Mary Webb

Standard Name: Webb, Mary
Birth Name: Mary Gladys Meredith
Married Name: Mary Gladys Webb
MW became very well known in the early twentieth century as a poetic regional novelist. She also wrote poetry, essays, short stories, and reviews. Her subject-matter is a rural past of love, violence, beauty and cruelty, of nature's power and mystery, of passionate lives, particularly those of tragic women.
Blain, Virginia et al., editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford.
She herself wrote that the hero [sic] of a country story must be instinct with the countryside: it is in his very bones; it is also his voice. The kind of fiction she aimed at unifies its characters with the earth, half frustrate, half triumphal.
Davies, Linda. Mary Webb Country. Palmers Press.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Education Helen Dunmore
While HD was growing up she read a lot of Russian fiction and poetry.
McCrum, Robert. “The Siege is a novel for now”. The Observer.
The poems of Osip Mandelstam were her talismans.
McCrum, Robert. “The Siege is a novel for now”. The Observer.
The books that she read, she says, made me, as a person...
Education Philip Larkin
For ten years from 1930, as both a primary and a secondary-school student, PL attended King Henry VIII School in Coventry (now an independent school for both sexes, but founded in the sixteenth century as...
Education Penelope Lively
Initially learning at home, Penelope became well versed in the Authorised Version, tales of Greece and Rome, The Arabian Nights and not much else.
Lively, Penelope. A House Unlocked. Grove Press.
She was passionately addicted to Greek mythology, but...
Family and Intimate relationships Nina Bawden
Her mother, Ellalaine Ursula May Cushing (always called Judy), was born in 1898. Once the long-jump champion of Norfolk, she was still fit enough in her seventies to turn a neat cartwheel.
Bawden, Nina. In My Own Time: Almost An Autobiography. Virago.
She was...
Friends, Associates Susan Tweedsmuir
ST first heard of Mary Webb , towards the end of the First World War, as an author whose books did not sell despite her excellent reviews. She read Gone to Earth, wrote Webb...
Friends, Associates Hélène Barcynska
Friends of HB and her husband during these years included Gwyn Jones , editor of the Welsh Review, George Green of the University of Wales , actress Violet Lamb , and novelist Ruby M. Ayres
Intertextuality and Influence Ethel M. Dell
The novel traces the great love of Frances and Arthur; Penelope Dell reads them as Ethel and her new husband , with the tyrannical Bishop of Burminster drawn from Ethel's sister Ella , his weak...
Intertextuality and Influence Stella Gibbons
The idea for the novel germinated while SG was working at the Evening Standard; she wrote much of it while travelling to and from work on the London tube.
Briggs, Asa. A History of Longmans and Their Books 1724 - 1990. Longevity in Publishing. British Library and Oak Knoll Press.
In 1928, the year...
Intertextuality and Influence Stella Gibbons
Such earthy regionalists—who include Thomas Hardy and D. H. Lawrence , as well as Webb and Kaye-Smith —become the butt of SG 's satire in Cold Comfort Farm.
Oliver, Reggie. Out of the Woodshed: A Portrait of Stella Gibbons. Bloomsbury.
66, 112
Reggie Oliver suggests that...
Intertextuality and Influence Bryony Lavery
The two women are quickly transported into the romance, where Lady Harriet Helstone is the rich and lovely, ardent and wilful scion of the hard-drinking, hard-riding, rakehelly Helstones,
Lavery, Bryony. Plays, 1. Methuen Drama.
and Molly is a simple village...
Literary responses Constance Smedley
This work was reviewed by Mary Webb for the Bookman in January 1925 together with Ethel Sidgwick 's Laura: A Cautionary Story and V. H. Friedlaender 's The Colour of Youth.
Crawford, Mary, and Bruce Crawford. “Selected Bibliography of Writings By and About Mary Webb”. Mary Webb, Neglected Genius.
According to Smedley...
Literary responses Sheila Kaye-Smith
This novel brought critical and popular acclaim. SKS said that the weeks following its appearance were some of the happiest of her life.
Walker, Dorothea. Sheila Kaye-Smith. Twayne.
The Times Literary Supplement notice began: No matter what fine work...
Performance of text Bryony Lavery
BL 's dramatic adaptation of Precious Bane by Mary Webb , put on by the Pentabus Theatre Company , was performed successively at several historic houses and at the Shrewsbury arts festival.
“Biographies: Bryony Lavery”. MCC’s Last Easter - Full Casting Announced.
“Precious Bane is a real treat”. BBC: Shropshire: Theatre & Arts.
Author summary Stella Gibbons
SG was a gifted comic writer whose lively, parodic first novel, Cold Comfort Farm, was such a success that it has tended to eclipse her later achievements. Much of her writing was inspired by...
Publishing Hélène Barcynska
She began writing a fortnight after he died.
Barcynska, Hélène. Caradoc Evans. Hurst and Blackett.
Her photographic illustrations include a beautiful portrait of Mary Webb . Her husband had asked her, if she wrote his life, neither to caricature nor to...


30 July 1935: Penguin Books issued its first ten titles:...

Writing climate item

30 July 1935

Penguin Books issued its first ten titles: sixpenny paperbacks with a characteristic penguin logo.


Webb, Mary, and Martin Armstrong. Armour Wherein He Trusted. J. Cape, 1928.
Webb, Mary. Collected Prose and Poems. Editor Coles, Gladys Mary, Wildings, 1977.
Webb, Mary. Gone to Earth. Constable, 1917.
Webb, Mary. Precious Bane. J. Cape, 1924.
Lavery, Bryony, and Mary Webb. Precious Bane. Oberon Books, 2003.
Webb, Mary. Selected Poems of Mary Webb. Editor Coles, Gladys Mary, Headland, 1981.
Webb, Mary. Seven for a Secret. Hutchinson, 1922.
Webb, Mary. The Golden Arrow. Constable, 1916.
Webb, Mary. The House in Dormer Forest. Hutchinson, 1920.
Webb, Mary. The Spring of Joy. J. M. Dent; E. P. Dutton, 1917.