Rosemary Manning

Rosemary Manning (Rosemary Joy Manning , 9 December 1911 – 5 April 1988; pen names Sarah Davys and Mary Voyle) was an English author.

Manning attended the boarding school at Poltimore College, and later studied at the Royal Holloway College, graduating with an honour’s degree in Classics. After graduation, she worked as a saleswoman in a department store, then as a secretary, and finally as a teacher – a job she kept for 35 years. In 1950, she took over a girls’ preparatory school in Hampstead, London, as a headmistress.

Manning published her first novel, Remaining A Stranger, in 1953, under the pen name Mary Voyle, but became better known for her Dragon series of children’s books, whose first volume was published in 1957, and for her sapphic novel The Chinese Garden (1962).

After her retirement, Manning publicly came out as a lesbian in an interview in 1980, then wrote about it in her autobiography A Corridor of Mirrors (1987). She died in 1988.



  • Remaining A Stranger (1953, as Mary Voyle)
  • A Change of Direction (1955, as Mary Voyle)
  • Look, Stranger (1960. In the USA, The Shape of Innocence)
  • The Chinese Garden (1962)
  • Man on a Tower (1965)
  • Open the Door (1983)


  • A Time and A Time (1971, autobiography, as Sarah Davys)
  • A Corridor of Mirrors (1987, autobiography)

Children’s books

  • Dragon series (1957-1980)
    • Green Smoke (1957)
    • Dragon in Danger (1959)
    • The Dragon’s Quest (1961)
    • The Dragon in the Harbour (1980)
  • The Shepherd’s Play and Noah and the Flood: Two Miracle Plays Arranged for Young People (1955)
  • Arripay (1963)
  • Boney Was A Warrior (1966)
  • Heraldry (1966)
  • The Rocking Horse (1970)
  • Railways and Railwaymen (1977)


  • ‘Quietus’ (1936, in The New Statesman, vol. 11, issue 264)

Short stories

  • ‘The Fox’ (1948, in Horizon, 108)
  • ‘Sunday Afternoon Walk’ (1953, as Mary Voyle, in Cornhill Magazine)
  • ‘Over the Plain’ (1954, as Mary Voyle, in Cornhill Magazine)
  • ‘Alone in the House’ (1962, in Transatlantic Review, n. 10)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.