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Thea Holme

Thea Holme, author of The Carlyles at Home

Thea Holme, the daughter of the architect Philip Johnston, was born in 1904. After the Slade she went to the Central School of Drama and, in 1924, made her first stage appearance. In the 1930s she was in repertory at the Oxford Playhouse, with her husband Stanford Holme as producer. She was a captivating actress, ‘hard indeed of heart was the undergraduate who did not fall madly in love with this most elegant beauty with the wondering eyes. The Holmes were prepared to experiment with new plays by authors known or unknown, with pantomime as well as with the classics’ (The Times obituary). During the war Thea Holme toured with CEMA; later she lived in the Carlyles’ house in Cheyne Row, Chelsea, where Stanford was curator, and wrote several books, including The Carlyles at Home (1965), about the Carlyles’ life in the house from 1834 until Jane’s death in 1866. Thea Holme died in 1980; she had one son.

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