Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes

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On board The Aquitania, April 14, 1936. © Corbis

Marie Adelaide Elizabeth Rayner Lowndes, née Belloc (5 August 1868 – 14 November 1947), was a prolific English novelist.

Active from 1898 until her death, she had a literary reputation for combining exciting incidents with psychological interest. Three of her works were adapted for the screen: The Lodger (1913 novel; numerous film adaptations), Letty Lynton (1931 novel; 1932 film adaptation), and The Story of Ivy (1927 novel; 1947 film adaptation). Additionally, The Lodger was adapted as a 1940 radio drama and 1960 opera.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Marylebone, London and raised in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France, Belloc was the only daughter of French barrister Louis Belloc and English feminist Bessie Parkes. Her younger brother was Hilaire Belloc, whom she wrote of in her last work, The Young Hilaire Belloc (published posthumously in 1956). Belloc's paternal grandfather was the French painter Jean-Hilaire Belloc, and her maternal great-great-grandfather was the theologian/philosopher Joseph Priestley. Her mother died in 1925, 53 years after her father.

In 1896, Belloc married Frederick Sawrey A. Lowndes (1868–1940).[1]

Career[edit]

She published a biography, H.R.H. The Prince of Wales: An Account of His Career, in 1898. From then on novels, reminiscences and plays came from her quill at the rate of one per year until 1946. She produced over forty novels in all - mainly mysteries, well-plotted and on occasion based on real-life crime,[2] though she herself resented being classed as a crime writer.[3]

Her mother died in 1925, fifteen years before her father. In the memoir, I, too, Have Lived in Arcadia, published in 1942,she told the story of her mother's life, compiled largely from old family letters and her own memories of her early life in France. A second autobiography Where love and friendship dwelt appeared posthumously in 1948.

Ernest Hemingway praised her insight into female psychology, revealed above all in the situation of the ordinary mind failing to cope with the impact of the extraordinary.[4]

Eric Partridge noted a rare awkwardness on her part in the following passage: “There stood, a slight, white-clad figure, in the bright circle of light cast by one of the lamps which was still alight, of the car from which she had been flung”.[5]

Death[edit]

Belloc died 14 November 1947 at the home of her elder daughter, Countess Iddesleigh (wife of the third Earl[6]) in Eversley Cross, Hampshire, and was interred in France, in La Celle-Saint-Cloud near Versailles, where she spent her youth.[citation needed]

Adaptations[edit]

Film[edit]

Opera[edit]

The Lodger (opera) is a 1960 opera by Phyllis Tate, based on the 1913 novel

Radio[edit]

  • Hitchcock was also associated with a radio adaptation for CBS in 1940 that served as the first episode of the radio drama series, Suspense.

Bibliography[edit]

  • H.R.H. The Prince of Wales: an account of his career. New York & London (1898 as Anon, rev. 1901 as His Most Gracious Majesty King Edward VII)
  • The philosophy of the Marquise (1899)
  • T.R.H. The Prince and Princess of Wales (1902, as Anon.)
  • The Heart of Penelope (1904, New York 1915)
  • Barbara Rebell (1905, New York 1907)
  • The Pulse of Life: a story of a passing world (1908, New York 1909)
  • Studies in Wives (1909, New York 1910)
  • The Uttermost Farthing (1908, New York 1910)
  • According to Meredith (1909)
  • Studies in Wives. Short Stories (1909)
  • When No Man Pursueth: an everyday story (1910, New York 1911)
  • Jane Oglander (1911, New York 1911)
  • Mary Pechell (1912, New York 1912)
  • The Chink in the Armour (1912, New York 1912, London 1935 as The house of peril)
  • The End of Her Honeymoon (New York 1913, London 1914)
  • Studies in Love and Terror (1913, New York 1913)
  • The Lodger (1913, New York 1913) made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock with Ivor Novello in 1927.
  • Noted Murder Mysteries (1914 as by 'Philip Curtin')
  • Told in Gallant Deeds: A Child's History of the War (1914)
  • Good Old Anna (1915, New York 1916)
  • Price of Admiralty (1915)
  • The Red Cross Barge (1916, New York 1918)
  • Lilla: A Part of Her Life (1916, New York 1917)
  • Love and hatred (1917, New York 1917)
  • Out of the War (1918, 1934 as The gentleman anonymous)
  • The Lonely House (1920, New York 1920)
  • From the Vast Deep (1920, New York 1921 as From out the vasty deep)
  • What Timmy Did (1921, New York 1922)
  • Why They Married (1922)
  • The Philanderer (1923)
  • The Terriford Mystery (1924, Garden City NY 1924)
  • Some Men and Women (1925, Garden City NY 1928)
  • Afterwards (1925)
  • Bread of Deceit (1925, Garden City NY 1928 as Afterwards)
  • What Really Happened (1926, Garden City NY 1926, London 1932 as a play)
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill (1927)
  • The Story of Ivy (1927, Garden City NY 1928)
  • Cressida: no mystery (1928, New York 1930)
  • Duchess Laura: certain days of her life (1929, New York 1933 as The duchess Intervenes)
  • One of Those Ways (1929)
  • Love's Revenge (1929)
  • The Key: A Love Drama in Three Acts (1930)
  • With All John's Love: A Play in Three Acts (1930)
  • Letty Lynton (1931, New York 1931) made into a film by MGM with Joan Crawford in 1932.
  • Vanderlyn's Adventure (New York 1931, London 1937 as The house by the sea)
  • Why Be Lonely? A Comedy in Three Acts", (1931 with F. S. A. Lowndes)
  • Jenny Newstead (1932 New York 1932)
  • Love is a Flame (1932)
  • The Reason Why (1932)
  • Dutchess Laura: further days of her life (New York 1933)
  • Another Man's Wife (1934, New York 1934)
  • The Chianti Flask (New York 1934, London 1935)
  • Who Rides on a Tiger (New York 1935, London 1936)
  • The Second Key (New York 1936, London 1939 as The injured lover)
  • And Call it Accident (New York 1936, London 1939 as And call it an accident)
  • The House by the Sea (1937)
  • The Marriage Broker (1937, New York 1937 as The fortune of Bridget Malone)
  • Motive (1938)
  • Empress Eugenie: a three-act play (New York 1938)
  • Motive (1938, New York 1938 as Why it happened)
  • Reckless Angel (New York 1939)
  • Lizzie Borden: A Study in Conjecture (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1939, London 1940)
  • The Christine Diamond (New York & London 1940)
  • Before the Storm (New York 1941)
  • I, too, have lived in Arcadia: a record of Love and Childhood (1941, New York 1942)
  • What of the Night? (New York 1943)
  • Where Love and Friendship Dwelt (1943, New York 1943)
  • The Labours of Hercules (1943)
  • The Merry Wives of Westminster (1946)
  • A passing world (1948)
  • She Dwelt with Beauty (published posthumously, 1949)
  • The Young Hilaire Belloc (New York 1956)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ I. Ousby ed., The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English (1995) p. 575
  2. ^ I. Ousby ed., The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English (1995) p. 575
  3. ^ F. Kelleghan, 100 Masters of Mystery and Detective Fiction (2001) p. 415
  4. ^ F. Kelleghan, 100 Masters of Mystery and Detective Fiction (2001) p. 415
  5. ^ Eric Partridge, Usage and Abusage (1964) p. 51-2
  6. ^ ThePeerage.com, person page 7575

External links[edit]