27 March 1889|
11 December 1967 (aged 78)|
|Genre||Historical, Biography, horror|
|Notable works||Young Bess|
|Spouse||John Robert Monsell (m. 1929)|
Irwin was born in Highgate Hill, London, to Andrew Clarke Irwin (a native of Perth) and Anna Julia Irwin. She was brought up by her uncle S. T. Irwin, a schoolmaster at Clifton High School in Bristol, after her parents died. She was educated at Clifton and at Oxford University. She began writing books and short stories in the early 1920s. She married children's author and illustrator John Robert Monsell in 1929, who created the covers for some of her books.
Her novels were esteemed for the accuracy of their historical research, and she became a noted authority on the Elizabethan and early Stuart era. One of her novels, Young Bess about the early years of Queen Elizabeth I, was made into a movie starring Jean Simmons.
Irwin wrote several ghost stories (including "The Book" and "The Earlier Service"). Irwin also wrote two fantasy novels: Still She Wished For Company is about a magical timeslip, while These Mortals is an adult fairy-tale about a wizard's daughter.
- Still She Wished for Company (1924)
- These Mortals (1925)
- Knock Four Times (1927)
- Fire Down Below (1928)
- Royal Flush (1932)
- The Stranger Prince: The Story of Rupert of the Rhine (1938)
- The Bride: The Story of Louise And Montrose (1939)
- The Gay Galliard: The Story of Mary Queen of Scots (1941) Later published as The Galliard.
- Royal Flush: The Story of Minette (1948)
- The Proud Servant: A Story of Montrose (1949)
- The Heart's Memory (1951)
- Hidden Splendour (1952)
- None So Pretty: Or, the Story of Mr. Cork (1953)
Queen Elizabeth Trilogy
- Young Bess (1944)
- Elizabeth, Captive Princess (1948)
- Elizabeth and the Prince of Spain (1953)
- Madame Fears the Dark: Seven Stories and a Play (1935)
- Bloodstock and Other Stories (1953)
- That Great Lucifer: A Portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh (1960)
- Young Bess (1953) an adaptation of the book of the same title and Elizabeth, Captive Princess.
- "The Doughty Plot" (1962) An episode of the television series Sir Francis Drake adapted from her own story and screenplay, co-written by Margaret Irwin.
- London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906
- "Miss Margaret Irwin: Romantic historical novelist". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 12 December 1967. p. 12.
- Hartley, Cathy (2003). A Historical Dictionary of British Women. Psychology Press. p. 237. ISBN 9781857432282. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- J. A. Cuddon The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories Penguin Books, 1984. ISBN 0140068007 (p. 31)
- Brian Stableford, " Re-Enchantment in the Aftermath of War", in Stableford, Gothic Grotesques: Essays on Fantastic Literature. Wildside Press, 2009, ISBN 978-1-4344-0339-1 (p.110-121)
- Twentieth century romance and Historical Writers. St James Press, 1990
- Margaret Irwin at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Margaret Irwin at Library of Congress Authorities, with many catalogue records – primarily as by "Irwin, Margaret" undifferentiated rather than "Irwin, Margaret, 1889–1967"
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