Ruth Rendell

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RR established herself as a leading crime novelist of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. To the intricacies of plot characteristic of the genre, she adds a capacity to scare her readers, and a sophisticated focus on the psychological and emotional aspects of criminal minds and the minds of those committed to the notion of justice. She is also attentive to contemporary English life and keenly interested in books and language, which feature importantly in her fictional worlds. She published sixty novels and was translated into twenty-five languages.
Colour photograph of Ruth Rendell, seated at a table with a microphone and a glass of water. She is wearing a fawn jacket, white shirt, and brown trousers. Her is short and blonde.
"Ruth Rendell" Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ruth_Rendell_Hki_2005_K31_C.jpg. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.

Milestones

17 February 1930
Ruth Barbara Grasemann (later RR ) was born in Leyton in East London.
Benstock, Bernard, and Thomas F. Staley, editors. Dictionary of Literary Biography 87. Gale Research, 1989.
306
Contemporary Authors: New Revision Series. Gale Research, 1981.
52: 369
Brooks, Libby. “Ruth Rendell: Dark lady of whodunnits”. The Guardian, pp. 16 -19.
18
October 1964
RR published her first novel, From Doon with Death, featuring the character Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford; she had written at least six novels before her first acceptance.
Benstock, Bernard, and Thomas F. Staley, editors. Dictionary of Literary Biography 87. Gale Research, 1989.
307
The British National Bibliography. Council of the British National Bibliography; British Library, Bibliographic Services Division, 1950.
Klein, Kathleen Gregory, editor. Great Women Mystery Writers: Classic to Contemporary. Greenwood, 1994.
295-6
Brooks, Libby. “Ruth Rendell: Dark lady of whodunnits”. The Guardian, pp. 16 -19.
18
By September 1993
RR published The Crocodile Bird, a novel portraying a murderess who is simultaneously a loving mother.
Blackwell’s Online Bookshop.
Contemporary Authors: New Revision Series. Gale Research, 1981.
52: 370-1
2 May 2015
RR died. She had suffered a stroke in January, [s]uddenly incapacitated
Lawson, Mark. “Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell review—a spookily perfect farewell”. guardian.com.
soon after she finished work on her final book, Dark Corners.
“Obituary. Ruth Rendell”. BBC News.
22 October 2015
RR 's final book, the psychological thriller Dark Corners, reached print less than six months after her death.

Biography

Birth, Names, Family

According to RR , her parents named her Ruth, but her Scandinavian maternal grandparents were unable to pronounce the name. As a result, her mother called her Barbara, while her father called her Ruth until he finally gave up and also began calling her Barbara. RR continued to be called by both her given names even after she left school.
Benstock, Bernard, and Thomas F. Staley, editors. Dictionary of Literary Biography 87. Gale Research, 1989.
306-7
She felt that her two names represented two separate aspects of her personality, although both (probably unknown to her parents) imply being a stranger in a strange land.
Flood, Alison. “Two faces of Britain’s thriller queen”. The Guardian Weekly, p. 39.