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Cooper, Lettice (Ulpha)

yorkshire set books

(British, 1897–1994)

Cooper was born in Eccles, Lancashire, and educated at Oxford. She is best known for her novels set in Yorkshire, where she lived for many years. Begin with National Provincial (1938), widely considered her best work. Its unsentimental evocation of life in a northern manufacturing town captures the brooding pessimism that preceded the Second World War. The New House (1936) is a psychologically revealing treatment of the tensions produced in a middle-class Yorkshire family by a change of home. Like a number of her books, Fenny (1953) is set in Italy and concerns a forlorn romantic involvement in Florence, which is richly present in descriptive passages. Her other books include Snow and Roses (1976), based on the miners' strike of 1971, in which the socialist sympathies underlying much of her writing are clearly evident. She was awarded the OBE in 1980.

Phyllis Bentley, Pamela Hansford Johnson, Winifred Holtby  DH

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