(1900-1984) UK popular novelist and children's writer. She firmly believed in her mother's psychic Talents and her own ability to sense and occasionally see Ghosts, both of which she discusses in her autobiography, The Joy of the Snow (1974). Of over 40 titles – including novels, collections and religious nonfiction – her best-known fantasy is the whimsical children's book The Little White Horse (1946), which won the Carnegie Medal in 1947. Set in the 19th century, the tale of Maria Merryweather, who comes to Moonacre, a mysterious manor house in Cornwall and discovers her inherited Quest to right ancient wrongs and bring happiness back to the family, the valley and the village of Silverydew, mixes fantasy and realism. EG's other Children's Fantasies are Smoky-House (1940), a story of smuggling in an idyllic Cornish village in which Fairies save the day, Henrietta's House (1945), which is part of her Cathedral Trilogy – the other two are the adult novels A City of Bells (1936) and The Dean's Watch (1960) – The Valley of Song (1951), a fable of 18th-century boat-builders, and Linnets and Valerians (1964), about a family sundered then drawn together by Witchcraft. Of her other adult books, only the historical novel The White Witch (1958), set in 1642 at the start of the English Civil War, features overt fantasy, in the shape of the heroine, who uses white witchcraft to heal (and who is based on the ghost of a former occupant of EG's Henley cottage). Many others, however, use Legend and Superstition either as the basis for the story, as in Gentian Hill (1949), or as interludes. Prime examples of the latter include her first novel, Island Magic (1934), Towers in the Mist (1938) and EG's most famous and most successful novel, Green Dolphin Country (1944; vt Green Dolphin Street US), which won a Literary Guild Award and was filmed as Green Dolphin Street (1947). [JF]
other works: The Middle Window (1935); Sister of the Angels (1939); The Castle on the Hill (1942); Make-Believe (1949); The Bird in the Tree (1940), The Herb of Grace (1948; vt Pilgrim's Inn US) and The Heart of the Country (1953), which make up the series The Eliots of Damerosehay; God So Loved the World (1951); The Heart of the Matter (1953); The Rosemary Tree (1956); St Francis of Assisi (1959); The Scent of Water (1963); The Chapel of the Blessed Virgin (1966); I Saw Three Ships (1969); The Child from the Sea (1970).
Collections: The Fairies' Baby and Other Stories (coll 1919); The Pedlar's Pack and Other Stories (coll 1937); Three Plays (coll 1939); The Golden Skylark and Other Stories (coll 1941); The Ikon on the Wall (coll 1943); Songs and Verses (coll 1947); At the Sign of the Dolphin (coll 1947); The Reward of Faith (coll 1950); White Wings: Collected Short Stories (coll 1952); A Christmas Book (coll 1967); The Ten Gifts (coll 1969); The Lost Angel (coll 1971).
as editor: A Book of Comfort (anth 1964); A Diary of Prayer (anth 1966); A Book of Peace (anth 1968); A Book of Faith (anth 1976).
Elizabeth de Beauchamp Goudge