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Rachel Ferguson

Rachel Ferguson

Rachel Ferguson, author of Alas, Poor Lady and several other novels.

Rachel Ferguson (1892-1957) lived with her mother and sister in Florence after the early death of her father, a clerk in the Treasury; later she went to school in Kensington. When she was only 16 she became a suffragette (‘I was as militant as authority allowed me to be. I wanted to go to prison but was refused on the score of age’); she then went to drama school, was an actress and taught dancing. She began her writing career as a drama critic and after 1925 wrote as ‘Rachel’ in Punch . The first of her nine novels came out in 1923; her second, The Brontes went to Woolworths (1931), is her best-known; but the most interesting is Alas, Poor Lady (1937), which was ‘fuelled by her mordant social observation’ (ODNB). Rachel Ferguson’s recreations were ‘drawing caricatures, playing the piano and listening to cases in the Law Courts’. She wrote two books about Kensington, where she lived all her life and where she entertained numerous literary friends.

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