Stella Benson

Stella Benson (1892-1933) was an English feminist, travel writer and novelist. Stella was often ill during her childhood. By her sixth birthday, she and her family, based in London, had moved frequently. She spent some of her childhood in Germany and Switzerland getting an education. She began writing a diary at the age of ten and kept it up for all of her life. By the time she was writing poetry, around the age of fourteen, her mother left her father; consequently, she saw her father infrequently. When she did see him, he encouraged her to quit writing poetry for the time being, until she was older and more experienced. Instead, Stella increased her writing output, adding novel-writing to her repertoire. Stella was noted for being compassionate and interested in social issues. Like her older female relatives, she supported women's suffrage. During World War I, she supported the troops by gardening and by helping poor women in London's East End at the Charity Organisation Society. These efforts inspired Benson to write the novels I Pose (1915), This Is the End (1917) and Living Alone (1919). She also published her first volume of poetry, Twenty, in 1918.Benson's writings kept coming, but none of her works are well known today. Pipers and a Dancer (1924) and Goodbye, Stranger (1926) were followed by another book of travel essays, Worlds Within Worlds, and the story The Man Who Missed the 'Bus in 1928. Her most famous work, the novel The Far-Away Bride, was published in the United States first in 1930 and as Tobit Transplanted in Britain in 1931. It won the Femina Vie Heureuse Prize. This was followed by two limited edition collections of short stories, Hope Against Hope (1931) and Christmas Formula (1932).She died of pneumonia just before her forty-first birthday in December 1933, in the Vietnamese province of Tonkin. Her last unfinished novel Mundos and her personal selection of her best poetry, Poems, were published posthumously in 1935. Her Collected Stories were published in 1936. Anderson's sons from his second marriage were Benedict Anderson and Perry Anderson.
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