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)
  • The Hidden Years' (1927)
  • 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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