Dorothy Whipple

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Dorothy Whipple
Writer Dorothy Whipple.jpg
Born26 February 1893
Blackburn, Lancashire, United Kingdom
Died14 September 1966 (aged 73)
Blackburn, United Kingdom
Pen nameDorothy Whipple
Period20th century
GenrePopular fiction

Dorothy Whipple (née Stirrup) (26 February 1893 in Blackburn, Lancashire – 14 September 1966, Blackburn, Lancashire) was an English writer of popular fiction and children's books.[1] Her work gained popularity between the world wars and again in the 2000s.

Personal life[edit]

Dorothy Stirrup had a happy childhood as one of several children in the family of a local architect in Blackburn, Lancashire. Her close friend George Owen having been killed in the first week of the war, she worked for three years as the secretary to Henry Whipple, a widowed educational administrator 24 years her senior. She married him in 1917. Their life together was mostly spent in Nottingham. She returned to Blackburn after his death in 1958 and died there in 1966.[2][3]


Described as the "Jane Austen of the 20th Century" by J. B. Priestley,[4] her work enjoyed a period of great popularity between the wars, two of her novels being made into feature films, They Were Sisters[5] (1945) and They Knew Mr. Knight[6] (1946).

While the popularity of Whipple's work declined in the 1950s, it revived in the 2000s, when six novels were republished by Persephone Books. A volume of her collected short stories appeared in October 2007.[7] Five of these were broadcast as The Afternoon Reading on BBC Radio 4. By April 2019, ten of the 132 books published by Persephone Books were authored by Whipple.[8]



  1. ^ "Dorothy Whipple Biography". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  2. ^ Persephone Books' author introduction Retrieved 17 May 2018. Archived 17 May 2019 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Local novelist was described as the 'Jane Austen of the 20th century'". Nottingham Post. Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  4. ^ Cottontown Website entry on Dorothy Whipple "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ bkoganbing (20 September 1946). "They Were Sisters (1945)". IMDb.
  6. ^ malcolmgsw (4 March 1946). "They Knew Mr. Knight (1946)". IMDb.
  7. ^ "Books published by Persephone Books". Archived from the original on 17 May 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  8. ^ Lyall, Sarah (April 14, 2019). "A Bookstore of One's Own". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 17, 2019.

External links[edit]