Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Dane, Clemence

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Pseudonym of UK dramatist, novelist and editor Winifred Ashton (1888-1965), who edited an sf line late in life for the publisher Michael Joseph but whose own writing is best treated as fantasy. Legend (1919) is a Supernatural Fiction in which a dead writer haunts her biographer. In The Babyons (1927) a family Curse extends over four generations, the story of each being told in a mode appropriate to the period, beginning in the late 18th century in a tone of sensationalist Gothic Fantasy and ending in an early-20th-century venue whose protagonist (who is in a sense the "same" woman) is constricted by the undead past; in the USA, the novel was first published in four small separate volumes. Some of the stories assembled in Fate Cries Out (coll 1935) – like "Frau Holde", a Fairytale based on Grimm that features a fantastically proportioned Edifice, and "Godfather Death", which features a Pact with the Devil – are of interest. In The Arrogant History of White Ben (1939), an animate scarecrow takes on the role of rescuing a near-future UK from political disaster. The sequence of radio plays assembled as The Saviours (coll of linked plays 1942) is narrated by Merlin, who tells how Arthur, in his role as Sleeper Under the Hill, successively returns to save the UK in the guise of (among others) Robin Hood. CD is a central example of the pervasiveness of the use of fantasy and supernatural-fiction devices by UK mainstream writers. [JC]

other works: The Moon Is Feminine (1938).

Winifred Ashton


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.