Frances Bellerby

(1899—1977) poet and novelist

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(1899 –1977), née Parker, was born and brought up in Bristol. Reticent about personal details, she knew much hardship and illness and published her first book of verse, Plash Mill (London, 1946), when in her forties. Her work was never widely read or anthologized, but had many devotees, such as Charles Causley, who edited her Selected Poems (London, 1970). She wrote a novel, Hath the Rain a Father? (London, 1946), and three books of stories. The most potent influences on her work are the counties of Cornwall and Devon, in which she lived for much of her life. She was a religious and contemplative nature poet much akin to Ruth Pitter, but quieter and without the oddities, quirks, and prolificity. At the age of 30 poetry (she wrote) ‘seeped away, unregretted’; then, some fifteen years later, it returned ‘for no known or surmised reason’. Her taut and disciplined poems almost always depict landscapes—usually with a quiet sense of menace and mystery. See The Sheltering Water and Other Poems (Gillingham, Kent, 1970) and The First-Known and Other Poems (London, 1974).[MS-S

From The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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