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Lettice Cooper, novelist
Lettice Cooper(1897-1994) grew up in Leeds, where her father ran an engineering firm. After reading classics at Oxford she was for some years sales manager in the family business, while writing her first bookThe Lighted Room(1925).The New House(1936) is perhaps the best of her twenty novels, althoughNational Provincial(1938) is the most well-known; like all her books they convey both her deep socialist convictions and her loyalty to her Yorkshire roots. After a brief period at the feminist weeklyTime and Tideshe worked at the Ministry of Food during the war. Lettice Cooper was devoted to Italy, especially Tuscany, and used it as the setting for several novels. She lived contentedly with her staunchly Tory sister in a London flat, was a great encourager of young writers, and helped to establish Public Lending Right. Her nephew, Leo Cooper, is married to Jilly Cooper, the author of the preface toThe New House.