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Helen Ashton

Helen Ashton author of Bricks and Mortar in 1934

Helen Ashton, the daughter of a judge and an (amateur) writer, was born in Kensington in 1891. She wrote three novels during WWI while nursing as a VAD and in 1916 began studying medicine, working at Great Ormond Street Hospital until her marriage to Arthur Jordan, a barrister twenty years older than herself, in 1927. She then returned to writing novels (although she disowned her first three) and over the next thirty years published twenty-five more: Doctor Serocold (1930), her most successful, was about a day in the life of an English country doctor; Bricks and Mortar (1932) is about the life of an architect over forty years; and from 1941-7 she published an excellent quartet of novels about contemporary village life. Among Helen Ashton’s interests were gardening, architecture, history and antiques; she and her husband lived in South Square, Gray’s Inn until it was destroyed in the Blitz, and then in Gloucestershire, where she died in 1958.

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