Stella Gibbons

Stella Dorothea Gibbons was born in 1902 in London. She was educated first at home, then the North London Collegiate School for Girls, and finally at University College, London, where she did a two-year course on journalism.

Her first job, in 1923, was as cable decoder for British United Press. For the next decade she worked as a London journalist for various publications, including the Evening Standard and The Lady.

Her first published book was a volume of poems in 1930. This was followed by the classic comic novel Cold Comfort Farm (1932) which remains her best-known work. In 1933 she met and married Allan Webb, an actor and singer, the marriage lasting until the latter’s death in 1959.

From 1934 until 1970, Stella Gibbons published more than twenty further novels, in addition to short stories and poetry, and there were two further posthumously-published full-length works of fiction. She was a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was awarded a Femina Vie-Heureuse prize in 1933 for Cold Comfort Farm.

Stella Gibbons died on 19 December 1989 at home in London.


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