Theodora Benson entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Theodora Benson published over a thirty-year span in the earlier twentieth century. Most immediately successful among her works in terms of sales were books of the currently fashionable flippant humour, most of them in collaboration with Betty Askwith. Theodora Benson's novels, of which the earlier ones were very highly praised, present a cynical world of failed romance, lost ideals, social foibles, and ruthless self-seeking. Some are experimental in form. She also wrote short fiction which draws on a range of settings and periods, and presents an even bleaker world than her novels, in which compassion for the subjects is implied though not directly expressed: best-known of these are her thrillers and stories of the macabre. To her prose fiction both long and short she added travel books, an edited collection, and during the Second World War (when she worked as a ghostwriter on official speeches) an information book.
21 August 1906 Eleanor Theodora Roby Benson (who later wrote as TB) was born in Staffordshire, the youngest but one in a family of four, whose youngest died in an accident at eight. Bibliographic Citation link.
1928 TB published her first novel, Salad Days, with a dedication to her friend and future collaborator Betty Askwith. The title-page quotes Shakespeare's Cleopatra. Bibliographic Citation link.
Christmas Day 1968 TB died, aged sixty-two, of pneumonia while staying in the country with her sister Antonia, Lady Radcliffe. Bibliographic Citation link.
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