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Rumer Godden's picture

Rumer Godden


(Margaret Rumer Godden)
UK (1907 - 1998)

Margaret Rumer Godden, OBE, was an English author of over 60 books, under the name of Rumer Godden.
Born in Sussex, England, Godden grew up with her three sisters in Narayanganj, then part of colonial India. She returned to the United Kingdom with her sisters in her early 20s, training as a dance teacher. She went to Calcutta in 1930 to start a dance school for English and Indian children. Godden ran the school for 20 years with the help of her sister Nancy. During this time she published her first best-seller, Black Narcissus (1939).

Following an unhappy marriage of 8 years, she moved with her two daughters to Kashmir. Remarrying again in 1949, she returned to the United Kingdom to concentrate on writing.

Later on, Godden converted to Roman Catholicism and a number of her books began to deal with the subject of women in religious communities. In books such as Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy and In This House of Brede she acutely examined the balance between the mystical aspects of religion and the submission of the individual to the spiritual discipline. She retired to Moniaive in Dumfriesshire in her 70s. She was appointed OBE in 1993. Rumer Godden died at the age of 90 on November 8, 1998. Several of her works were co-written by her sister, Jon Godden, who wrote several novels on her own.

Godden evokes the atmosphere of India through all the senses: her writing is vivid with detail of smells, textures, light, flowers, noises and tactile experiences. Her books for children, especially her several doll stories, convincingly convey the secret thoughts and aspirations of childhood.
 
Novels
Black Narcissus (1939)
The River (1946)
A Candle for St. Jude (1948)
A Breath of Air (1950)
The Mousewife (1951)
Breakfast with the Nikoalides (1952)
Mouse House (1952)
Impunity Jane: The Story of a Pocket Doll (1954)
The Episode of Sparrows (1956)
The Fairy Doll (1956)
The Greengage Summer (1958)
The Story of Holly and Ivy (1958)
Kingfishers Catch Fire (1959)
Candy Floss (1960)
China Court: The Hours of a Country House (1961)
Saint Jerome and the Lion (1961)
Thus Far and No Further (1961)
Doll's House (1962)
The Battle of the Villa Fiorita (1963)
Little Plum (1963)
Home Is the Sailor (1964)
Gypsy, Gypsy (1965)
Two Under the Indian Sun (1966)
The Kitchen Madonna (1967)
Fugue in Time (1969)
In This House of Brede (1969)
Lady and the Unicorn (1969)
Operation Sippacik (1969)
Miss Happiness and Miss Flower (1971)
The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle (1972)
The Diddakoi (1972)
Mr. McFadden's Halloween (1975)
The Peacock Spring (1975)
Butterfly Lions (1977)
The Rocking Horse Secret (1977)
A Kindle of Kittens (1978)
Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy (1979)
Take Three Tenses: A Fugue in Time (1980)
Gulbadan: Portrait of a Rose Princess At the Mughal Court (1980)
The Dark Horse (1981)
The Dragon of Og (1981)
The Valiant Chatti-Maker (1983)
Four Dolls (1983)
Tottie: The Story of a Dolls' House (1983)
Thursday's Children (1984)
The Tale of the Tales: Beatrix Potter Ballet (1985)
Fu-Dog (1989)
Coromandel Sea Change (1991)
Listen to the Nightingale (1992)
Great Grandfather's House (1992)
Pippa Passes (1994)
The Little Chair (1996)
Premlata and the Festival of Lights (1996)
Cockcrow to Starlight: A Day Full of Poetry (1996)
Cromartie V. the God Shiva: Acting Through the Government of India (1997)
Gypsy Girl (2002)
Black NarcissusThe RiverA Candle for St. JudeA Breath of Air
The MousewifeBreakfast with the NikoalidesMouse HouseImpunity Jane: The Story of a Pocket Doll
The Episode of SparrowsThe Fairy DollThe Greengage SummerThe Story of Holly and Ivy
Kingfishers Catch FireCandy FlossChina Court: The Hours of a Country HouseSaint Jerome and the Lion
Thus Far and No FurtherDoll's HouseThe Battle of the Villa FioritaLittle Plum
Home Is the SailorGypsy, GypsyTwo Under the Indian SunThe Kitchen Madonna
Fugue in TimeIn This House of BredeLady and the UnicornOperation Sippacik
Miss Happiness and Miss FlowerThe Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar BottleThe DiddakoiMr. McFadden's Halloween
The Peacock SpringButterfly LionsThe Rocking Horse SecretA Kindle of Kittens
Five for Sorrow, Ten for JoyTake Three Tenses: A Fugue in TimeGulbadan: Portrait of a Rose Princess At the Mughal CourtThe Dark Horse
The Dragon of OgThe Valiant Chatti-MakerFour DollsTottie: The Story of a Dolls' House
Thursday's ChildrenThe Tale of the Tales: Beatrix Potter BalletFu-DogCoromandel Sea Change
Listen to the NightingaleGreat Grandfather's HousePippa PassesThe Little Chair
Premlata and the Festival of LightsCockcrow to Starlight: A Day Full of PoetryCromartie V. the God Shiva: Acting Through the Government of IndiaGypsy Girl
 
Omnibus
 
Collections
Mooltiki, and other stories and poems of IndiaMrs. Manders' Cook BookCandy Floss and Impunity JaneMouse Time: Two Stories
Indian DustMercy, Pity, Peace, and LoveA Pocket Book of Spiritual PoemsThe Fairy Doll and Other Tales from the Doll's House
 

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