Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Arthur, Ruth M

Working name of UK writer Ruth Mabel Arthur Higgins (1905-1979), long active as a children's author, her career beginning with Friendly Stories (coll 1932). Most of her early work, like the Brownie sequence – The Crooked Brownie (1936), The Crooked Brownie in Town (1942) and The Crooked Brownie at the Seaside (1942) – is for younger children, but with Dragon Summer (1962) and A Candle in her Room (1966) she began to produce the Timeslip romances for which she became best-known. They typically feature a teenage girl on the verge of adolescence, a crisis dramatically resolved through her absorption in an earlier, exemplary life-situation. In Requiem for a Princess (1967) an adopted girl timeslips to 16th-century Spain and into the Soul of a girl destined to drown: a fate similar to but instructively more severe than being adopted. On the Wasteland (1975) sends an orphan back to Viking times, where she becomes the betrothed daughter of an important chief. RMA also wrote some Ghost Stories, like The Autumn People (1973; vt The Autumn Ghosts 1976) and Miss Ghost (1979), in which the process is reversed: Ghosts visit girls in trouble and offer solutions. [JC]

Other work: Mother Goose Stories (coll 1938); The Whistling Boy (1969); The Saracen Lamp (1970); An Old Magic (1977).

Ruth Mabel Arthur Higgins

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This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.