Scott, Mary Edith (1888–1979)

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Scott, Mary Edith (1888–1979)

New Zealand teacher, novelist, newspaper columnist. Name variations: Mary Edith Clarke, Marten Stuart, J. Fiat. Born Sept 23, 1888, in Waimate North, Bay of Islands, New Zealand; died July 16, 1979, at Tokoroa, New Zealand; dau. of Marsden Clarke (grazier) and Frances Emily (Stuart) Clarke; Auckland University College, MA, 1910; m. Walter Scott, 1914; children: 4.

Taught English at Thames High School (early 1910s); contributed articles and stories to magazines and news-papers (1920s); wrote weekly column for Dunedin Evening Star for 50 years; under pseudonym Marten Stuart, published novels Where the Apple Reddens (1934) and And Shadows Flee (1935); became bestselling novelist with Breakfast at Six (1953), writing 30 more novels under own name until 1978; also wrote 2 thrillers with Joyce West and monograph under pen-name J. Fiat.

See also autobiography Days That Have Been (1966) and Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (Vol. 4).