Margaret Drabble

Standard Name: Drabble, Margaret
Birth Name: Margaret Drabble
Nickname: Maggie
Married Name: Margaret Swift
Married Name: Margaret Holroyd
Titled: Dame Margaret Holroyd
MD is a prolific, resourceful, and often surprising novelist and short-story writer, with a high reputation as a literary historian and critic. She is still widely identified with one of her early styles: the kitchen-sink realist depictions of highly-educated young women enmeshed in wifehood and motherhood. She has become an ambitious chronicler of the rising lifestyle and expectations of the late-twentieth-century professional classes; but also she is a persistent experimenter with techniques of allusion, symbolism, and contradiction of realist expectations.
Photo of Margaret Drabble signing a book at Beverley Bookfest in Yorkshire on 15 October 2011. She wears a white cardigan over black, a necklace, and glasses.
"Margaret Drabble" Retrieved from This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Education Gillian Allnutt
Newnham, established in 1871 as a house in which young women could reside while attending lectures in Cambridge, was in 1971 one of the university's only three all-female colleges. (Since then Girton has begun to...
Family and Intimate relationships A. S. Byatt
ASB 's younger sister is novelist Margaret Drabble .
Fictionalization Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre has also been subject to a host of feminist revisions. Beatrice Kean Seymour 's The Hopeful Journey (1923) presents a response to, and The Second Mrs. Conford (1951) a reworking of, the novel's...
Friends, Associates Elizabeth Jennings
She had a remarkably catholic talent for friendship. During her student days she became a friend of Philip Larkin and Kingsley Amis . Her correspondents at this and later periods of her life included her...
Intertextuality and Influence Ursula K. Le Guin
Science Fiction and Mrs Brown opens with a long quotation in which Woolf relates how she observed this shabby, immaculate old lady on a train from Richmond to London, and saw her as the character...
Intertextuality and Influence George Eliot
Alison Booth has traced GE 's influence on Virginia Woolf , and several critics have anointed Margaret Drabble as her major successor among contemporary British writers.
Booth, Alison. Greatness Engendered. Cornell University Press, 1992.
Blake, Kathleen. “George Eliot: The Critical Heritage”. The Cambridge Companion to George Eliot, edited by George Levine and George Levine, Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 202 - 25.
As Gillian Beer notes, GEwas not...
Literary responses Elizabeth Robins
Margaret Drabble has connected this incident with the desire for a room of one's own.
Drabble, Margaret. “Amber Reeves (1887 - 1981)”. Breaking Bounds. Six Newnham Lives, edited by Biddy Passmore, Newnham College, 2014, pp. 40 -51.
Literary responses Irene Handl
Almost all responses to this novel quoted on the cover of its 1985 reprint use somewhere the word original. The Sioux was welcomed at its first appearance by Noel Coward and by Daphne du Maurier
Literary responses Arnold Bennett
However, a reviewer for the Times felt that aspects of the work, such as Bennett's notion that articles might be suggested by everyday occurrences (getting up in the morning might result in pieces on 'Queer...
Literary responses Penelope Shuttle
Rosemary Dinnage in a Times Literary Supplement review contrasted contemporary openness about childbirth with the continuing block on mentioning menstruation. She cited a recent example in which Margaret Drabble had mentioned the subject on BBC
Literary responses Arnold Bennett
Margaret Drabble began work on her biography of AB (published in 1974) in a partisan spirit, because she felt Bennett was seriously undervalued. She was, she wrote, surprised to find she enjoyed and respected...
Literary responses Muriel Spark
Most English reviews were raves.
Stannard, Martin. Muriel Spark. The Biography. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2009.
Susan Hill however, in The Times, found this book disappointing in comparison with Spark's early masterpieces, but read it, together with other recent works, as evidence that...
Literary responses Rosamond Lehmann
Auberon Waugh likened A Sea-Grape Tree to pulp romance, The Times thought it unintentionally absurd, and Lorna Sage called the main characters paper people. Thoughtful and positive comments from Elizabeth Jane Howard
Literary responses Doris Lessing
The Guardian marked the book's fiftieth anniversary in 2012 with reflections on it by women of four generations. Diana Athill (born in 1917) says she took against it on its first appearance; she found it...
Literary responses Nell Dunn
This first book by ND was a runaway success, though most of its notoriety was supplied by the television and film treatments. As a book it brought her the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize for...


Angus Wilson published Hemlock and After, which Margaret Drabble in 2008 called one of the first gay novels to hit the postwar world.
“Back—due to popular demand”. The Guardian, pp. Review 4 - 6.
Giles Gordon did a series of interviews for The Scotsman with female authors: a species of writer that at the time wasn't particularly recognised, although it certainly had been in the previous century.
March 1969
Novelist Angus Wilson , recently appointed Chair of the Literature Panel of the Arts Council , organised the council's first Writers' Tour, to North Wales.
June 1972
Spare Rib, a feminist periodical issued monthly by Spare Ribs from 27 Clerkenwell Close, London, was launched to put women's liberation on the news stands.
Doughan, David, and Denise Sanchez. Feminist Periodicals, 1855-1984. Harvester Press, 1987.
By Summer2000
Oneword Radio , with offices in London, was set up to broadcast to readers: the bulk of its programming came from audiobooks read serially, sometimes though not always abridged.