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Stella Gibbons (Stella Dorothea Gibbons) Biography

(1902–89), (Stella Dorothea Gibbons), Evening Standard, The Lady, Cold Comfort Farm, Ticky, Westwood, Here Be Dragons

london comfort cold society

British novelist and short-story writer, born in London, educated at University College, London. She worked for the Evening Standard, and as book reviewer for The Lady. The latter occupation presumably suggested the elements of literary parody that made her first novel, Cold Comfort Farm (1932), so successful. Its continuing popularity has obscured her other novels—she wrote over twenty, plus four collections of stories—though they tend to be sentimental comedies of manners involving a clash of social codes. In Ticky (1943), a dispute arises between the officers of a Victorian regiment and their hapless servants over possession of the Pleasure Grounds; as in Cold Comfort Farm, harmony is restored between the classes and celebrated by marriages. Westwood (1946) evokes wartime London, and Here Be Dragons (1956), life in Hampstead, both works in which a girl gains self-knowledge from contacts with another stratum of society. Gibbons, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1950, retired from writing novels with The Woods in Winter (1970).

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