Marie Belloc Lowndes

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Marie Belloc Lowndes
Marie Adelaide Elizabeth Raynor Belloc

5 August 1868
Marylebone, London, England
Died14 November 1947(1947-11-14) (aged 79)
Eversley Cross, Hampshire, England, UK

Marie Adelaide Elizabeth Rayner Lowndes (née Belloc; 5 August 1868 – 14 November 1947), who wrote as Marie Belloc Lowndes, was a prolific English novelist, and sister of author Hilaire Belloc.

Active from 1898 until her death, she had a literary reputation for combining exciting incidents with psychological interest. Four of her works were adapted for the screen: The Chink in the Armour (1912; adapted 1922), The Lodger (1913; adapted several times), Letty Lynton (1931; adapted 1932), and The Story of Ivy (1927; adapted 1947). The Lodger was also adapted as a 1940 radio drama and 1960 opera.

Personal life[edit]

Cover of The Chink in the Armour

Born in George Street, 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]


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 appeared 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] She created the French detective Hercules Popeau, roughly contemporaneously to Agatha Christie's creation of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.[4][5]

Her mother died in 1925, fifty-three years after 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.[6]


Belloc died 14 November 1947 at the home of her elder daughter, the Countess Iddesleigh (wife of the third Earl[7]) in Eversley Cross, Hampshire, and was interred in France, in La Celle-Saint-Cloud near Versailles, where she had spent her youth.[citation needed]




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


  • Hitchcock was also associated with a radio adaptation for CBS in 1940 that served as the first episode of the radio drama series, Suspense.
  • A further radio version was produced by the BBC in 2003


Non-fiction books[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)
  • ’’Bohemia and Bourgeoisia’’ (1900)
  • ’’The Life of Queen Alexandra’’ (1901)
  • T.R.H. The Prince and Princess of Wales (1902, as Anon.)
  • Noted Murder Mysteries (1914, as by 'Philip Curtin': 1916, as by Mrs Belloc Lowndes)
  • Told in Gallant Deeds: A Child's History of the War (1914)
  • ’’Real Stories of Crime & Mystery’’ (1919, as by 'Philip Curtin')


  • The Heart of Penelope (1904, New York 1915)
  • Barbara Rebell (1905, New York 1907)
  • The Pulse of Life: a Story of a Passing World (1907, New York 1909)
  • The Uttermost Farthing (1908, New York 1910)
  • According to Meredith (1909)
  • Studies in Wives (1909: New York, 1910) Short stories
  • When No Man Pursueth: An Everyday Story (1910, New York 1911)
  • Jane Oglander (1911, New York 1911)
  • The Chink in the Armour (1912, New York 1912, London 1935 as The House of Peril). First published as a newspaper serial, The Daily Telegraph & Courier, August 1911
  • Mary Pechell (1912, New York 1912)
  • The End of Her Honeymoon (New York 1913, London 1914)
  • Studies in Love and Terror (1913, New York 1913). Short stories
  • The Lodger (1913, New York 1913) made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock with Ivor Novello in 1927.
  • 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) made into episode 16 of season 1 of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour in 1963.[8]
  • 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 (London 1932, New York 1932). First published as a newspaper serial, Sunday Post, August 1928, as ‘’The Strange Case of Jenny Newstead’’.
  • 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]


  1. ^ I. Ousby ed., The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English (1995) pg. 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. ^ "Marie Adelaide Lowndes | Biography, Books, & The Lodger | Britannica". Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  5. ^ Maida and Spornick, Patricia D. and Nicholas B. (1982). Murder She Wrote: A Study of Agatha Christie's Detective Fiction. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 88. ISBN 978-0879722159.
  6. ^ F. Kelleghan, 100 Masters of Mystery and Detective Fiction (2001) p. 415
  7. ^, person page 7575
  8. ^ ""The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" What Really Happened (TV Episode 1963) - IMDb".

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