Lettice Cooper

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Lettice Ulpha Cooper, (September 3, 1897 in Eccles, Lancashire – July 24, 1994 in Coltishall, Norfolk), was an English writer. She began to write stories when she was seven, and studied Classics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford graduating in 1918.

She returned home after Oxford to work for her family's engineering firm and wrote her first novel, The Lighted Room in 1925. She spent a year as associate edtior at Time and Tide and during the Second World War worked for the Ministry of Food's public relations division. She met George Orwell's wife at this period and the character of Ann in the novel Black Bethlehem (1947) is thought to be based on Eileen Blair. In an account [printed in Orwell Remembered] she recalled that Eileen described how Orwell read each instalment of Animal Farm to her each evening and she came in each morning to tell her co-workers how the book was developing.[1] Between 1947 and 1957 she was fiction reviewer for the Yorkshire Post. She was one of the founders of the Writers' Action Group along with Brigid Brophy, Maureen Duffy, Francis King and Michael Levy and received an OBE for her work in achieving Public Lending Rights. In 1987 at the age of ninety she was awarded the Freedom of the City of Leeds.

She never married.

Selected Works[edit]

  • The Lighted Room (1925)
  • The New House (1936) (Reprinted by Persephone Books in 2004)
  • National Provincial (1938)
  • Fenny (1953)
  • Biography of Robert Louis Stevenson (1947)
  • Black Bethlehem (1947)
  • Blackberry's Kitten (1960)
  • Tea on Sunday (1973)
  • Snow and Roses (1976)
  • Desirable Residence (1980)
  • Unusual Behaviour (1986)
  • Une Journee avec Rhoda (1994)


  1. ^ Orwell:Collected Works, I Have Tried to Tell the Truth, p. 325-326