John Strange Winter

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H. E. V. Stannard, 1893
H. E. V. Stannard, 1893
Born(1856-01-13)13 January 1856
Died13 December 1911(1911-12-13) (aged 55)
Hurlingham, Putney, London
Resting placeWoking crematorium

Henrietta Eliza Vaughan Stannard (1856–1911) writing under the pseudonym of John Strange Winter, was a British novelist.


She was born on 13 January 1856 in Trinity Lane, York, was only daughter of Henry Vaughan Palmer, rector of St. Margaret's, York, by his wife Emily Catherine Cowling. Her father had been an officer in the Royal Artillery before taking orders, and came of several generations of soldiers. Her great-great-great-grandmother was Hannah Pritchard. Henrietta was educated at Bootham House School, York. [1]

In 1874, she began her career as a novelist by writing under the pseudonym of 'Violet Whyte' for the Family Herald. Her connection with that journal lasted for ten years, and she contributed to it 42 short stories issued as supplements, besides many long serials. In 1881, appeared Cavalry Life, a collection of regimental sketches, and in 1883 Regimental Legends. Both bore the name of 'John Strange Winter,' a character in one of the tales in the former volume. The publisher refused to bring out the books under a feminine pseudonym. The public assumed the author to be a cavalry officer. She retained the name for literary and business purposes through life.[1]

Henrietta Palmer married at Fulford, York, on 26 February 1884, Arthur Stannard, A.M.I.C.E., and they had a son, scriptwriter Eliot Stannard, and three daughters. [1]

She settled in London and continued her literary endeavours. In 1885, Booties' Baby: a story of the Scarlet Lancers, the tale that assured her popularity, appeared in the Graphic. Two million copies were sold within ten years of its first publication. Tales of a similar character, with military life for their setting, followed in rapid succession until her death. There are 112 entries to her name in the British Museum Catalogue. She found an admirer of her work in leading art critic John Ruskin and in 1888 visited at his home in Sandgate. Ruskin wrote of 'John Strange Winter' as "the author to whom we owe the most finished and faithful rendering ever yet given of the character of the British soldier". For some time Ruskin and John Strange Winter constantly corresponded.[1]

A man in bright red uniform points a pistol at two men hiding behind bushes. It is accompanied by the text "Private Tinker by John Strange Winter".
Promotional poster for Private Tinker.

In 1891, she started a penny weekly magazine, Golden Gates; in 1892 the title was altered to Winter's Weekly, and so continued until 1895. In 1896, the health of her husband and of her youngest daughter made residence at the seaside imperative, and Dieppe became her home until 1901, when she returned to London, retaining a house at Dieppe for summer residence until 1909. She wrote enthusiastic articles about Dieppe which greatly increased its popularity. The municipality presented her with a diamond ring in recognition of her services to the town.[1]

Well known in journalistic circles, she was first president of the Writers' Club (1892), and was president of the Society of Women Journalists (1901–03). [1]

Mrs. Stannard died, from complications following an accident, on 13 December 1911 at York House, Hurlingham, Putney. She was cremated and the ashes interred at Woking crematorium. Notwithstanding her many activities, she left only £547. [1] She was the subject of a biography, John Strange Winter: a volume of personal record (1916) by Oliver Bainbridge, with a foreword by General Sir Alfred Turner.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Lee 1912.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainLee, Elizabeth (1912). "Stannard, Henrietta Eliza Vaughan". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

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