Eva Anstruther

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Dame Eva Anstruther DBE (25 January 1869 – 19 June 1935)[1] was an English writer and poet.

She was born as Eva Isabella Henrietta Hanbury-Tracy, the eldest child of the 4th Lord Sudeley.[1] She grew up in Gloucestershire at Toddington Manor, near Tewkesbury. Her two immediate siblings were boys and she grew up a somewhat lonely child, resorting to creative writing from a young age. She cultivated a wide circle of similar-minded friends and began writing seriously at age 14.[citation needed]

As an adult, she had some success with poems, newspaper columns, short stories, one play and several novels. She had a special "den" in her home where she would sit and read or write. Sometimes in London she would go to Clifford's Inn, where she had a small personal office. She wrote a play, Bon Secours, in 1903. She may have written another play, Old Clothes, mentioned in a collectors' item manuscript - a letter written in March 1904 by Thomas Anstey Guthrie (1856–1934), who is also known as F. Anstey.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

She married Henry Torrens Anstruther in 1889. However, his political career did not go well and he never became a cabinet minister. They separated in 1912 and divorced in 1915. They had two children, Douglas and Joyce.[1]

During the First World War, she was appointed by Sir Edward Ward as Director of the Camps Library, started on 1 October 1914,[1] and was responsible for stocking the libraries for troops on active duty in France. Her title was Honorary Director of the Camps Library, for which service she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1918 – on Ward's recommendation.


She died at her home in Chelsea from bronchial pneumonia on 19 June 1935, aged 66.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Dame Eva Anstruther obituary". The Times. London, England. 20 June 1935. p. 19.