The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

July 25, 2017

July 25, 1896

Josephine Tey was a mystery during her lifetime. (July 25, 1896 to February 13, 1952) She wrote mystery novels as well as plays and a biography. Elizabeth Mackintosh who used the pseudonym of Josephine Tey for her mysteries, remains today one herself:

Josephine Tey,.. b. ... Inverness, Scotland; d... London. Almost nothing is known of her personal life. She was brought up in Inverness, and attended Anstey Physical Training College in Birmingham (rather than university), earning her living as a physical training instructor after graduation. She resigned after eight years to care for her invalid father and take up writing as a career; her first detective novel was published in 1929 and her first play ("Richard of Bordeaux") in 1932. She evidently wished to be remembered primarily as a playwright: she produced a dozen full length plays and as many one-acts, under the name Gordon Daviot, but in her lifetime only four were given full-scale London productions. There are also three non-mystery novels, and a biography. A recluse who had no intimate friends and never gave interviews, she died after a long illness, soon after the publication of "The Daughter of Time", her best-known work.

The Man in the Queue
(1929)  gives us an example of her action prose:

And as he.
..[pushed open the door] out of the second room with a wail of terror sprang a large black cat. It cleared the rear room at a bound and was through the open window before the inspector recognized it for what it was. There was an agonized yell...

It is, as they say, serviceable. One thing about this writer is apparent: she identified with Richard III. But that's for another blog post.

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