is always pretty
This field, this owl, this pike, this pool are careless
As Nature is always careless and indifferent
Who sees, who steps means nothing, and this is pretty.

So a person can come along like a thief – pretty! –
Stealing a look, pinching the sound and feel,
Lick the icicle broken from the bank
And still say nothing at all, only cry pretty.

Cry pretty, pretty, pretty and you’ll be able
Very soon not even to cry pretty
And so be delivered entirely from humanity,
This is prettiest of all, it is very pretty.


Novel on Yellow Paper
The Holiday
Over the Frontier

Stevie Smith reading Not Waving but Drowning

Stevie Smith's Poetry

Sep 20, 2010, 11:54am Top

Frances Sheridan (née Chamberlaine) (1724–20 September 1766). She was an Anglo-Irish novelist and playwright.

The Discovery (1763)
The Dupe (1764)
A Trip to Bath (1765)

Memoirs of Miss Sidney Bidulph (1761)
The History of Nourjahad (1767)
Continuation of the Memoirs (1767)
Eugenia and Adelaide (unpublished until 1791)

Sep 21, 2010, 12:52pm Top

I'd like Miles Franklin's figure, please. Where can I get one of those?

Edited: Sep 21, 2010, 1:19pm Top

#94 Here you go. All you have to do is wear bear it. I guarantee she did.

Sep 21, 2010, 2:06pm Top

Hmmmm.... it's a thought! I wonder if M&S sells them.

Sep 24, 2010, 3:01am Top

96 - probably !!!

Sep 28, 2010, 12:00pm Top

Anita Loos’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes opened on Broadway on this day in 1926. The story was a smash hit in all its incarnations — the 1925 book, the 1926 play, the 1928 movie, the 1949 musical, the 1953 movie….

The martini dresses were designed by Miles White for the ’49 musical, though Lorelei prefers champagne: “I mean champagne always makes me feel philosophical because it makes me realize that when a girl’s life is as full of fate as mine seems to be, there is nothing else to do about it.”

Sep 28, 2010, 5:25pm Top

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and its sequel But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes are hilarious! I enjoyed myself immensely when I read them.

Edited: Sep 29, 2010, 12:14pm Top

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, née Stevenson (29 September 1810 – 12 November 1865).

Elizabeth Gaskell on the Victorian Web

Mary Barton (1848)
Cranford (1851–3)
Ruth (1853)
North and South (1854–5)
Sylvia's Lovers (1863)
Wives and Daughters: An Everyday Story (1865)

Sep 29, 2010, 12:44pm Top

@ # 94:
I don't know where you can get yours, but I think I should be able to time travel back for mine to 1966 when I had a 21 1/2 inch waistline. Now.............where did I put that time travel machine...................

Sep 29, 2010, 12:46pm Top

Carson McCullers (February 19, 1917 – September 29, 1967)

The Carson McCullers Project

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940)
Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941)
The Member of the Wedding (1946)
Clock Without Hands (1961)

Other works
The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1951), a short story collection comprising:
a novella of the same title, later made into a Merchant Ivory Film,
Wunderkind – (Story, 1936)
The Jockey – (The New Yorker, 1941)
Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland – (The New Yorker, 1941)
The Sojourner – (Mademoiselle, 1950)
A Domestic Dilemma – (New York Post magazine section, September 16, 1951)
A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud – (Harper's Bazaar, 1942)
The Square Root of Wonderful (1958), a play
Sweet as a Pickle and Clean as a Pig (1964), a collection of poems
The Mortgaged Heart (1972), a posthumous collection of writings, edited by her sister Rita
Illumination and Night Glare (1999), her unfinished autobiography, published more than 30 years after her death

Cause of death: Cerebral hemorrhage

Oak Hill Cemetery
Rockland County
New York, USA
Plot: High Lawn section

Sep 29, 2010, 2:47pm Top

Mina Loy born Mina Gertrude Löwry (December 27, 1882 – September 25, 1966) was an artist, poet, playwright, novelist, Futurist, actress, Christian Scientist, designer of lamps and bohemian extraordinaire.
She was one of the last of the first generation modernists to achieve posthumous recognition. Her poetry was admired by T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Basil Bunting, Gertrude Stein, Francis Picabia and Yvor Winters, among others.

Mina Loy's Lunar Odyssey

Lunar Baedecker

Sep 30, 2010, 1:32am Top

I am not at all familiar with her Cate, but what an impressive following she had.

Sep 30, 2010, 9:16am Top

Carson McCullers was only 50 when she died too. Awfully young.
Elizabeth Gaskell was beautiful in that sketch.

Sep 30, 2010, 4:10pm Top

How did a 23 year old write The Heart is a Lonely Hunter?!! That is such a wise and wonderful book.

Oct 2, 2010, 12:28pm Top

Katharine Susannah Prichard (4 December 1883 – 2 October 1969), author, pacifist, Communist, indefatigable political activist, chose to live on the outskirts of Perth, Western Australia, for fifty years, from 1919 until her death in 1969.

Her life is one of courage, determination, hard work, great joy and satisfaction, and tragedy. During her lifetime she developed an international reputation as a novelist, she was recognised as one of Australia's foremost writers, and she established an almost legendary reputation locally as a political activist whose initiatives made a profound impact upon the lives of many West Australians.

Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers' Centre

The Pioneers (1915)
Windlestraws (1916)
Black Opal (1921)
Working Bullocks (921)
The Wild Oats of Han (1928)
Coonardoo (1929)
Haxby's Circus (1930)
Intimate Strangers (1939)
Moon of Desire (1941)
The Roaring Nineties (1946)
Golden Miles (1948)
Winged Seeds (1950)
Subtle Flame (1967)

Coonardoo was singing. Sitting under dark bushes overhung with curly white blossom, she clicked two small sticks together, singing:

"Towera chinima poodinya,
Towera jinner mulbeena...."

Over and over again, in a thin reedy voice, away at the back of her head, the melody flowed like water running over smooth pebbles in a dry creek bed. Winding and falling, the words rattled together and flew eerily, as if she were whispering to herself, exclaiming, and in awe of the kangaroos who came over the range and made a dance with their little feet in the twilight before they began to feed.

"Towera chinima poodinya,
Towera jinner mulbeena,
Poodinyoober mulbeena."

("Kangaroos coming over the range in the twilight, and making a devil dance with their little feet, before they begin to feed.")

It was no more than a twitter in the shadow of dark bushes near the veranda; a twitter with the clicking of small sticks. Coonardoo was not supposed to be there at all. Everybody was asleep in the long house of mud bricks and corrugated iron, and under the brushwood sheds beyond the kala miah. But Coonardoo did not want to sleep.

From Coonardoo by Katharine Susannah Prichard

Oct 2, 2010, 6:40pm Top

What a gorgeous quote! I am going to have to find this writer.

Oct 4, 2010, 4:13pm Top

mmmm ... just checked the Oxfordshire libraries and no sign of Coonardoo or Katharine.

Edited: Oct 4, 2010, 7:55pm Top

Anne Sexton committed suicide on this day in 1974.

Apart from the previous attempts, the poems on the topic, and the years of erratic, full-speed behavior, there were no suicide notes. She even called her date for that night to say only that she would be late. She then put on her mother’s old mink coat, poured a last glass of vodka, stepped into her car in the closed garage, started the engine and turned on the radio. The following excerpt is from “Suicide Note”:

…I could admit
that I am only a coward
crying me me me
and not mention the little gnats, the moths,
forced by circumstance
to suck on the electric bulb.
But surely you know that everyone has a death,
his own death,
waiting for him.
So I will go now
without old age or disease,
wildly but accurately,
knowing my best route,
carried by that toy donkey I rode all these years,
never asking, “Where are we going?”
We were riding (if I'd only known)
to this….

Forest Hills Cemetery and Crematory
Jamaica Plain
Suffolk County
Massachusetts, USA

Short Takes of Anne at Home

Oct 4, 2010, 8:10pm Top

Henrietta Lacks (August 18, 1920 – October 4, 1951). An African–American woman who was the unwitting donor of cells from her cancerous tumor, which were cultured by George Otto Gey to create an immortal cell line for medical research. This is now known as the HeLa cell line.

Rebecca Skloot on Henrietta Lacks.

dovegreyreader on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Oct 5, 2010, 7:02am Top

>112 bleuroses:: an amazing story, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is an excellent book. She's a fine addition to our remembrances ... thanks Cate!

Edited: Oct 5, 2010, 12:34pm Top

Louise Fitzhugh (October 5, 1928 - November 19, 1974) was an American author and illustrator of young adult and children's literature.
Her work includes Harriet the Spy, its sequel the The Long Secret and Nobody's Family is Going to Change.

Purple Socks A Fan's Website

A Bit about Harriet!

Oct 5, 2010, 1:09pm Top

Frances Marion Beynon (1884-1951)

Journalist, writer, feminist.

Born in Streetsville, Ontario, daughter of James Barnes and Rebecca Beynon, sister to Lillian Beynon Thomas, she moved with her family to Manitoba in 1889, settling in the Hartney district of the province, where her father farmed.

The family was of staunch Methodist background, which she came to reject. Like her siblings, Beynon earned a teaching certificate. She taught near Carman before moving to Winnipeg in 1908 to work in the T. Eaton Company’s advertising department. She was an active member of the Quill Club. In 1912 she became the first full-time women’s editor of the Grain Growers’ Guide, holding the post until 1917.

She and her sister Lillian fought for a variety of women’s issues, including suffrage, dower legislation, and homesteading rights for women, but she lost much public credibility when she began to criticize the war. She left Manitoba in 1917 for the United States, where she wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, Aleta Day, and continued her journalistic work. Beynon is one of the protagonists (with Nellie McClung) of Wendy Lill’s play The Fighting Days.

She died on 5 October 1951.

Francis Marion Beynon: The Forgotten Suffragist by Brie McManus

Canadian Fiction/Non-Fiction Reading Challenge Topic: Manitoba Books

Oct 7, 2010, 4:02pm Top

Radclyffe Hall (born Marguerite Radclyffe-Hall) 12 August 1880 - 7 October 1943. An English poet and author, she is best known for the lesbian classic The Well of Loneliness.

Lesbian History - Between the Wars

The Forge (1924)
The Unlit Lamp (1924)
A Saturday Life (1925)
Adam's Breed (1926)
The Well of Loneliness (1928)
The Master of the House (1932)
Miss Ogilvy Finds Herself (1926)
The Sixth Beatitude (William Heineman Ltd, London, 1936)

Edited: Oct 7, 2010, 4:12pm Top

Isabella Lucy Bird (15 October 1831 – 7 October 1904) was one of the great unsung heroes of the Victorian age of exploration. Despite extensive travels and adventures far from the reaches of the Empire, she battled for many years to become the first female fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) - facing entrenched opposition from the likes of Lord Curzon, who referred to “globetrotting” women as “one of the horrors of the late 19th century.”

The Englishwoman in America (1856)
Pen and Pencil Sketches Among The Outer Hebrides (published in The Leisure Hour) (1866)
The Hawaiian Archipelago (1875)
The Two Atlantics (published in The Leisure Hour) (1876)
Australia Felix: Impressions of Victoria and Melbourne (published in The Leisure Hour) (1877)
A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains (1879)
Unbeaten Tracks in Japan (1880)
Sketches In The Malay Peninsula (published in The Leisure Hour) (1883)
The Golden Chersonese and the way Thither (1883)
A Pilgrimage To Sinai (published in The Leisure Hour) (1886)
Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan (1891)
Among the Tibetans (1894) Available online from the University of Adelaide, Australia.
Korea and her Neighbours (1898)
The Yangtze Valley and Beyond (1899)
Chinese Pictures (1900)
Notes on Morocco (published in the Monthly Review) (1901)

Oct 7, 2010, 4:29pm Top

Natalia Ginzburg née Levi (July 14, 1916, Palermo — October 7, 1991, Rome) was an Italian author whose work explored family relationships, politics, and philosophy.

Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg

Natalia Ginzburg An Italian website.

Oct 7, 2010, 9:32pm Top

Hurrah for Natalia Ginzburg!!!!!!!

Edited: Oct 8, 2010, 11:42am Top

The sea will drum in my ears. The white petals will be darkened with sea water. They will float for a moment and then sink. Rolling me over the waves will shoulder me under. Everything falls in a tremendous shower, dissolving me. --Virginia Woolf, The Waves

Virginia Woolf, The Waves
by Steve King

On this day in 1931 Virginia Woolf's The Waves was published. She was just forty-nine, and she would live and write for another decade, but this was the last of her major works -- a series of six books over nine years that would change the face of modern fiction. A journal entry from eight months earlier, written on the morning that she finished the last chapter, shows that Woolf had some sense of her latest accomplishment:

"Here in the few minutes that remain, I must record, heaven be praised, the end of The Waves. I wrote the words O Death fifteen minutes ago, having reeled across the last ten pages with some moments of such intensity and intoxication that I seemed only to stumble after my own voice, or almost, after some sort of speaker (as when I was mad). I was almost afraid, remembering the voices that used to fly ahead. Anyhow, it is done; and I have been sitting these 15 minutes in a state of glory, and calm.... How physical the sense of triumph and relief is!... I have netted the fin in the waste of water which appeared to me over the marshes out of my window at Rodmell when I was coming to an end of To the Lighthouse."

In his biography, nephew Quentin Bell writes, "If, as many critics assert, The Waves was Virginia's masterpiece, then that journal moment may be accounted the culminating point in her career as an artist."

Woolf's allusion to madness was not made lightly. Earlier journal entries express her anguish over the psychological and narrative problems which she encountered during the writing of The Waves. It must certainly have occurred to her that a book which tries to voice the lives and sensibilities of six fragmented characters might not be healthy for a writer with her psychological history, one who feels how "difficult it is to collect oneself into one Virginia; even though the special Virginia in whose body I live for the moment is violently susceptible to all sorts of separate feelings." The central event of the book required her to once again revisit the trauma of her brother Thoby's premature death -- some critics say the trauma of her own sexual abuse, also. There were constant waves of illness and health, despair and buoyancy, and resolve:

"One will not perhaps go to the writing table & write the simple & profound paper upon suicide which I see myself leaving for my friends" and "The only way I keep afloat is by working" and "If I never felt these extraordinarily pervasive strains -- of unrest, or rest, or happiness, or discomfort -- I should float down into acquiescence. Here is something to fight: & when I wake early I say to myself, Fight, fight. If I could catch the feeling, I would: the feeling of the singing of the real world."

The following passage is from the very end of the novel. The italicized lines are on a plaque which Leonard Woolf put beneath a sculpture of his wife in the garden of their Rodmell, Sussex; her ashes were scattered there after her suicide in 1941:

"And in me too the wave rises. It swells; it arches its back. I am aware once more of a new desire, something rising beneath me like the proud horse whose rider first spurs and then pulls him back. What enemy do we now perceive advancing against us, you whom I ride now, as we stand pawing this stretch of pavement? It is death. Death is the enemy. It is death against whom I ride with my spear couched and my hair flying back like a young man's, like Percival's, when he galloped in India. I strike spurs into my horse. Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!"

The waves broke on the shore.

Oct 8, 2010, 12:15pm Top

Betty Miller

8 October 1910 Betty Bergson Spiro (later BM) was born in Cork, Ireland, the second daughter in her family; she later had two younger brothers.

1941 BM published Farewell Leicester Square with Robert Hall six years after Victor Gollancz (until then her chosen publisher) had turned it down on account of its sensitive subject-matter.

February 1945 BM published a war novel entitled On the Side of the Angels, dedicated to the memory of Henry William Spiro, "Dear brother: incomparable friend, Missing, presumed killed, in H.M.S. Firedrake."

24 November 1965 BM died a month after her fifty-fifth birthday, after a very rapid decline. She had Alzheimer's Disease.

Women's Writing, 1945-1960, After the Deluge, Edited by Jane Dowson

Edited: Oct 8, 2010, 12:37pm Top

Edith Anna Œnone Somerville (2 May 1858 – 8 October 1949) was an Irish novelist who habitually signed herself as "E. Œ. Somerville". She wrote in collaboration with her cousin "Martin Ross", Violet Martin under the pseudonym, "Somerville and Ross". Together they published a series of fourteen stories and novels, the most popular of which were The Real Charlotte, and The Experiences of an Irish R. M., published in 1899.

Edith Somerville is better known as a writer then a painter. Edith began her career as an art student, and became an illustrator and painter of note.

She was born in Corfu in 1858, but her childhood was spent at Drishane House, Castletownshend, in West Cork. She started writing and drawing charicatures at an early age, and went on to study art in London, Dusseldorf, and in Paris, where she began her career as an illustrator. After returning home, she met her cousin Violet in 1886, and the two became life-long friends, beginning their fruitful partnership as writers. The two made regular visits to the Continent. In the twentieth century, Edith spent more time at oil painting, having one-person exhibitions in London, and on two occasions in New York in 1929, in which year she made her first visit to America. A third exhibition was held in New York in 1938.

Both The Goose Girl (1888) and its companion painting Retrospect (1887) (private collection) show Edith's absorption of French Peasant Realism, and could easily be Salon paintings of the 1880s. Although coming from a privileged background herself, Edith had an interest in and sympathy for the lives of the villagers and country people of West Cork. The child, with her dark eyes and hair and her ragged barefoot attire, resembles the Italian models who were favoured by French artists in this period. In fact, it is a local girl, Mary Ann, who poses for the artist, and Edith acquired the white goose for three shillings. With its superb still-life detail, gleaming copper vessels, cabbage and string of onions, The Goose Girl is one of Edith Somerville's finest early paintings.

The E. OE. Somerville and Martin Ross Exhibition

Somerville and Ross


Collaborative novels
An Irish Cousin (1889)
Naboth's Vineyard (1891)
In the Vine Country (1893)
Through Connemara in a Governess Cart (1893)
The Real Charlotte (1894)
Beggars on Horseback (1895)
The Silver Fox (1897)
Some Experiences of an Irish R. M. (1899)
A Patrick's Day Hunt (1902)
All on the Irish Shore (1903)
Further Experiences of an Irish R.M. (1908)
Dan Russell the Fox (1911)
In Mr Knox's Country (1915)

Solo novels
Irish Memories (1917)
Mount Music (1919)
The Big House at Inver (1925)
The States through Irish Eyes (1930)
An Incorruptible Irishman (1932)
The Smile and the Tear (1933)
The Sweet Cry of Hounds (1936)
The Death of the Heart (1938)
Sarah's Youth (1938)
The Heat of the Day (1949)
Maria and Some Other Dogs (1949)

Edited: Oct 8, 2010, 12:52pm Top

Mary Webb (25 March 1881 – 8 October 1927), was an English romantic novelist and poet of the early 20th century, whose work is set chiefly in the Shropshire countryside and among Shropshire characters and people which she knew.

Her novels have been successfully dramatized, most notably the film Gone to Earth in 1950 by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. They inspired the famous parody Cold Comfort Farm.

The Golden Arrow (July 1916)
Gone to Earth (September 1917)
The Spring of Joy; a little book of healing (October 1917)
The House in Dormer Forest (July 1920)
Seven For A Secret; a love story (October 1922)
Precious Bane (July 1924)
Poems and the Spring of Joy (Essays and Poems) (1928)
Armour Wherein He Trusted: A Novel and Some Stories (1929)
A Mary Webb Anthology, edited by Henry B.L. Webb (1939)
Fifty-One Poems (1946)
The Essential Mary Webb, edited by Martin Armstrong (1949)
Mary Webb: Collected Prose and Poems, edited by Gladys Mary Coles (1977)
Selected Poems of Mary Webb, edited by Gladys Mary Coles (1981)

The Mary Webb Society

The Mary Webb Trail in Shropshire

Oct 8, 2010, 7:10pm Top

"The waves broke on the shore."

What beauty in the simplicity of that sentence.

Nov 14, 2013, 5:53am Top

This is NOT a photograph of Enid Blyton - this is Nancy Wake, a British secret agent during World War II, who died in August 2011.


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