Elizabeth Louisa Moresby

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Elizabeth Louisa Moresby (1862 – 3 January 1931) was a British-born novelist who became the first prolific, female fantasy writer in Canada.[1]

The daughter of the Royal Navy Captain John Moresby,[2] Moresby lived and traveled widely in the East, in Egypt, India, China, Tibet and Japan but settled eventually in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in 1919.[2]

Moresby was sixty years old by the time she started writing her novels, which commonly had an oriental setting.[3][4] She also wrote under the names Elizabeth Louisa Beck, Eliza Louisa Moresby Beck and Lily Moresby Adams.[1][3] Beck's stories collected in The Opener of the Way feature an occult detective inspired by the "John Silence" stories of Algernon Blackwood.[4] According to the historian Charles Lillard, she was also a distinguished writer of esoteric works such as The Story of Oriental Philosophy (1928) and The Splendor of Asia (1926).

She began her career by writing for The Atlantic Monthly, Asia, and the Japanese Gassho. These were gathered into a collection in 1926.[1] She has been noted as a major writer of Theosophy. Beck continued to write until her death in 1931 in Kyoto, Japan.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d BC BookWorld, a site dedicated to provide information about authors and books pertaining to British Columbia.
  2. ^ a b Clara Thomas, Canadian Novelists 1920-1945, Longmans, Green and Comoany, Toronto, 1946 p. 10-11
  3. ^ a b History For Sale, brief but seemingly good biography of Lily Adams Beck.
  4. ^ a b John Grant and John Clute, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, "Beck, L(ily) Adams", pp. 99-100, ISBN 0-312-19869-8

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