Dawes, Edna 1931-
DAWES, Edna 1931-
(Eva Dane, Elizabeth Darrell, Eleanor Drew, Emma Drummond)
PERSONAL: Born 1931.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, St. Martin's Press, 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010.
Dearest Tiger, Hale (London, England), 1975.
Pink Snow, Hale (London, England), 1975.
A Hidden Heart of Fire, Hale (London, England), 1976.
(As Eleanor Drew) Burn All Your Bridges, Macdonald and Jane's (London, England), 1976.
Fly with My Love, Hale (London, England), 1978.
HISTORICAL FICTION; AS EMMA DRUMMOND
Scarlet Shadows, Dell (New York, NY), 1978, published under pseudonym Elizabeth Darrell, Severn House (Sutton, England), 2000.
The Burning Land, Macdonald and Jane's (London, England), 1979.
The Rice Dragon, Macdonald (London, England), 1980, published under pseudonym Elizabeth Darrell, Severn House (Sutton, England), 2002.
Beyond All Frontiers, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1983, published under pseudonym Elizabeth Darrell, Severn House (Sutton, England), 2002.
Forget the Glory, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1985, published under pseudonym Elizabeth Darrell, Severn House (Sutton, England), 2003.
The Bridge of a Hundred Dragons, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1986.
A Captive Freedom, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1987.
Some Far Elusive Dawn, Gollancz (London, England), 1988, published as Some Elusive Dawn, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1991.
That Sweet and Savage Land, Gollancz (London, England), 1990, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1991.
"KNIGHTSHILL" SERIES; AS EMMA DRUMMOND
A Question of Honour, Gollancz (London, England), 1991, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1992.
A Distant Hero, Simon & Schuster (London, England), 1994, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1997.
Act of Valour, Simon & Schuster (London, England), 1996, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1998.
HISTORICAL FICTION; AS ELIZABETH DARRELL
The Jade Alliance, Putnam (New York, NY), 1979.
The Gathering Wolves, Coward, McCann (New York, NY), 1980.
At the Going Down of the Sun, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1984.
And in the Morning, Century (London, England), 1986.
The Flight of the Flamingo, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1989.
Concerto, Michael Joseph (London, England), 1993, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1994.
We Will Remember, Michael Joseph (London, England), 1996, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Unsung Heroes, Severn House (Sutton, England), 2001.
Flight to Anywhere, Severn House (Sutton, England), 2001.
Shadows over the Sun, Severn House (Sutton, England), 2005.
NOVELS; AS EVA DANE
A Lion by the Mane, Macdonald and Jane's (London, England), 1975.
Shadows in the Fire, Macdonald and Jane's (London, England), 1975.
The Vaaldorp Diamond, Macdonald and Jane's (London, England), 1978.
SIDELIGHTS: Novelist Edna Dawes has written under a variety of pseudonyms, including Emma Drummond, Elizabeth Darrell, Eva Dane, and Eleanor Drew. Regardless of pseudonym, Dawes's novels are frequently set during the height of the British Empire, from the nineteenth-century reign of Queen Victoria through World War II. Her books examine the lives and loves of the members of the British military and their families, both upper-class officers and common soldiers.
The "Knightshill" trilogy follows one noble family, the Ashleighs, as they attempt to survive and cope during the wars of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The family's members include the patriarch, Sir Gilliard Ashleigh, and his five grandchildren. Only four are still living; the eldest, Vorne, was killed fighting in Khartoum, Sudan, in 1885. To Sir Gilliard, Vorne was perfection incarnate, and no matter how hard the other four children try they cannot compare. Although Vere, the next eldest, proves himself a hero on the fields of battle as well, his grandfather sees only the young man's soft side: he enjoys painting and growing orchids. The youngest boy, Valentine, is still in school when the saga begins, but by the second book, A Distant Hero, he has graduated and the Boer War has begun, giving him too a chance to prove his bravery. The daughters also struggle to fulfill their role in the family as Sir Gilliard sees it. Rather than marrying into other English families of good breeding and bearing sons, Margaret becomes involved with a diplomat from Italy, and Charlotte, who has a crippled leg, seems unfit to marry anyone at all. In the end she does find love, but, to Sir Gilliard's dismay, it is with a commoner. "Drummond … has crafted a satisfying, old-fashioned historical romance with vivid descriptions," a Publishers Weekly contributor declared of the first book in the trilogy, A Question of Honour. The second volume also drew praise from a Publishers Weekly contributor, who noted the book's "well-observed family dynamics, excellent pacing and effective changes of viewpoint."
Several of Dawes's novels are set in Britain's Asian colonies, including India, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Both That Sweet and Savage Land and Forget the Glory follow men and women attached to army units stationed in India in the middle of the nineteenth century. In the former book, the main characters, Elizabeth Delacourt, her officer husband William, and another officer, John Stavenham, form a love triangle when all wind up stationed together. The latter volume tells the stories of Captain Rowan DeMayne, an officer with the 43rd Light Dragoons, and the company's eighteen-year-old, twice-widowed washerwoman, Mary Clarke, as they travel with the company from India to the Crimean Peninsula to participate in the Crimean War. This story, "finely crafted and full of detailed imagery" according to Hatton, "is one of magnificence and courage set against the horrors of war."
Some Far Elusive Dawn, set in the Singapore of the 1920s, follows two men who try to pick up the pieces of their lives after World War I comes to a close. Martin Linwood, suffering from shell-shock and the deaths of his family, has become a civil servant after spending a year in a mental hospital; while Alex Beresford, heir to a large shipping company, is compelled to prove his bravery through reckless peacetime feats, since his parents refused to allow him to fight in the war. Their lives collide when both become smitten with another newcomer to the colony, the writer Thea du Lessier. "So much happens in this novel," Andrea Lee Shuey wrote in Library Journal, "that readers will compulsively turn the pages to the end."
Unsung Heroes and Flight to Anywhere, two of Dawes's novels under her "Elizabeth Darrell" pseudonym, are set closer to modern times but still deal with the struggles of British warriors. These two books take place within the Hampton Helicopter Squadron of the Royal Air Force (RAF). Unsung Heroes centers on three members of the squadron. Randal Price, the flight commander, is good at his job but has less success keeping his gorgeous, cosmopolitan wife happy. Dave Ashmore has lost both his girlfriend (who has agreed to marry his cousin) and his dream of flying, and to his upper-class family's horror he remains with the squadron, not as a glamorous pilot but as a lowly loadmaster. The third protagonist, Maggie Spencer, is fighting to be taken seriously as a female pilot, a job usually held by men. All three characters return in Flight to Anywhere, joined by several new members with their own problems. Unsung Heroes is "a fascinating account of a little-appreciated branch of the armed services," Maria Hatton wrote in Booklist, adding that Flight to Anywhere "accurately and poignantly depicts the daily lives of ordinary people performing extraordinary feats."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1994.
Booklist, February 1, 1996, Melanie Duncan, review of We Will Remember, p. 916; December 1, 1997, Eric Robbins, review of A Distant Hero, p. 609; August, 1998, Margaret Flanagan, review of Act of Valour, p. 1962; July, 2001, Maria Hatton, review of Unsung Heroes, p. 1978; February 15, 2002, Maria Hatton, review of Flight to Anywhere, p. 997; April 15, 2003, Maria Hatton, review of Forget the Glory, p. 1452; December 1, 2004, Emily Melton, review of Shadows over the Sun, p. 634.
Library Journal, December, 1990, Andrea Lee Shuey, review of Some Far Elusive Dawn, p. 160; January, 1998, Jodi L. Israel, review of A Distant Hero, p. 139; April 1, 2002, Michael Rogers, review of The Rice Dragon, p. 147.
Publishers Weekly, November 16, 1990, Sybil Steinberg, review of Some Far Elusive Dawn, p. 46; June 14, 1991, review of That Sweet and Savage Land, p. 45; July 6, 1992, review of A Question of Honour, p. 40; May 16, 1994, review of Concerto, p. 50; December 18, 1995, review of We Will Remember, p. 42; October 20, 1997, review of A Distant Hero, p. 54.