Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Dorothy Canfield Fisher (née Dorothea Frances Canfield, February 17, 1879 – November 9, 1958) was an American writer and social activist, named by Eleanor Roosevelt one of the ten most influential women in the United States. She received a B.A. from Ohio State University, and earned a PhD in Romance languages from Columbia University. Later, she received honorary degrees from Dartmouth College,…

Willa Cather

Willa Sibert Cather (December 7, 1873– April 24, 1947) was an American write. She graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and, in 1896, moved to Pittsburgh to work for the women’s magazine Home Monthly. She also worked as high school English teacher, as drama critic for the Pittsburgh Leader, and as contributor of poetry and short…

Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner (6 December 1893 – 1 May 1978) was an English writer. She was home-schooled by her father. At the outbreak of World War I, she moved to London and worked in a munitions factory. During the rise of fascism, Warner campaigned on behalf of the Communist Party. She published novels, poetry, and short-stories. She was also a musicologist, and…

Barbara Pym

Barbara Mary Crampton Pym (2 June 1913 – 11 January 1980) was an English writer. She studied at Queen’s Park School, in Oswestry, and attended Huyton College, near Liverpool. She then studied English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. During World War II, Pym served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. After the war, she worked at the International African Institute in London,…

Margaret Oliphant

Margaret Oliphant Wilson Oliphant (born Margaret Oliphant Wilson, 4 April 1828 – 25 June 1897) was a Scottish writer. In 1851, she was invited by the publisher William Blackwood to contribute to the famous Blackwood’s Magazine. In 1852, she married her cousin, Frank Wilson Oliphant. Three of their six children died in infancy; her husband later developed symptoms of tuberculosis, and died in…

Barbara Comyns

Barbara Comyns (Barbara Irene Veronica Comyns Carr, 1907 – 1992) was an English writer. She attended art school in Stratford-upon-Avon, and later moved to London to attend Heatherley School of Fine Art. She had various jobs (dealing in antiques, breeding dogs, drawing for commercial advertisements, cooking in a country house), and began to write professionally in the 1940’s….

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery (November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942) was a Canadian writer. She attended Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown, and obtained a teacher’s license.  Lucy worked as a teacher in various Prince Edward Island schools. In 1897, she had her first short stories published in magazines and newspapers. In 1908, she published her first book, Anne of Green Gables, which was an…

Margaret Laurence

Jean Margaret Laurence (née Wemyss, 18 July 1926 – 5 January 1987) was a Canadian writer. She attended Winnipeg’s United College,  where she took courses in English, History, Ethics, and Psychology, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature in 1947. Laurence worked as a journalist at the independent newspaper the Winnipeg Citizen. After marriage, she and her husband moved…

Mary Renault

Mary Renault (born Eileen Mary Challans, 4 September 1905 – 13 December 1983) was an English writer. Renault received an undergraduate degree in English from St Hugh’s College, Oxford, in 1928. She then trained as a nurse at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, where she met her lifelong partner, the nurse Julie Mullard. Renault worked as a nurse until…

Stevie Smith

Stevie Smith (born Florence Margaret Smith, 20 September 1902 – 7 March 1971) was an English writer. She adopted the nickname “Stevie” when she was young.  She was riding in the park with a friend, and he said that she reminded him of the jockey Steve Donoghue. Her father abandoned the family when she was a…

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor (née Coles; 3 July 1912 – 19 November 1975) was a British writer. She attended The Abbey School in Reading. She then worked as a governess, tutor, and librarian. She was a friend of the writer Ivy Compton-Burnett, of the novelist and critic Robert Liddell, and of the writer Elizabeth Jane Howard. Elizabeth Taylor died of cancer. Books Novels At…

Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith (born Mary Patricia Plangman, January 19, 1921 – February 4, 1995) was an American writer. Highsmith attended Julia Richman High School in New York City, and published her first stories in the school’s magazine. In 1938, she began her studies at Barnard College, where she studied English composition, playwriting, and the short story,…