One of the funniest English authors, delicious humor/humour: best known
for the outrageously funny and subtle Diary
of a Provincial Lady, she also wrote delicate
novels. Regarded by some as a successor to Jane Austen. She
looks grossly under-represented on the Web ( I was inspired to make
this page when I needed a link to EMD from a talk by Dom. Nicholas Seymour about Health & Wealth in Jane Austen) .
The Diary appeared weekly in Time and Tide magazine
and featured her experiences very thinly disguised. Her husband, a dull but long-suffering land
agent, is pilloried gently, and his employer
mercilessly guyed. My grandmother asked her how she got away with it,
and Emmie replied that her friends always seemed to recognise other
people in the diaries, but never themselves. Indeed
in the preface to The Way Things Are she writes: "A good
many of the characters in this novel have been drawn, as usual, from
persons now living; but the author hopes very much that they will only
recognise one another"
EMD's Daughter and Grandchildren are living in
Vancouver, BC! In May 2001 I got an email from one of them so
hopefully there will be a lot more material about EMD available. (I
gather they are still there in 2005, but no more material as yet alas!)
daughter (Rosamund Dashwood) wrote a diary of her own called Provincial Daughter which adopts
a similar style to describe her life as a housewife in the 1950.
been republished by Virago. Rosamund Dashwood
also wrote two articles for The Olide,
Her real name was Edmée Elizabeth
Monica Dashwood and there are a 6
photos of her in the National Portrait Gallery. Many of her
literary papers are deposited in the library of the University of
British Columbia - an inventory of them is here.
- EMD's daughter did some articles on her for The Oldie which they have sent me
to post on the web:
- Diary of a provincial
daughter - recollections of her mother.
- Small heap in the road - reminiscences of Rosamund's
childhood not posted yet -
alas they were sent on paper!
- An e-correspondent has sent some coments
on EMD's novels from Maurice McCullen's book E.M.
- There is now a webiste
devoted to Arthur Watts who illustrated The Provinical Lady
and much else.
- Persephone books
And Virago would also like our
ideas of any other EMDs they should re-issue. Do check Persephone and
- Here is a photo of EMD as a baby,
and a postcard she sent to her husband from Russia. (front & back)
- Laura Bodon-Campbell, a Ca based Dela-phile has a few EMD
books available from her website.
She also discovered that EMD's husband had a relative (D Dashwood) in
British Colombia, where EMDs descendants now live.
- The Folio Society
re-published The Unlucky Family - a delicious comic novel by
EMD's mother - in 1980. This is sadly out of print but I have obtained
a copy, which has some interesting material in
the foreword by Auberon and Daisy Waugh.
- An e-correspondent has some additional
comments on EMD's books.
- Anyone interested in researching EMD's war work in the PRO? I've had a go but can't
- Here is an image of EMD's signature.
- Here are some excerpts from Everyman's
Modern Humor (1940)
- An e-correspondent has kindly sent me a mini-biography from Book and Magazine Collector and
her obituary in Punch.
This page last updated 6 Jan 2006. If you have any
contributions on EMD please EMail
|We now have:
If you haven't read the Provincial Lady before try the opening.
You will either love it or hate it, I think.
- The start of the Diary of a
- An extract from The Provincial Lady Goes Further
(in which my
grandparents make a brief cameo appearance)
- Who's Who - very partial at the
- An extract from her
first novel Zella Sees Herself
- A list of her published works
- Biographical Fragments and
references to some
books about EMD
- Other links: well at present The only link I have
found is to a
book catalogue (here).
If there are more, please EMail me at email@example.com
and I will add them.
- A little about her Daughter's book called Provincial Daughter.
The start of Diary of a Provincial Lady
|November 7th Plant the indoor bulbs. Just
as I am in the middle of them, Lady Boxe
calls. I say, untruthfully, how nice to see her, and beg her to sit
down while I just finish the bulbs. Lady B. makes a determined attempt
to sit down in armchair where I have already placed two bulb-bowls and
the bag of charcoal, is headed off just in time, and takes the
Do I know, she asks, how
very late it is for indoor bulbs? September really, even October, is
the time. Do I know that the only really reliable firm for hyacinths is
Somebody of Haarlem? Cannot catch the name of the firm, which is Dutch,
but reply Yes I do know, but I think it is my duty to but Empire
products. Feel at the time, and still think, that this is an excellent
reply. Unfortunately, Vicky comes into
the drawing room later and says: "Oh, mummie, are those the bulbs we
got at Woolworth's?"
Lady B stays to tea. (Mem. Bread-and-butter
too thick, speak to Ethel.) We talk some more about bulbs, the Dutch
of Painting, our Vicar's Wife, sciatica, and All Quiet on the
(Query: is it possible to cultivate the art of conversation
in the country all the year round?)
Lady B enquires after the children. Tell her that Robin - whom I refer to in a detached way
as "the boy" so that she shan't think I am foolish about him - is
getting on fairly well at school, and that Mademoiselle says Vicky is
starting a cold.
Do I realise, says Lady B., that the Cold habit is entirely
and can be avoided by giving the child a nasal douche of salt-and-water
every morning before breakfast? Think of several rather tart and witty
rejoinders to this, but unfortunately not until Lady B.'s Bentley has
|Finish the bulbs and put them in the cellar. Feel that after
cellar is probably draughty, change my mind, and take them all up to
Cook says something is wrong with the range
November 8th - Robert has looked at the
says nothing wrong whatever. Makes unoriginal suggestion about pulling
out dampers. Cook very angry, and will probably give notice. Try to
her by saying that we are going to Bournemouth for Robert's half-term,
and that will give the household a rest. Cook says austerely that that
will take the opportunity to do some extra cleaning. Wish I could
this was true.
Preparations for Bournemouth rather marred by discovering that
in bringing down the suit-cases from the attic, has broken three of the
bulb-bowls. Says he understood that I had put them in the cellar, and
wasn't expecting them.
From a Provincial Lady Goes Further
October 7th - Extraordinary behaviour of dear Rose, with whom I am engaged - and have been
past - to go and have supper tonight. Just as I am trying to decide
whether bus to Portland Street or tube to Oxford Circus will be
preferable, I am called up on telephone by Rose's married niece, who lives in Hertfordshire, and is young and
modern, to say that speaker for her Women's Institute night has failed,
and that Rose, one being appealed to, has at once suggested my name and
expressed complete willingness to dispense with my society for the
evening. Utter impossibility of pleading previous engagement is
obvious; I contemplate for an instant saying that I have influenza, but
remember in time that niece, very intelligently, started the
conversation by asking how I was, and that I replied Splendid, thanks -
and there is nothing for it but to agree. (Query - I should
very much like to know whether it was for this that I left Devonshire.)
Think out several short, but sharply worded, letters to Rose, but time fails; I can only put brush
-and comb, slippers, sponge, three books, pyjamas and hot-water bottle
into case - discover later that I have forgotten powder-puff and am
very angry, but to no avail - and repair by train to Hertfordshire.
Spend most of the journey in remembering all that I know of Rose's
niece, which is that she is well under thirty, pretty, talented,
tremendous social success, amazingly good at games, dancing, and - I
think - everything else in the world, and married to brilliantly clever young man who is said to
have Made Himself a Name, though cannot at the moment recollect how.
Have strong impulse to turn straight round and go home again, sooner
than confront so much efficiency, but non-stop train renders this
Niece meets me - clothes immensely superior to anything that I have
ever had, or shall have - is charming, expresses gratitude, and asks
what I am going to talk about. I reply, Amateur Theatricals. Excellent,
or course, she says unconvincingly, and adds that the Institute has a
large Dramatic Society already, that they are regularly produced by a
well-known professional actor, husband of Vice-President, and were very
well placed in recent village-drama competition, open to all England.
At this I naturally wilt altogether, and say Then perhaps better
talk about books or something - which sounds weak, even as I say it,
and am convinced that niece feels the same, though she remains
imperturbably charming. She drives competently through the night,
negotiates awkward entrance to garage equally well, extracts my bag and
says It is Heavy - which is undeniable owing to books, but cannot say
so as this would look as though I thought her house likely to be
inadequately supplied - and conducts me to a perfectly delightful,
entirely modern, house, which I feel certain - rightly, I discover
later - has every newest labour-saving device ever invented. Bathroom
especially - (all appears to be solid marble, black-and-white tiles,
and dazzling polish) - impresses me immeasurably. Think regretfully,
but with undiminished affection, of extremely inferior edition at home
- paint peeling in several directions, brass taps turning green at
intervals until treated by the housemaid, and irregular collection of
home-made brackets on walls, bearing terrific accumulation of
half-empty bottles, tins of talcum powder and packets of Lux.
Niece shows me her children - charming small boy, angelic baby - both
needless to say have curls. She asks civilly about Robin and Vicky,
and I can think of nothing whatever to the credit of either, so merely
reply that they are at school. N.B. Victorian theory as to
maternal pride now utterly discredited. Affection, yes. Pride, no.
We have dinner - niece has changed into blue frock which suits her
and is, of course, exactly right for the occasion. I do the best I can
with old red dress and small red cap that succeeds in being thoroughly
unbecoming without looking in the least up to date, and endeavour to
make wretched little compact from bag do duty for missing powder-puff.
Results not good. We have a meal, am introduced to husband - also young
- and we talk about Rose, mutual friends, Time and Tide and
Evening at Institute reasonably successful - am much impressed by
further display of efficiency from niece, as President - I speak about
Books, and obtain laughs by introduction of three entirely irrelevant
anecdotes, am introduced to felt hat and fur coat, felt hat and blue
jumper, felt hat and tweeds, and so on. Names of all of them alike
remain impenetrably mysterious, as mine no doubt to them. (Flight of
fancy here as to whether this deplorable but customary, state of
affairs is in reality unavoidable? Theory exists that it has been
overcome in America, whose introductions always entirely audible and
frequently accompanied by short biographical sketch. Should like to go
Niece asks kindly if I am tired. I say No, not at all, which is a
and she presently takes me home and I go to bed. Spare-room admirable
every respect, but no waste-paper basket. This solitary flaw in general
perfection a positive relief.
Books by EM Delafield
I have drawn mostly on Violet Powell for the descriptions of these
most of which I have not read (yet). The ones I have are starred.
There is also a delightful book by EMD's daughter called Provincial Daughter (which I have
now got and read. I also have a spare copy if anyone needs it - do email).
- Zella Sees Herself
(1915)* - her first work, written in Exeter. 'curiously savage, self
obsessed, alarming'. I find it quite delightful, full of
brilliant touches, serious, sad and funny at the same time.
Clearly rather autobiographical.
- A Perfectly True Story, a short story contributed to The
Girl Guides' Book, an account of EMD's marriage into the circle of
squires & baronets. Kirtington Park was built by Sir James
Dashwood, and was the ancestral home of her husband.
- The War Workers (1918)*
the travails of working in a Supply Depot under the tyrannical control
of Charmain Vivian, who meets her match in a newly-arived clergyman's
daughter Grace Jones.
- The Pelicans (1918) which centres round an
of conversion to the Roman Catholic Church and a death in a convent.
(1919) From being a pretty-doll drawing-room child Alex grows up to
develop strong unrecognised lesbian feelings. She joins a convent
but when the much-loved Mother Gertrude has to move, she leaves and
finally drowns herself in Hampstead Heath. This was re-published.
in the 1990s by the admirable Persephone Press.
- Tensions (1920) I had
not heard of this and it wasn't in the Powell list, but is in the BMC list.
- The Heel of Achilles (1920) the story of a
girl marrying into the gentry, whose daughter Jane rebels against her.
- Humbug (1921) A novel attacking 'amateur
Lily Stanhope marries a shouting bore but eventually achieves a
to strive to eliminate the humbug which has dogged her own upbringing
that of her child.
- The Optimist (1922) largely dominated by Canon Morchard,
an 'utterly impossible clergyman' who starts horrible but becomes quite
- A Reversion to Type (1923) in which a bad hat from a
marries Rose, a girl he meets on a voyage to Ceylon. After he
of drink, she makes her life in his family house, finally managing to
her guilt over her degenerate son.
- The Sincerest Form... (1924?)
of parodies of leading novelists including HG Wells, Arnold Bennett,
Smith, GB Stern, Evelyn Waugh & Rosamund Lehmann.
of the Suburbs (1924 - dedicated to 'Rose')
Based on a famous murder case, in which Ethel Thompson was convicted
and hanged in 1923 as an accomplice of her lover Bywaters who attacked
& killed her husband. Although she was certainly shocked and
astonished by the attack, her letters to Bywaters describe her repeated
attempts to poison her husband. (Re-published 1970
Freeport, N.Y., Books for Libraries Press)
- Mrs Harter* (1924) seen through the eyes of Sir Miles
crippled baronet. At one level, the story of 'fast' Mrs Harter's
developing romance with Captain Patch, which reaches a crisis with the
arrival of her husband. But really a study in how differently the
same events are perceived by people who are interested in
- The Chip and the Block (1925) Charles Ellery has an
of the need and sufferings of others, but the development whereby he
to plague his family and marries a second wife who can control him is
enjoyable for the reader.
- Jill (1926) is the story of Major Jack Galbriath who,
Doreen has to live on their not particularly brilliant wits.The
Entertainment (1927) A collection of short stories,
Tortoise where Charles Ellery re-appears.
- The Way Things Are (1927)*, in which Laura, very EMD-ish
- literary, stick in country with her dull husband Alfred (of whom she
is "very fond"), has a semi-affair with an admirer, Duke Ayland.
Meanwhile Lady Kingsely-Browne's daughter Beebee throws herself
at a famous author (DHL?) thus losing 'the richest commoner in England'
who marries Laura's sister. Laura renouces Duke (in a way that
inspired Still Life and Brief Encounter)
Described by Rachel Ferguson as EMD's most perfect novel.
Reprinted by Virago in 1988
with a new introduction by Nicola Beauman. V good indeed.
- The Suburban Young Man (1928) Peter has fallen in love
well-born Antoinette, but his scotch wife Hope remains in
control of the situation. Dedicated "To All Those Nice People who
have so often asked me to Write a
Story about Nice People"
- What is Love? (1928) Ellie has been abandoned at an
her predatory mother, and is courted by Simon but then dumped in favour
of Vicky, Eton-cropped and wearer of an eye-glass.
- Women are Like That (1929) A collection of Short
Stories, dedicated to Yoe.
- Turn Back the Leaves (1930) Dedicated to her agent AD
begins with a doomed love affair in 1890 and ends in 1930 with the old
Catholic family it has devastated decaying. Was highly praised by
of a Provincial Lady (1930)* This became a best-seller
and as far as I know has never been out of print. It was chosen
as the Book Society Book of the Month for Dec 1930
- Challenge to Clarissa (1931) Clarissa Fitzmaurice, a
bullies the life out of her husband his daughter Sophie and her son by
her first marriage Lucien. But eventually her Lucien & Sophie
defy Clarissa and marry. She also includes a lady novelist Olivia
who has shared her home for many years with her friend Elinor, and
friendship had weathered, "as Miss Fish resentfully observed, the fuss
about The Well of Loneliness"
- The Provincial Lady Goes Further (1932)* Delicious
continuation - beginning with astonishment at receiveing large royalty
cheque (from Provincial Lady)
- Thank Heaven Fasting (1932)* Monica Ingram sees no
future but marriage, but is jilted, and seems condemned to live with
her domineering rich mother. "the best of her 'debutante' works,
a minor classic that will endure" (Re-published 1969 Howard Baker, also
re-published by Virago)
- Gay Life (1933) Set in the Cote d'Azure, Hilary and
to live on their wits and her beauty.
- General Impressions* (1933) A collection of
articles in Time and Tide. Delightful. Includes a section
Sincerest Form but I don't know its relationship to the book above.
Also includes Men, Women & Children in Fiction.
Provincial Lady in America (1934)*
- The Bazalgettes (1936) A spoof anonymous novel of
EMD asked to be allowed to review it for The Listener but alas
unable to do so.
- Faster! Faster!* (1936) Claudia Winstoe, a dynamo of
London Universal Services, and everything in her home with equal
Pushing herself too hard, she dies in a collision. The family and
business get on fine without her.
- As Others Hear Us: A Miscellany (1937)* A collection of
sketches which appeared in Punch and Time & Tide. These are
side-splitting. Some extracts are posted here.
- Nothing is Safe (1937) - 'a horrible indictment of
desiring to change horses in mid-stream, forget what their whim may do
to the happiness or sense of security of their young children, Terry
Julia, who become increasingly miserable, and Terry increasingly
as their parents re-marry and disdain them. Macmillan's reader didn't
it, but the Chairman, Harold Macmillan (later to be Prime Minister) did.
- Ladies and Gentlemen in Victorian Fiction (1937)
by Leonard & Virgina Woolf. EMD was a great fan of Charlotte Yonge.
- Straw Without Bricks: I Visit Soviet Russia* (1937 -
US as I
visit the Soviets and re-published 1985 by Academy Chicago
This is the account of 6 months in Russia, mostly on a collective farm
and in Leningrad.
- Three Marriages (1939)* - variations on a theme in 3
- In The Wedding of Rose Barlow (1857) Rose marries Col
meets and renounces impoverished young Count Pierre, goes to join her
and is caught in the Indian Mutiny - he is killed and she is free to
- In Girl-of-the-Period (1897) Violet (whose soubriquet
Society is "The Pocket Venus" and thinks herself very Modern) is
to dull Harvey Lessingham: he falls for an art student and she breaks
off, and then proceeds to disrupt the engagement of his desparate
which results in the girls fist-fighting. Her concluding remark
her brother is "I daresay I may sometimes have seemed a little bit
but I don't see how I can, any more, now". "Then you'll be as
as you are pretty," decided her brother lightly.
- In We Meant to be Happy (1937) Cathleen, rescued from
by a widowed bank manager, falls for a doctor. He finds out, has
a heart attack and is able to keep and control her as a result (no
- The Provincial Lady in Wartime (1940)* Resumed at
the insistance of Harold Macmillan. EMD gets a flat in Buckingham
Street (above the offices of her agent AD Peters) and works in the Air
Raid Precautions HQ under the Adelphi building. Eventually she
gets a job & the diary concludes. [Her job was to go to France for
the Ministry of Information and report on the morale of French women. It
would be v interesting to find these reports at the PRO. Poss here?
- No One Now Will Know (1941) A decidedly bleak book in
and Lucian (Lucy) both love Rosalie. The title is a quotation
the Irish poem 'The Glens of Antrim" No one now will know, which of
loved her the most".
- Late and Soon (1943) dedicated to Kate O'Brien.
Arbell is the widowed chatelaine of a large country house in WW2.
Her loose daughter Primrose is having an affair with Valentine's former
admirer Rory, but Rory rekindles his passion for Valentine and they
- Love Has No Resurrection
- The Brontes, their lives recorded by their contemporaries (1935
- Published by Leonard & Virgina Woolf. re-published 1979 Meckler
- Two film scripts:
- 3 plays
- To See Ourselves (1930) Caroline, married to a rather
dull Freddie (Robert-like), yearns for
love and romance, but is sadly thwarted by domesticity. This play
was a great success, broadcast repeatedly and was included in
Gollancz's Famous Plays of 1931 [which also included a play by
Doodie Smith in which Jack Hawkins and Jessica Tandy played
- The Glass Wall (1932) A play about religious vocation,
clearly somewhat autobiographical, and with lots of parts for women. I
have made an extract here.
- The Little Boy a radio play in which Hermione
Gingold (no less) was murdered.
* Ed Knoblock is the subject of one of the delightful Gielgoofs when
Gielgud was having lunch with Knoblock at his club and remarked, of
someone who had just come in "that's the second most boring man in
London" "Who's the most boring?" "Ed Knoblock" replied G
immediately, and then realising .. "O I didn't mean you, I meant ...
some other Ed Knoblock"
Her real name was Edmée Elizabeth Monica Dashwood I understand
she was known as "Emmie" (or "Emdée") to her close friend and
Elizabeth generally. She was born on 9th June1890 in Steyning (or
Aldrington), Sussex, the elder daughter of Count
Henry Philip Ducarel de la Pasture, of Llandogo Priory,
Monmouthshire, and Elizabeth Lydia Rosabelle, daughter of Edward
William Bonham, who as Mrs Henry de la
Pasture, became known as a novelist. (EMD's nom de plume
Delafield was a thin disguise suggested by Yoe).
She was a debutante in 1909, although it is not known if she ever
formally 'came out'. After Count Henry died her mother married Sir Hugh
Clifford GCMG, a distinguished colonial governor who governed the Gold
Coast (1912-19), Nigeria (1919-25), Ceylon (1925-27) and the Malay
States with Borneo (1927-29) when he resigned, due to insanity.
In 1911 EMD was accepted as a postulant by a French Religious Order
established in Belgium. Her moving account of the experience The
of Heaven was written in 1931 & published in Powell's
"The motives which led me, as soon as I was 21, to enter a French
Order are worthy of little discussion, and less respect" she
This chilling but not un-symapathetic account includes being told by
Superior that if a doctor advised a surgical operation "your
will decided whether your life is of sufficient value to the community
to justify the expense. If it is not, you will either get better
the operation or die. In either case you will be doing the will of God
and nothing else matters." She finally left when she learned that
was planning to join another enclosed Order: 'the thought of the
and complete earthly separation that must necessarily take place
us was more than I could bear'
At the outbreak of World War I in 1914
she worked as a nurse in a voluntary aid detachment in Exeter, under
the formidable command of Georgina Buller (daughter of a VC-winning
General and later a DBE) , and her first novel Zella Sees Herself was published in
1917. At the end of the War she was working for the South-West
Region of the Ministry of National Service in Bristol, and had
published 2 more novels. She continued
to publish 1-2 per year until nearly the end of her life.
On 17 July 1919 she married Major Paul
Dashwood. After two years in the Malay States (was this connected
in any way with her step-father - though of course he was governor
later), she insisted on coming back to England and they
lived in Croyle, a lovely old house in Kentisbeare, Devon, on the Bradfield estate where Paul became the
land agent. She had two children (Lionel and Rosamund,
known in the Diary as Robin and Vicky).
At the initial meeting of the Kentisbeare
Women's Institute EMD
was unanimously elected President, and remained so until she died.
She became great friends with Lady
Rhondda and became a Director of Time and Tide and when the Editor 'wanted some light "middles",
preferably in serial form, she promised to think of something to
submit'. Hence The Provincial
Lady was born in 1930, and (in my
view) her immortality was assured. This carried on until she got some
war work - apparently for the Ministry of Information. The DNB
says "On the outbreak of the Second World War, she lectured for the
Ministry of Information and spent some weeks in France." - however we
know from The Provincial Lady in
Wartime that in fact she spent quite a bit of time vainly
looking for 'proper' war work and working in an ARP canteen.
A chronicle of her books is given above, from which it is clear that
she was enormously prolific, and most of the hard information is
there. She was a great admirer and champion of Charlotte Yonge,
an authority on the Brontes.
In 1938 Lorna Mesney became her secretary, and kept a diary
Lady Powell has had access to.
Her son Lionel shot himself (accidentally? the DNB says "he death of
her newly called-up son in late 1940, most probably by
his own hand, was something from which she never recovered." on the
other hand according to BMC he was buried with full military honours at
National Service on 4th Nov1940. This, understandably, broke her heart.
Three years later (after collapsing whilst giving a lecture in
Oxford) EMD died on 2nd Dec 1943 after a progressive
decline which first necessitated a a colostomy and then visits to a
neurologist (cancer spreading to the brain?). She was buried
under her favourite yew tree in Kentisbeare churchyard, near her son.
mother survived her and died on Oct 1945.
The only works of hers currently in print in England are the
Provincial Lady books. (Virago
re-published 2 of them in the 80s.) and Consequences
An e-correspondent writes that he is building a website for Simon Watts whose father Arthur
Watts illustated EMD and much else. Simon's grandmother -
C.A.Dawson-Scott (also known as Mrs. Sappho) was a close friend of
Delafield's and Simon's mother has written fondly of her memories of
Delafield in her youth during Delafield's many visits to their home.
If you are looking for more information about Delafield, particularly her early involvement in Dawson-Scott's "The Tomorrow Club" which was a precursor to the later P.E.N. Club (of which Delafield was also a member) I'd like to recommend the biography by Simon's mother, Marjorie Watts, entitled "Mrs. Sappho, The Life of C.A. Dawson Scott 'Mother of International P.E.N'". It's easily available via www.abebooks.com The account he then quotes is as follows: "We had so little money during those last years of the war that, to make ends meet and yet have a roof over our heads in Cornwall, from about 1917 Sappho used to let Wastehills to summer visitors and herself rented an old stone cottage called "Levorna" for 12 a year. Although it was small, we could manage and even have friends to stay.
"...I remember that year's group of visitors very clearly. If they stayed at Levorna, it was as paying guests; if there was no room with us they stayed at nearby farms and paid for the meals they had with us. Sappho found their company stimulating and often persuaded her friends to copy her and walk barefoot round Trevose Head or down the rocky coves.
"Then there was E.M. Delafield - Elizabeth - sitting happily on a stool by Levorna kitchen fire, writing a novel, whilst we played ball against the wall - from the inside. She was the one writer friend of Sappho's whome we all liked and we thought her one of the most delightful, sympathetic and beautiful young women we had ever met - tall and dark
and stately." (It's interesting to note that the last vistor to Levorna that summer of 1918 was a young man of 18 named Noel Coward.)
Books about EMD
The (new) DNB gives the following my comments added
- V. Powell, The life of a
provincial lady: a study of E. M.
Delafield and her works (1988)
- E. M. Delafield, Beginnings,
ed. L. A. G. Strong (1935) I didn't know about this - I wonder
if it is obtainable.
- D. K. Roberts, ed., Titles to
fame (1937) (Denys Kilham
1903-1976) Commentaries by famous authors on their own work. . . .
include A. J. Cronin, E. M. Delafield, Margaret Irwin, Margaret
Kennedy, R. H. Mottram, Ernest Raymond, E. Arnot Robertson, Dorothy L.
Sayers, H. M. Tomlinson, Hugh Walpole.
- 'Introduction', E. M. Delafield, The diary of a provincial lady
- 'Introduction', E. M. Delafield, The way things are (1988)
- 'Introduction', E. M. Delafield, Thank heaven fasting (1988)
- J. Gawsworth [Pseudonym of T. I. Fytton Armstrong 1912-1970]
and others, Ten
contemporaries: notes toward their definitive bibliographies
 This apparently discusses Lascelles
Abercrombie, Rhys Davies, G. Egerton, W. Gibson, Stephen Hudson,
Nichols, Herbert Palmer, Sir Ronald Ross, M. P. Shiel, Edith
- R. Brimley Johnson, Some
contemporary novelists (women) (1920)
- Time and Tide (11 Dec 1943), 1019-20
- I. Colegate, review of Life, The Spectator (8 Oct 1988), 34-5
- S. J. Kunitz and H. Haycraft, eds., Twentieth century authors: a
biographical dictionary of modern literature (1942)
- R. Ferguson, Passionate
- b. cert. + m. cert. + d. cert.
- University of British Columbia, literary MSS and MSS
- University of Exeter, MSS
- BL, corresp. with Macmillans, Add. MS 54972
- Harvard U., Houghton L., letters to Theodora Bosanquet
- Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, letters to Arthur Meeker
- D. A. Wehrschmidt, portrait, 1909; known to be in family
possession in 1959
- H. Coster, photograph, 1930-39, NPG [see illus.]
- H. Coster, photographs, NPG · photograph, repro. in
Roberts, ed., Titles to fame, facing p. 126 · portrait, repro.
in Powell, Life of a provincial lady, following p. 82
Wealth at death 11,548 16s. 11d.: probate, 13 March 1944, CGPLA Eng. & Wales (her Inland Revenue Death Duties file exists but is sealed for 70 yrs.
EMail me with more information to add to this page at firstname.lastname@example.org.