William Arthur Dunkerley

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For the archdeacon, see William Dunkerley (priest).
William Arthur Dunkerley
William Arthur Dunkerley in about 1910
Born (1852-11-12)12 November 1852
Manchester, England
Died 23 January 1941(1941-01-23) (aged 88)
Worthing, Sussex, England
Pen name John Oxenham, Julian Ross
Occupation Journalist, Novelist & Poet
Nationality British
Period 1902-1931

William Arthur Dunkerley (12 November 1852 – 23 January 1941) was a prolific English journalist, novelist and poet. He was born in Manchester, spent a short time after his marriage in America before moving to Ealing, west London, where he served as dea­con and teach­er at the Ealing Con­gre­ga­tion­al Church from the 1880s, and he then moved to Worthing in Sussex in 1922, where he became the town's mayor.[1]

He wrote under his own name, and also as John Oxenham for his poetry, hymn-writing, and novels. His poetry includes Bees in Amber: a little book of thoughtful verse (1913) which became a bestseller. He also wrote the poem Greatheart. He used another pseudonym, Julian Ross, for journalism. Dunkerley was a major contributor to Jerome K. Jerome's The Idler magazine.

He had two sons and four daughters, of whom the eldest, and eldest child, Elsie Jeanette, became well known as a children's writer, particularly through her Abbey Series of girls' school stories. Another daughter, Erica, also used the Oxenham pen-name. The elder son, Roderic Dunkerley, had several titles published under his own name.


  • God's Prisoner (1898)
  • Under the Iron Flail (1902)
  • Barbe of Grand Bayou (1903)
  • Bondman Free (1903)
  • Hearts in Exile (1904)
  • John of Gerisau (1904)
  • A Weaver of Webs (1904)
  • White Fire (1905)
  • Giant Circumstance (1906)
  • Profit and Loss (1906)
  • The Long Road (1907)
  • Carette of Sark (1907)
  • In Christ There Is No East or West (1908)
  • Pearl of Pearl Island (1908)
  • The Song of Hyacinth (1908)
  • My Lady of Shadows (1909)
  • Great Heart Gillian (1909)
  • A Maid of the Silver Sea (1910)
  • The Coil of Carne (1911)
  • The Quest of the Golden Rose (1912)
  • The Gate of the Desert (1912)
  • Bees in Amber (1913)
  • Broken Shackles (1914)
  • The King's High-Way (1916)
  • All's Well (1916)
  • The Fiery Cross (1917)
  • The Vision Splendid (1917)
  • High Altars (1918) - in which the author recounts a visit to the trenches in the First World War.
  • Hearts Courageous (1919)
  • The Wonder of Lourdes: what it is and what it means (1924)
  • Gentlemen - the King! (1928)
  • God's Candle (1929)
  • Hearts in Exile (1930)
  • The Splendour of the Dawn (1930)
  • The Man Who Would Save the World (1930)
  • The Pageant of the King's Children (1930) (with his son Roderick Dunkerley)
  • Cross-Roads: The Story of Four Meetings (1931)
  • A Saint in the Making (1931)
  • Christ and the Third Wise Man (1934)


  1. ^ Oxenham, Erica J. O. and Scrapbook of J.O.

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