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Barbara Euphan Todd

Barbara Euphan Todd

Barbara Euphan Todd

Barbara Euphan Todd (1890-1976), the only child of a country parson, was brought up in Yorkshire, before being sent to boarding school in Surrey when she was fourteen. She worked as a VAD during the First World War, and after her father’s retirement lived with her parents in Surrey and began writing. Her work was published in magazines such as Punch and the Spectator and, in the 1920s, she began to publish children’s books. After her marriage to Commander John Bower RN in 1932 some of her books were written in collaboration with him. Her first Worzel Gummidge book appeared in 1936; it was followed by nine others. Miss Ranskill Comes Home appeared in 1946 and although it was published under the relatively unknown name of Barbara Bower, partly perhaps in homage to her husband, who died after a long illness in 1940, it was extremely successful both in England and America. Her husband’s daughter by his first marriage was Ursula Graham Bower (1914-88): some elements of her life among the Nagas during WW2 inspired her stepmother’s novel.

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