Rose Macaulay

Standard Name: Macaulay, Rose
Birth Name: Emilie Rose Macaulay
RM was highly prolific, publishing during the earlier half of the twentieth century twenty-three novels and two volumes of poetry, as well as three books of short stories, several historical and travel narratives, and works of literary criticism. Several volumes of her personal letters have been printed. She made many appearances on the BBC and published scores of articles. Valued perhaps chiefly for its satire and wit, her writing shows impressive political complexity and understanding, and her skill at characterisation is noteworthy. In her early works one may feel that her satire is defensive: that she uses mockery to hold off painful involvement. Her treatment of religious issues and characters demonstrates her long struggle with and engagement in established religion. She continually pokes fun at people heavily invested in causes or movements; but the choice of a cause is one of her favourite topics, sometimes handled with poignancy rather than burlesque.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Dedications Margaret Kennedy
The publication of her seventh novel marked her move from Heinemann to Cassell . Virago reissued this novel as part of its Modern Classics series in 1981 with an introduction by Kennedy's author-daughter, Julia Birley
Education Doreen Wallace
At Somerville DW became a close friend of Dorothy Sayers (their religious and political disagreements later drove them apart) and in her circle met Vera Brittain , Winifred Holtby , and theSitwells .
Leonardi, Susan J. Dangerous by Degrees: Women at Oxford and the Somerville College Novelists. Rutgers University Press.
Friends, Associates Olivia Manning
OM 's friends included a number of fellow-writers: William Gerhardi , Ivy Compton-Burnett (whom she had first met before the war, at a party given by Rose Macaulay , and whose work she deeply admired),...
Friends, Associates Katharine Tynan
At Clarebeg they began holding a literary salon for Irish writers and intellectuals. Their guests included Irish writer Padraic Colum , his wife Mary Gunning Maguire (later an eminent literary critic), poet and novelist James Stephens
Friends, Associates Theodora Benson
TB enjoyed a wide circle of friends both literary and non-literary. The former included Rose Macaulay and Howard Spring . She met her future collaborator Betty Askwith (daughter of an old friend of her mother's)...
Friends, Associates Helen Waddell
Friends from HW 's time at Somerville included Maude Clarke , whom she had known as a child and whose Oxford position had been one of the incentives to go there, and archaelogist Helen Lorimer
Friends, Associates Storm Jameson
Michael Sadleir first took Jameson to the Thursday evening salons hosted by Naomi Royde-Smith at her Queen's Gate home. These gatherings were attended by Rose Macaulay , Arnold Bennett , Edward Marsh , and Frank Swinnerton
Friends, Associates Elizabeth Bowen
Through her old headmistress, EB met Rose Macaulay , who introduced her to Naomi Royde-Smith . Royde-Smith helped her to get the first of her writing into print.
Hoogland, Renée C. Elizabeth Bowen: A Reputation in Writing. New York University Press.
Friends, Associates Ann Bridge
Friends, Associates Naomi Royde-Smith
NRS was a close friend of Rose Macaulay , with whom in the immediate postwar period she shared entertaining duties at her flat, in something similar to a salon. They apparently met through Macaulay contributing...
Friends, Associates Naomi Royde-Smith
Woolf , going to a party there on 5 June 1921, disliked Royde-Smith and her world at first sight. Never did I see a less attractive woman than Naomi. . . .I fixed her with...
Friends, Associates Elizabeth Jenkins
In her day EJ knew most of the London literary world. She met Agatha Christie , whom she described as the most elegantly dressed elderly woman I have ever seen.
Jenkins, Elizabeth. The View from Downshire Hill. Michael Johnson.
She counted among her...
Friends, Associates Catherine Carswell
CC 's friends included Scotswomen she grew up with—doctors Maud McVail and Isobel Hutton , sculptor Phyllis Clay , and musician Maggie Mather . Among her literary friends were Vita Sackville-West (whom she stayed with...
Friends, Associates Ivy Compton-Burnett
Friendship did not blossom with Woolf, whom years later ICB described to Nathalie Sarraute as a terrible snob.
Spurling, Hilary. Secrets of a Woman’s Heart. Hodder and Stoughton.
This was the period when Compton-Burnett was lionised after the publication of Brothers and Sisters...
Friends, Associates F. Tennyson Jesse
Gordon Place became the centre of an active female literary community, which included Elizabeth Bowen , Rose Macaulay , Virginia Woolf , Ivy Low (who was also a good friend of Viola Meynell ), Ivy Compton-Burnett


1661: John Evelyn published a pamphlet entitled...

Writing climate item


John Evelyn published a pamphlet entitled Fumifugium: or, The Inconvenience of the Aer and Smoake of London Dissipated; a reprint by the National Smoke Abatement Society in 1933 has an introduction by Rose Macaulay .

1904: Madame C. de Broutelles founded the Prix...

Writing climate item


Madame C. de Broutelles founded the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse, a prestigious French literary prize awarded by a jury of twelve women. A. Mary F. Robinson (an English writer living in France) was a co-founder.

8 August 1914: Early in the Great War the Defence of the...

National or international item

8 August 1914

Early in the Great War the Defence of the Realm Act (later known as DORA) passed the House of Commons without debate, giving the government special powers.

1928: The poet Edmund Blunden published his memoir...

Writing climate item


The poet Edmund Blunden published his memoirUndertones of War, which, with a number of works issued the following year, have been granted canonical status as imaginative accounts of the First World War.

1929: As well as Richard Aldington's Death of a...

Writing climate item


As well as Richard Aldington 's Death of a Hero, this year saw publication of Erich Maria Remarque 's All Quiet on the Western Front and Robert Graves 's Goodbye to All That.

February 1936: The awesome trio of political theorist Harold...

Writing climate item

February 1936

The awesome trio
Laity, Paul. “The left’s ace of clubs”. Guardian Unlimited.
of political theorist Harold Laski , publisher Victor Gollancz , and writer and Labour MP John Strachey established the Left Book Club (LBC) .

22 May 1936: The Peace Pledge Union was founded by Canon...

National or international item

22 May 1936

The Peace Pledge Union was founded by Canon Dick Sheppard .

18 July 1936: The Spanish Civil War began between the Republicans...

National or international item

18 July 1936

The Spanish Civil War began between the Republicans (including Communists) and the Fascists led by Francisco Franco .


Macaulay, Rose. A Casual Commentary. Methuen, 1925.
Macaulay, Rose. Abbots Verney. John Murray, 1906.
Macaulay, Rose. And No Man’s Wit. Collins, 1940.
Macaulay, Rose. Catchwords and Claptrap. Hogarth Press.
Macaulay, Rose. Crewe Train. Collins, 1926.
Macaulay, Rose. Dangerous Ages. Collins, 1921.
Macaulay, Rose. Fabled Shore: From the Pyrenees to Portugal. Hamish Hamilton, 1949.
Macaulay, Rose. Keeping Up Appearances. W. Collins, 1928.
Macaulay, Rose. Last Letters to a Friend, 1952-1958. Editor Babington Smith, Constance, Collins, 1962.
Macaulay, Rose. Letters to a Friend from Rose Macaulay 1950-1952. Editor Babington Smith, Constance, Fontana, 1968.
Macaulay, Rose. Letters to a Friend, 1950-1952. Editor Babington Smith, Constance, Collins, 1961.
Macaulay, Rose. Letters to a Sister from Rose Macaulay. Editor Babington Smith, Constance, Collins, 1964.
Macaulay, Rose. Milton. Duckworth, 1934.
Macaulay, Rose. Mystery at Geneva. Collins, 1922.
Macaulay, Rose. Non-Combatants and Others. Hodder and Stoughton, 1916.
Macaulay, Rose. Orphan Island. W. Collins, 1924.
Macaulay, Rose. Personal Pleasures. Victor Gollancz, 1935.
Macaulay, Rose. Pleasure of Ruins. Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1953.
Macaulay, Rose. Potterism. Collins.
Macaulay, Rose. Some Religious Elements in English Literature. Hogarth Press, 1931.
Macaulay, Rose. “The First Impact of <span data-tei-ns-tag="tei_title" data-tei-title-lvl=‘m’>The Waste Land</span&gt”;. T.S. Eliot: A Symposium for his Seventieth Birthday, edited by Neville Braybrooke, Rupert Hart-Davis, 1958.
Macaulay, Rose. The Furnace. John Murray, 1907.
Macaulay, Rose. The Lee Shore. Hodder and Stoughton, 1912.
Macaulay, Rose. The Making of a Bigot. Hodder and Stoughton, 1914.
Macaulay, Rose. The Towers of Trebizond. Collins, 1956.