Young, E.H. (1880–1949)

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Young, E.H. (1880–1949)

English writer. Name variations: Emily Hilda Young; Mrs. Daniell. Born Emily Hilda Young in 1880 in Northumberland, England; died in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, on August 8, 1949; daughter of William Michael Young (a shipowner) and Frances Jane Young; educated at Gateshead High School and Penrhos College; married J.A.H. Daniell (a solicitor), in 1902 (died 1917).

Selected writings:

A Corn of Wheat (1910); Yonder (1912); Moon Fires (1916); The Bridge Dividing (1922, reprinted as The Misses Mallett, 1927); William (1925); Miss Mole (1930); Jenny Wren (1932); The Curate's Wife (1934); Caravan Island (for children, 1940); River Holiday (for children, 1942); Chatterton Square (1947).

Born in 1880 to Frances Jane Young and William Michael Young, a Northumberland shipowner, Emily Hilda Young graduated from Gateshead High School and then Penrhos College, a women's boarding school at Colwyn Bay in North Wales. After marrying J.A.H. Daniell in 1902, she moved to Bristol, where her husband was a solicitor. Bristol and nearby Clifton, renamed Radstowe and Upper Radstowe, served as settings for many of her novels. Young published the first of her 13 books, A Corn of Wheat, in 1910, under the name E.H. Young. Most of her novels examine interpersonal relationships, including marriage, as governed by the strict behavior and class divisions of the time.

A period of professional success was followed by personal tragedy. While Young worked in a munitions factory during World War I, her husband, despite being over the official age limit, enlisted for active service. He was killed in battle at Ypres in 1917. Young then moved to London. In 1940, she became part of a ménage à trois with her lover, Ralph Henderson, headmaster of Alleyn's school, and his wife. She lived with them in Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire for the rest of her life.

The bulk of Young's writing occurred while she was in London. The Bridge Dividing, published in 1922, was the first of her London novels. Reprinted in 1927 as The Misses Mallett, the novel centers around a woman who marries a man she had rejected decades ago. Her 1925 novel William concerned a woman who deserts an unloved husband to marry another man. Popular in the United States, the book became a Reader's Club first choice when it was reissued in 1941. Miss Mole, the story of an unmarried housekeeper and a Nonconformist minister, was published in 1930 and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

Young, a conventional writer despite her unconventional lifestyle, also wrote two children's books, Caravan Island (1940) and River Holiday (1942). She then returned to writing for an adult audience about themes of marriage and betrayal. Her final novel, Chatterton Square, was published in 1947. She died on August 8, 1949, at Bradford-on-Avon.


Shattock, Joanne. The Oxford Guide to British Women Writers. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Susan Wessling , freelance writer, Worcester, Massachusetts

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Young, E.H. (1880–1949)

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