Dorothy Whipple

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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]

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 of her novels were republished by Persephone Books. A volume of her collected short stories was published in October 2007.[7] Five of these were broadcast as The Afternoon Reading on BBC Radio 4.


  • Young Anne (1927)
  • High Wages (1930)
  • Greenbanks (1932)
  • They Knew Mr. Knight (1934)
  • The Priory (1939)
  • They Were Sisters (1943)
  • Every Good Deed (1946)
  • Because Of The Lockwoods (1949)
  • The Other Day: An Autobiography (1950)
  • Someone at a Distance (1953)
  • Wednesday and Other Stories (1961)
  • Tale of Very Little Tortoise (1962)
  • The Smallest Tortoise of All (1964)
  • Little Hedgehog (1965)
  • Random Commentary: Books And Journals Kept from 1925 Onwards (1966)
  • Mrs.Puss and That Kitten (1967)
  • On Approval
  • After Tea

Republished by Persephone

  • Someone at a Distance (1999)
  • They Knew Mr. Knight (2000)
  • The Priory (2003)
  • They Were Sisters (2005)
  • The Closed Door and other stories (2007)
  • Someone at a Distance (2008)
  • High Wages (2009)
  • Greenbanks (2011)
  • Because of the Lockwoods (2014)
  • Young Anne (2018)


  1. ^ "Dorothy Whipple Biography". Britannica Encyclopedia. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  2. ^ Persephone Books' author introduction Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Local novelist was described as the 'Jane Austen of the 20th century'". Nottingham Post.
  4. ^ Cottontown Website entry on Dorothy Whipple Archived March 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  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".

External links[edit]