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Born in 1893,Dorothy Whipple(néeStirrup) had an intensely happy childhood in Blackburn as part of the large family of a local architect. Her close friend George Owen having been killed in the first week of the war, for three years she worked as secretary to Henry Whipple, an educational administrator who was a widower twenty-four years her senior and whom she married in 1917. Their life was mostly spent in Nottingham; here she wroteYoung Anne(1927), the first of eight extremely successful novels which includeHight Wages (1930),Greenbanks(1932),The Priory(1939) andBecause of the Lockwoods(1949). Almost all her books were Book Society Choices or Recommendations and two of them,They Knew Mr Knight(1934) andThey Were Sisters(1943), were made into films. She also wrote short stories (includingThe Closed Door and Other Stories andEvery Good Deed and Other Stories) and two volumes of memoirs, including Random Commentary(1965). Someone at a Distance(1953) was her final novel. Returning in her last years to Blackburn, Dorothy Whipple died there in 1966.