Trekkie Parsons

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Trekkie Parsons
Born Marjorie Tulip Ritchie
(1902-06-15)15 June 1902[1]
Natal, South Africa
Died 24 July 1995(1995-07-24) (aged 93)
Lewes, Sussex, England
Occupation Artist
Spouse(s) Ian Parsons (m. 1934) Peter A. Brooker (1926-1934)
Partner(s) Leonard Woolf (1941–1969) (his death)

Trekkie (Ritchie) Parsons (15 June 1902 – 24 July 1995) was an English artist and lithographer, perhaps best known as the lover of Leonard Woolf after his wife Virginia's death.


She was born Marjorie Tulip Ritchie, in 1902 in Durban, Natal, South Africa. Trekkie studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London.

She was the author and illustrator of Bells across the Sand - A Book of Rhymes with Pictures published by her husband's firm in 1944(?) lithographed throughout, printed by Chiswick Press in the same style and size as Puffin Picture Books. She also illustrated, and designed the cover for, The Three Rings by Barbara Baker (Hogarth Press, 1944), and designed the cover for the British edition of Newbery Medal winner Johnny Tremain (Chatto & Windus, 1944). Her lithographic technique is in the style of Barnett Freedman.

Trekkie had an unconventional relationship with Leonard Woolf from 1941 until his death in 1969. She often spent the week with Leonard and the weekend with her husband. She had holidays and acted as hostess for them both separately. She wrote many letters to Leonard when they were apart, published in 1974 as Love Letters: Leonard Woolf and Trekkie Ritchie Parsons.


Her parents, Allan McGregor Ritchie (b. 1870, Edinburgh) and Sarah Maria Tulip (b. 1867, Stockton on Tees) married in Cumberland in 1894. When her sister Alice Ritchie (an author of children's books that Trekkie illustrated) was born in 1898 the family had moved to Durban where Allan was a practicing architect until about 1914 when he enlisted for war service.[2]

In 1917 her family came to England and Trekkie attended school at Tunbridge Wells, before entering, in 1920, the Slade School of Fine Art, to study with Philip Steer and Henry Tonks.[3] In 1926 she married Peter (Percy Alfred) Brooker, a fellow student at the Slade School. The marriage was short-lived and in 1934 she married Ian Parsons, an editor at Chatto & Windus.[1]


  1. ^ a b Smith, Janet (29 July 1995). "Obituary: Trekkie Parsons". The Independent (London). Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ritchie, Allan McGregor". Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Leonard Woolf Papers". Archives Hub. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 

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