Tracy joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force from 1939 to 1941, working in the intelligence department, then she was attached to the Ministry of Information, from 1941 to 1945, as a Japanese specialist. She worked for The Observer newspaper as a columnist and as a long-time foreign correspondent. She wrote also for the Sunday Times and for the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Tracy is best known as a travel writer. Her novels satirise British-Irish relations and Ireland itself with wit and occasionally bitterness. Her best-known novels are The Straight and Narrow Path (1956), The Quiet End of Evening (1972), and The Ballad of Castle Reef (1979). Her best-known travel book is Winter in Castille (1973).
A. N. Wilson's biography of Sir John Betjeman, published in August 2006, included a letter to Tracy which purported to be by Betjeman detailing a previously unknown love affair. They had worked together at the Admiralty during the war. The letter turned out to be a hoax on Wilson, containing an acrostic spelling out an insulting message to him.
Her travel works include:
- Kakemono: A Sketchbook of Postwar Japan (1950)
- Mind You, I've Said Nothing! (1953)
- Silk Hats and No Breakfast (Random House, 1957)
- Spanish Leaves (1964)
- Winter in Castile (1973)
- The Heart of England (1983)
Tracy's novels include:
- The Deserters (1954)
- The Straight and Narrow Path (London, Methuen / New York, Random House 1956)
- The Prospects Are Pleasing (1958)
- A Number of Things (Methuen / Random House, 1960)
- A Season of Mists (Methuen / Random House, 1961)
- The First Day of Friday (Methuen / Random House, 1963)
- Men at Work (Methuen / Random House, 1967)
- The Beauty of the World (Methuen / Random House, 1967)
- Settled in Chambers (Methuen / Random House 1968)
- Butterflies of the Province (New York, Random House /London, Eyre Methuen, 1970)
- The Quiet End of Evening (Random House / Eyre Methuen, 1972)
- The Ballad of Castle Reef (1979)
Notes and references
- Flint, Peter B. (June 16, 1989). "Honor Tracy, Travel Writer, Is Dead at 75 - Obituary - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
- Brooks, Richard (2006-09-03). "Betjeman biographer confesses to literary hoax". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2006-09-25.
- Honor (Lilbush Wingfield) Tracy Biography at Dictionary of Literary Biography, quoted at Bookrags.com Accessed June 2007
- Honor Tracy entry at the Princess Grace Irish Library, Monaco. Accessed June 2007