Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Mc-Pa)

Mitchison, Naomi

(British, 1897–1999)

A pioneering feminist and political campaigner, Mitchison maintained a prolific output of journalism, travel writing, autobiography, and especially historical novels. Her reputation in fiction is largely as a highly imaginative re-creator of the ancient world, sometimes with contemporary politics in mind. The Conquered (1923) is set in Gaul at the time of the Roman conquest, while her best-known book, The Corn King and the Spring Queen (1931), is a 700-page epic quest narrative. It follows the young Erif Der's travels from her home village on the Black Sea to Sparta and Egypt around 228 BC, and has an underpinning of myth and magic; yet it is also a convincing human story of divided loyalties. By contrast, Memoirs of a Spacewoman (1962) depicts extraterrestrial life. Cleopatra's People (1972) partly returns to her earlier works.

Allan Massie, Alison Fell  JS

Mitford, Nancy [next] [back] Mitchell, W(illiam) O(rmond)

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