Novelist, journalist and short story writer


Pamela Frankau was one of the most popular writers in Britain and America during her lifetime. She came from a family of novelists and journalists and by the age of twenty-one had published three novels and a book of short stories. 

During the Second World War, she worked for the BBC, the Ministry of Food and then with the Auxiliary Territorial Service, where she began an affair with fellow officer Marjorie Vernon Whitefoord, who sponsored her conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1942. In 1945, she married Marshall Dill Jr, a former American naval intelligence officer, and moved to California. The couple divorced in 1951 and Frankau later returned to London. From the mid-1950s onwards, she had a long and happy relationship with the theatre director Margaret Webster.

Frankau enjoyed success as a writer from a young age. Her first novel, Marriage of Harlequin (1927), was written when she was just 19 and well-received by critics. Over a long and illustrious writing career, she went on to publish over 30 further novels, as well as plays for stage and radio, short stories and autobiography. 

Photo of Pamela Frankau: Bassano Ltd/NPG x26745 © National Portrait Gallery, London