Alison Uttley entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Alison Uttley is remembered as a writer for small children. In fact, her output extended "from fairy tales to finely fashioned autobiographical works; from magic and nursery rhyme to studies of place and dreams and space, even cookery; from two novels for adults to a few plays for children and a host of stories, articles and reviews." Bibliographic Citation link.
17 December 1884 Alice Jane Taylor (later AU) was born in a snowstorm at Castle Top Farm, near Cromford, in Derbyshire on the borders of the Peak District, a remote farm her family had owned for 200 years. Bibliographic Citation link.
Lent Term 1906 Yggdrasill, the magazine of Ashburne House, the women's residence at Victoria University of Manchester, printed a poem by Alice Jane Taylor (later AU) about university life which contained the refrain "Argument." Bibliographic Citation link.
28 January 1929 Heinemann received from AU the manuscript of her first book for small children (also the first in her most popular series), The Squirrel, the Hare and the Little Grey Rabbit, published later that year. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
December 1936 AU's characters Little Grey Rabbit and Squirrel appeared as stuffed toys, ready for the Christmas market. Bibliographic Citation link.
March 1942 A child wrote to AU (about Hare Joins the Home Guard), "Goebbels won't let the Nazis come now because Hare will stop them." Bibliographic Citation link.
December 1944 A bomb on the London offices of Faber destroyed (among other things) the typescript of AU's play Little Grey Rabbit to the Rescue, which had been rejected for the stage by the Theatre Royal, Windsor four months earlier. Bibliographic Citation link.
March 1954 AU destroyed her Little Grey Rabbit contract by lighting the fire with it; she had to ask for replacement. This seems to have been a mishap, not a protest. Bibliographic Citation link.
December 1975 AU, whose experience of public speaking had included a lecture on "Writing for Children", spoke bravely on BBC TV's Book Programme in the month of her ninety-first birthday. Bibliographic Citation link.
7 May 1976 AU died in hospital at High Wycombe; her son had just gone on holiday and was hard to reach. Bibliographic Citation link.
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