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Robin Hyde, pseudonym of Iris Guiver Wilkinson Biography

(1906–39), pseudonym of Iris Guiver Wilkinson, Passport to Hell, Nor the Years Condemn

New Zealand novelist and poet, born in Cape Town, South Africa, shortly before her parents settled in Wellington, New Zealand, where she was educated at Wellington Girls' College. Her novels Passport to Hell (1936) and Nor the Years Condemn (1938) are sharp historical portraits of New Zealand life in the early twentieth century, and Check to Your King (1936) is a remarkable recreation of the life and times of Charles de Thierry, ‘Sovereign Chief of New Zealand’. She regarded Wednesday's Children (1937) as her first ‘straight’ novel. It was The Godwits Fly (1938), a complex and moving study of colonial sensibility through the fortunes of a settler family not unlike her own, which was to be her finest work, and the novel is now recognized as an important treatment of this enduring New Zealand theme. Her journey through China during the Sino/Japanese War and en route to England, in 1938, produced the fine book Dragon Rampant in 1939, the year she took her own life. Houses by the Sea and the Later Poems (1952) was a posthumous verse collection, also reprinting the best of her early verse from Persephone in Winter (1937). Selected Poems and the autobiographical fragment A Home in This World were both published in 1984.

Additional topics

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Honest Ulsterman to Douglas Hyde Biography