Wylie, Ida A.R. (1885–1959)

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Wylie, Ida A.R. (1885–1959)

Australian-born English novelist . Name variations: I.A.R. Wylie. Born Ida Alexa Ross Wylie in Melbourne, Australia, in 1885; died on November 4, 1959; attended finishing school in Brussels, Belgium; attended Cheltenham Ladies' College; educated at a private school in Karlsruhe, Germany; lived with Louise Pearce (1885–1959).

Selected writings:

The Germans (1909, published as My German Year, 1910); The Rajah's People (1910); Rambles in the Black Forest (1911); In Different Keys (1911); Dividing Hands (1911); The Daughter of Brahma (1912); The Red Mirage (1913); The Paupers of Portman Square (1913); Eight Years in Germany (1914); Happy Endings (short stories, 1915); The Temple of Dawn (1915); Armchair Stories (short stories, 1915); Tristram Sahib (1916); The Shining Heights (1917); The Duchess in Pursuit (1918); All Sorts (short stories, 1919); Towards Morning (1920); Brodie and the Deep Sea (1920); The Dark House (1922); Ancient Fires (1924); Black Harvest (1925); The Silver Virgin (1929); Some Other Beauty (short stories, 1930); The Things We Do (1932); To the Vanquished (1934); Furious Young Man (1935); Prelude to Richard (1935); A Feather in Her Hat (1937); The Young in Heart (1939); My Life with George (autobiography, 1940); Strangers Are Coming (1941); Keeper of the Flame (1942); Storm in April (short stories, 1946).

Ida A.R. Wylie was born in 1885 in Melbourne, Australia, the daughter of a Scottish barrister. The family returned to England soon after her birth, and her mother died when Wylie was still a young child. Wylie had an unusual early education; her father financed her independent travels throughout England and the Continent when she was ten. This experience prepared her for handling all sorts of situations even before she reached her teens. She also read the entirety of her father's extensive library and assumed, even before her formal schooling had begun, that she would be an author.

When she was 14, she began attending finishing school in Brussels, becoming fluent in French during her three years there. She spent the subsequent two years at Cheltenham Ladies' College and then attended a school in Karlsruhe, Germany, where she perfected her German and developed a deep understanding of German culture and consciousness. Here Wylie officially began her writing career and several of her stories were published in English magazines. She wrote several novels about her experiences in Germany, including My German Year (1910) and Eight Years in Germany (1914). She considered her first successful novel, however, to be 1920's Towards Morning.

Wylie returned to England prior to World War I and participated in the women's suffrage movement there. She traveled to the United States in 1917, purchasing a farm near Princeton, New Jersey, where she lived with American physician Louise Pearce beginning in 1951. She died in November 1959.


Companion to Twentieth Century Literature. Longman, 1970.

Dictionary of Literary Biography. D.C. Browning, comp. London: J.M. Dent, 1960.

Kunitz, Stanley J., and Howard Haycraft, eds. Twentieth Century Authors. NY: H.W. Wilson, 1942.

Richard Wasowski , freelance writer, Mansfield, Ohio