A Land of One’s Own: Constance Holme

  • Glen Cavaliero


The novels of Constance Holme (1880–1955) are set in the area of marshland and fell surrounding the head of Morecambe Bay. The youngest member of a family established there for generations with a long tradition of land agency behind it, she herself married a land agent, and lived for some years at Kirkby Lonsdale, a short distance inland from the Bay, before returning to her birthplace at Milnthorpe, closer to the shore.1 There is a singular completeness about her work, and she appears to have had the unusual quality of knowing what she was able to do as well as what she wanted to do, and of confining her actual performance to that. She published eight novels between 1913 and 1930,2 and a book of short stories as well as a few poems and one-act plays. She occupies a curious place in publishing history, having, on the initiative of Sir Humphrey Milford, had all her works printed in ‘The World’s Classics’ series — the only twentieth-century author to have this distinction. Indeed, The World’s Classics edition of her short stories, The Wisdom of the Simple (1937), is the only one.


Short Story Narrative Method Land Agency Bitter Disappointment Charmed Circle 
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  1. 23.
    ‘Dots are believed by many writers of our day to be a good substitute for effective writing. They are certainly an easy one. Let us have a few more. … …’ (M. R. James: Collected Ghost Stories (1931), pp. 646–7).Google Scholar

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© Glen Cavaliero 1977

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  • Glen Cavaliero

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