Hardwick, Mary Atkinson 1915-2003 (Mary Atkinson, Mollie Hardwick)
HARDWICK, Mary Atkinson 1915-2003 (Mary Atkinson, Mollie Hardwick)
See index for CA sketch: Born 1915; died December 13, 2003. Author. Hardwick was best known for her novelizations of the Upstairs, Downstairs television series, her books and play adaptations featuring Sherlock Holmes, and for creating the amateur sleuth character Doran Fairweather. Beginning her career as a radio announcer for the British Broadcasting Corporation in the 1940s, Hardwick became a script editor and director for the BBC from 1946 to 1963. She left the BBC to freelance in the 1960s, initially publishing biographies such as Emma, Lady Hamilton: A Study (1969) and Mrs. Dizzy: The Life of Mary Anne Disraeli, Viscountess Beaconsfield (1972). Hardwick's prolific career as a novelist began in the 1970s, when she started writing stories set in eighteenth-and early nineteenth-century England, including Charlie Is My Darling (1977), Willowwood (1980), The Merrymaid (1984), and Blood Royal (1988). At the same time, Hardwick found great success in her novelizations of the British television series Upstairs, Downstairs and The Duchess of Duke Street. Interested in mystery fiction as well, she wrote a number of nonfiction books and plays with her husband, Michael Hardwick, featuring Sherlock Holmes. These include The Sherlock Holmes Companion (1962), Four Sherlock Holmes Plays (1964), and Four More Sherlock Holmes Plays (1973). Hardwick also created her own mystery series character, Doran Fairweather, an antiques dealer and amateur sleuth who appeared in such novels as Malice Domestic (1986) and The Dreaming Damozel (1990). In addition to these interests Hardwick often wrote about Charles Dickens, creating—again with her husband—nonfiction books about Dickens as well as play adaptations of his works. Among these are The Charles Dickens Companion (1965), Plays from Dickens (1970), and The Charles Dickens Encyclopedia (1973).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Times (London, England), January 30, 2004, p. 46.