Thursday, September 28, 2017

Romer Wilson

Romer Wilson  (b. Ecclesall, Sheffield, 26 December 1891; d. Lausanne, Switzerland, 11 January 1930)

Florence Roma Muir Wilson was the daughter of Arnold Muir Wilson, a solicitor, and Amy Letitia Dearden Wilson. She was educated at West Heath School and at Girton College, Cambridge.  She began writing in 1915, and published the first of several novels, Martin Schüler, in 1918.  Further books of fiction include If All These Young Men (1919); The Death of Society: Conte de fée premier (1921), winner of the Hawthornden Prize; The Grand Tour (1923);  Dragon's Blood: Conte de fée deuxième (1926); Latterday Symphony (1927); and Greenlow (1927).  Her nonfiction includes a play, The Social Climbers: A Russian Middle-class Tragedy in Four Acts, Seem Through Western Eyes (1927);  and a biography, All Alone: The Life and Private History of Emily Jane Brontë (1928). The Hill of Cloves: A Tract on True Love, with a Digression upon an Invention of the Devil (1929) is a philosophical story.  Wilson met the American anthologist Edward J. O'Brien (1890-1941) in Italy, and they were married in 1923.  A few years later they settled in Switzerland. They had one son. Romer Wilson died of tuberculosis in 1930 at the age of thirty-eight. A posthumous collection of short stories was Tender Advice (1935).  

Wilson also edited three illustrated anthologies of fairy tales, which merits her attention here. All three books have the same subtitle: "A Collection of the World's Best Fairy Tales from All Countries." The first two,  Green Magic (1928) and Silver Magic (1929), were illustrated by Violet Brunton.  The third, Red Magic (1930), was illustrated by Kay Nielsen. All three volumes (but especially the Kay Nielsen volume) command high prices on the collector's market. 

Green Magic (1928)

Red Magic (1930)

from Red Magic (1930)

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