Rose Macaulay

Rose Macaulay

Rose Macaulay was born in Cambridge in 1881. Educated at Somerville College, Oxford, her first novel, About Verney, was published in 1906. However, it was not until Views and Vagabonds (1912) and The Lee Shore (1913).

Her war-novel, Non-Combatants and Others was published in 1916. Her second war novel, What Not: A Prophetic Comedy that ridiculed wartime bureaucracy encountered problems with the Defence of the Realm Act and was not published until after the Armistice.

Other novels by Macaulay include Potterism (1920), Told by an Idiot (1923), Orphan Island (1924), Crewe Train (1926), They Were Defeated (1932), I Would Be Private (1937), No Man's Wit (1940), The World My Wilderness (1950) and the Towers of Trebizond (1956).

Rose Macaulay was awarded the DBE shortly before her death in 1958.

Primary Sources

(1) Rose Macaulay, Coming to London (1957)

Behind all the talking and writing and the ballet and the theatres and the poetry, there were a few quite uncivilized noises off, from Ireland, and from the Balkans, and from strikers and suffragettes. Not being politically minded, I do not think that I attended very closely. Naturally I knew it was ridiculous to deprive half the people of the country of any voice in the laws they had to live under, merely on account of a trifling difference in sex, but I did not think anything I could do about it was likely to be helpful.

(2) Virginia Woolf, diary entry (18th February 1921)

Rose Macaulay dined here last week - something like a lean sheep-dog in appearance - harum-scarum-humble - too much of a professional, yet just on the intellectual side of the border. Might be religious though; mystical perhaps. Not at all dominating or impressive; I daresay she observes more than one thinks for. Clear, pale, mystical eyes. A kind of faded beauty; oh badly dressed. I don't suppose we shall ever meet for she lives with Royde-Smith, & somehow won't come to grips with us.