26 June 2015

Alison Uttley in Bowdon, Altrincham, Cheshire

Alison Uttley (1884–1976) was born near Cromford in Derbyshire and in 1906 received a BA in Physics from the University of Manchester: she was at the time only the second woman there to graduate with honours. The house above is 13 Higher Downs, Bowdon, Cheshire, where – as the plaque states – she lived from 1924 to 1938. Following her husband's suicide in 1930 she began writing to support herself and her son, and although perhaps best known for her animal creations for children she also wrote for adults. The Country Child (1931) is a fictionalised autobiography.

Uttley's diaries – written between 1932 and 1971 – were edited by her biographer Professor Denis Judd and published in 2009. Part of the headline of a review of the book in the Guardian by Alison Flood calls her a 'jealous, contemptuous woman with a particular loathing for "the Blyton"'. A link to the article is here.

My shot of the Uttley plaque at Manchester University:

University of Manchester plaques #1: Alison Uttley

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