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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beatrice Kelston

Miss Beatrice Kelston was the author of half a dozen light, humorous romance novels. Her earliest known book was a collection of verse published in 1906 and in the 1920s and 1930s she wrote a number of plays. It is very likely she was connected to the theatre (her novel Seekers Every One had the theatre and touring as a background).
One reviewer noted that "In Seekers Every One Miss Beatrice Kelston showed what she could do in fiction that may be called 'real' rather than 'realistic,' since 'realistic' has come to mean a mass of preferably squalid detail and the abandoning of all attempt at selection. In the present book [The Blows of Circumstances] there is the same sincerity and quietness of treatment, drama without melodrama, and attractiveness conveyed by making a personality apparent rather than by loading a person with attributes." The reviewer for Punch said of the same book, "Miss Kelston writes extremely well, if a trifle gloomily for my personal taste".

Bertha in the Background was, according to The Argos, "a really entertaining story, combining wit and humour with ingeniousness in working out the story, and with good character drawing. And with it all, there goes a freshness and charm in the telling of the story that engages the reader's affection from the beginning ... Miss Kelston reveals a genius for deliberate farce."

She contributed a poem to The British Girls Annual 1918 and her short stories appeared in Young's Magazine and Detective Story Magazine.

On the phone the other day, a friend of mine mentioned he was looking for information on Miss Kelston, which led to this little post, as I haven't been able to find a single thing about her beyond the above. Kelston is an uncommon surname and I haven't found a single Kelston named Beatrice, which makes me think it was a pen-name. That she is referred to as Miss Kelston is no real indication that she was unmarried as it was common in theatrical and literary circles that all ladies were 'Miss', single or not.

If anyone can solve this little mystery, please get in touch.

Novels
A Three-Cornered Duel. London, John Long, 1912.
Seekers Every One. London, John Long, 1913.
The Blows of Circumstances. London, John Long, Dec 1915.
All the Joneses. London, John Long, 1917.
The Edge of To-day. London, John Long, 1918.
Bertha in the Background. London, John Long, 1920.

Verse
The Garden of my Heart. London, Elki, Mathews, 1906.

Plays
Love in a Mist (performed Eastbourne, Nov 1921)
Harvest (performed Q Theatre, Nov 1926)
Indian Summer (adapted from All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West; performed Croydon Repertory Theatre, Sep 1933)
Hen Rules the Roost.

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