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Author Stella Gibbons
One of my favorite all-time novels is . After I finished reading it, I wanted to know more about its author, London native Stella Gibbons. I was surprised to learn that Cold Comfort Farm was Stella's very first novel, and easily remains her most identifiable work of literature. Cold Comfort Farm
Public domain photo courtesy Isabelnotebook
Childhood and Early Work
Stella was born into a middle-class London family, the first of three children born to Telford Gibbons, a doctor, and his wife Maudine. By all accounts, Stella's father was somewhat of a tyrant, ruling the family with an iron fist.
After Stella finished her education, she would work for the British United Press as a cable decoder and held several other jobs over the next decade, including those of a literature and drama critic, a reporter, and a fashion writer. During this time, Gibbons would dabble in the world of poetry, which would pave the way for her first of many published works.
Stella Gibbons Quote
"Nature is all very well in her place, but she must not be allowed to make things untidy."
- Stella Gibbons
Professional Writing Career
Stella's first significant work was collection of poetry called The Mountain Beast, published in 1930. This effort would put Gibbons' name on the literary map and would set the stage for her first novel.
Cold Comfort Farm, which was released in 1932, will always be the defining work of Gibbons career. This novel, her first, was chiefly a satire of life at the time, and would parody several of the most popular novelists of the era. Cold Comfort Farm would go on to win the Prix Femina-Vie Heureuse, a highly prestigious literary award, two years later.
Stella would marry Allan Bourne Webb in 1933, and their union would produce one daughter, Laura, who was born in 1935. With a stable family life, and an award-winning novel completed, Gibbons was now able to concentrate on her writing career.
Cold Comfort Farm - Published in 1932
This novel is a funny, tongue in cheek parody of the gloomy novels of some the early twentieth century English writers who had previously been so popular. Sprinkled with eccentric, memorable characters, this book will take the reader on a journey that will not be soon forgotten.
Have You read Cold Comfort Farm?
Later Life and Works
Gibbons would go on to pen twenty-five novels, four volumes of poetry, and three collections of short-stories. While most of her efforts are considered to be solid literary work, none would win her the critical acclaim of Cold Comfort Farm.
Stella would be made fellow at the Royal Society of Literature in 1951, and even after her husband's death in 1959, she would continue to publish her writings up until 1970, where her last novel The Woods in Winter, was released.
Stella Gibbons' death would occur on December 19, 1989. While Gibbons considered herself to be a poet first and a novelist second, it would be her triumphant Cold Comfort Farm that will always the easily recognizable cornerstone of her illustrious literary career.
Stella Gibbons Links
List courtesy Wikipedia
1930 The Mountain Beast (poetry)
1932 Cold Comfort Farm
1933 The Priestess (poetry)
1935 Enbury Heath
1935 The Untidy Gnome (for children)
1936 Miss Linsey and Pa
1937 Roaring Tower and Other Stories (short stories)
1938 Nightingale Wood
1938 The Lowland Venus (poetry)
1939 My American
1940 Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm (short stories)
1941 The Rich House
1944 The Bachelor
1949 The Matchmaker
1949 Conference at Cold Comfort Farm
1950 Collected Poems
1951 The Swiss Summer
1953 Fort of the Bear
1954 Beside the Pearly Water (short stories)
1955 The Shadow of a Sorcerer
1956 Here Be Dragons
1958 White Sand and Grey Sand
1959 A Pink Front Door
1962 The Weather at Tregulla
1964 The Wolves Were in the Sledge
1965 The Charmers
1968 The Snow Woman
1970 The Woods in Winter
Thumbnails courtesy Wikimedia Commons and Creative Commons.