M. M. Kaye

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Mary Margaret ('Mollie') Kaye (21 August 1908 – 29 January 2004) was a British writer. Her most famous book is The Far Pavilions (1978).


M. M. Kaye was born in Simla, India, and spent her early childhood and much of her early-married life there. Her family ties with the country are strong: her father, Sir Cecil Kaye was an intelligence officer in the Indian Army; her grandfather, brother and husband all served the British Raj and her grandfather's cousin, Sir John Kaye, wrote the standard accounts of the Indian Mutiny of 1857 and the First Afghan War. After India's independence, her husband, Major-General Goff Hamilton of Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides (the famous Indian Army regiment featured in The Far Pavilions), joined the British Army and for the next nineteen years M. M. Kaye followed the drum to Kenya, Zanzibar, Egypt, Cyprus and Germany.

M. M. Kaye won worldwide fame for The Far Pavilions, which became a worldwide best-seller on publication in 1978. Shadow of the Moon and Trade Wind, although originally published prior to The Far Pavilions, were reissued after that novel's success. She also wrote and illustrated The Ordinary Princess, a children's book (called "refreshingly unsentimental" by an article in Horn Book Magazine)[1] which she originally wrote as a short story,[2] and wrote a half a dozen detective novels, including Death in Kashmir and Death in Zanzibar. Her autobiography has been published in three volumes, collectively entitled Share of Summer: The Sun in the Morning, Golden Afternoon, and Enchanted Evening. In March 2003, M. M. Kaye was awarded the Colonel James Tod International Award by the Maharana Mewar Foundation of Udaipur, Rajasthan, for her "contribution of permanent value reflecting the spirit and values of Mewar".


Autobiography: Share of Summer[edit]

  • Part 1: The Sun In The Morning 1990
  • Part 2: Golden Afternoon 1997
  • Part 3: Enchanted Evening 1999

Historical Novels[edit]

Suspense Novels: The Death in... Series[edit]

  • Death in Kashmir (originally published as Death Walked in Kashmir) 1953, revised in 1984
  • Death in Berlin (originally published as Death Walked in Berlin) 1955, revised in 1985
  • Death in Cyprus (originally published as Death Walked in Cyprus) 1956, revised in 1984
  • Death in Kenya (originally published as Later Than You Think 1958 and It's Later Than You Think) 1960, revised in 1983
  • Death in Zanzibar (originally published as The House of Shade) 1959, revised in 1983
  • Death in the Andamans (originally published as Night on the Island) 1960, revised in 1985

Other Novels[edit]

  • Six Bars at Seven 1940 - writing as Mollie Kaye **M M Kaye's first novel**
  • Strange Island 1944 - writing as Mollie Kaye (original version of Night on the Island)
  • Wound of Spring 1961, unpublished
  • Far Pavilions Picture Book 1979

Children's Stories[edit]

  • Potter Pinner Meadow 1937 - writing as Mollie Kaye, illustrated by Margaret Tempest
  • Black Bramble Wood 1938 - writing as Mollie Kaye, illustrated by Margaret Tempest
  • Willow Witches Brook 1944 - writing as Mollie Kaye, illustrated by Margaret Tempest
  • Gold Gorse Common 1945 - writing as Mollie Kaye, illustrated by Margaret Tempest
  • The Ordinary Princess 1980 - written and illustrated by M M Kaye
  • Thistledown 1981 - written and illustrated by M M Kaye

Children's Stories Illustrated (but not written) by M M Kaye[edit]

  • The Cranstons at Sandly Bay by Phyllis I Norris 1949
  • The Two Pins by C B Poultney 1949
  • Adventures in a Caravan by Mrs A C Osborn 1950
  • Children of Galilee by Lydia S Eliott 1950
  • The Story of Saint Francis of Assisi by E W Grierson 1950

Radio Plays[edit]

  • England Awakes - a one-act play, broadcast on All India Radio c. 1940
  • A series of playlets based on the war news - broadcast on All India Radio c. 1940

Books Edited or Introduced by M M Kaye[edit]

  • Golden Calm by Emily, Lady Clive Bayley and Sir Thomas Metcalfe 1980
  • Costumes and Characters of the British Raj 1982 by Evelyn Battye
  • Making of The Jewel in the Crown 1983 Various contributors including M M Kaye
  • Original Letters from India: 1779-1815 by Eliza Fay 1986
  • Moon of Other Days - Selected Verses by Rudyard Kipling 1988 [ Paintings by George Sharp ] (sketches and watercolors by M M Kaye)
  • Picking Up Gold & Silver - Selected Short Stories by Rudyard Kipling 1989
  • Complete Verse by Rudyard Kipling 1990
  • Simla - The Summer Capital of British India by Raja Bhasin 1992

Television Series[edit]

  • The Far Pavilions 1984 (Also released in cinemas as Blade of Steel)
  • Transmitted in the UK by Channel 4 on 3 January 1984, 8 October 1985 and 7 February 1988
Ben Cross - Ashton 'Ash' Pelham-Martyn
Amy Irving - Princess Anjuli
Christopher Lee - Kaka-ji Rao
Benedict Taylor - Wally
Rossano Brazzi - Rana of Bhithor
Saeed Jaffrey - Biju Ram
Robert Hardy - Commandant
Sneh Gupta - Shushila
Omar Sharif - Koda Dad
John Gielgud - Major Sir Louis Cavagnari
Jennifer Kendal - Mrs. Viccary
Felicity Dean - Belinda Harlowe
Peter Arne - General
Adam Bareham - Jenkins
Caterina Boratto - Mrs. Chiverton
  • The Ordinary Princess 1984
  • Transmitted in the UK by the BBC as part of its weekly Jackanory series for children


Kabir Bedi - Koda Dad Khan Sahib
David Burt - Lieutenant Harkness
Hadley Fraser - Ashton Pelham-Martyn
Kulvinder Ghir - Maharana of Bhithor
Simon Gleeson - Lt. Walter Hamilton
Sophiya Haque - Janoo Rani
Gayatri Iyer - Princess Anjuli
Fiona Wade - Princess Anjuli
Dianne Pilkington - Belinda
David Savile - Sir Louis Cavagnari


  1. ^ Schmitz, Terri (July–August 2002). "Recommended Reissues: Safety in Numbers". Horn Book Magazine (Boston). LXXVIII (4): 432. ISSN 0018-5078. 
  2. ^ "'Far Pavilions' author M.M. Kaye dies". USA Today. 2004-02-04. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 

Sources and External Links[edit]