Sue Limb

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Sue Limb (born 1946, Hitchin, Hertfordshire) is a British writer and broadcaster. She studied Elizabethan lyric poetry at Newnham College, Cambridge and then trained in education. She lives on an organic farm near Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire.

While her first published book was a biography of the Antarctic explorer Captain Lawrence Oates co-authored with Patrick Cordingley, later works are predominantly novels – many of them for young adults – and comedies for radio and television, often with a literary or historical setting.

Limb's debut novel Up the Garden Path was adapted as a BBC Radio 4 sitcom,[1][2] and subsequently made the transition to ITV television.[3][4]

For Radio 4, she has written a number of comedy series (which pay unusual attention to music and sound-effects): The Wordsmiths at Gorsemere (a pastiche of the poet William Wordsworth and his circle at Grasmere, two series), The Sit Crom (set in the English Civil War), Four Joneses and a Jenkins (a reference to Four Weddings and a Funeral); Alison and Maud; and most recently Gloomsbury, "a rhapsody about bohemians", about members of the Bloomsbury Group and starring Miriam Margolyes and Alison Steadman.

Other works include Growing Pains (a documentary about ageing), Hilaire Belloc, Cities (six programmes of literary anthology).[5] and the introduction to her Newnham contemporary Valerie Grosvenor Myer's biography of Harriette Wilson.

Under the name Dulcie Domum, Limb wrote Bad Housekeeping, a humorous weekly column in The Guardian's Weekend section between 1988[6] and 2001.[7] Collections of the columns, a feminist novelist's diaries of a rural idyll gone wrong, were published in book form. The books, reissued by Solidus Press in 2002, are listed below. In 1989, as Domum, Limb coined the term "bonkbuster", a play on "blockbuster" and the verb "to bonk", British slang for sexual intercourse. In 2002 the Oxford English Dictionary recognized this portmanteau, defining it as "a type of popular novel characterized by frequent explicit sexual encounters between the characters." [8] Limb commented on the honour, "It's an unexpected event. People keep telling me I've made my place in history, so I can die happily now."[9]

She was briefly married in 1970, being the first of the five wives of the historian, Professor Roy Porter.



  1. ^ BBC Media Centre - Up The Garden Path Accessed 2016-10-29.
  2. ^ BBC Radio Four Extra - Up The Garden Path Accessed 2016-10-29.
  3. ^ IMDB - Up The Garden Path Accessed 2016-10-29.
  4. ^ ITV Studios - Up The Garden Path Accessed 2016-10-29.
  5. ^ Biography at Sue Limb's website (undated). Accessed: 2007-09-01,
  6. ^ The Guardian, 27 November 2004.Accessed: 2007-09-01.
  7. ^ Bloomsbury Press Archived 10 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 2007-09-01.
  8. ^ The Telegraph, 18 February 2002 Accessed 2007-11-11.
  9. ^ Sydney Morning Herald, 19 June 2002 Accessed 2007-11-11.

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