novelist and playwright, born in Co. Kildare into a leisured Anglo‐Irish world. She was educated by governesses and was briefly at boarding school. At the age of 17 she wrote her first novel, choosing the pseudonym M. J. Farrell to hide her literary side from her sporting friends. Between 1928 and 1952 she published ten others, including Devoted Ladies (1934), The Rising Tide (1937), and Two Days in Aragon (1941). Her work chronicles the manners and mores of Anglo‐Irish life, especially the thrill of the chase, both sexual and sporting. Characterized by a detailed evocation of place, it is underlined by an awareness of the cruelties, snobberies, and evasions of that narrow world, seen most notably in Good Behaviour (1981). Published under her own name and written after a long gap following her husband's death, the novel brought her work to a new audience. Time after Time (1983) and Loving and Giving (1988) followed. She also wrote successful plays with John Parry.