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Diana Gardner by Mervyn Peake, 1937, in a private collection
Diana Gardner, born in 1913, went to Bedford High School and Westminster School of Art and afterwards worked as a wood engraver and book illustrator. During the Second World War she lived with her father in a cottage in Rodmell in Sussex, where she knew the Woolfs and often visited Leonard after Virginia's death. She had begun writing when very young, her first short story being published inHorizonin 1940. Her collection Halfway Down the Cliff (from which all but one of the stories in The Woman Novelist and Other Stories are selected) was published in 1946. After the war Diana Gardner returned to London and worked in publishing as a reader and editor. Her novel The Indian Woman appeared in 1954. From the 1960s onwards she was a full-time painter working mostly in pen-and-ink and watercolour: her work was frequently exhibited until the time of her death in 1997.
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