Beatrice Grimshaw (?1870-1953)

Criticism


Life
[var. 1871;] b. Cloona[gh], a country house nr. Dunmurry, Co. Antrim; ed. Margaret Byers’ Ladies Collegiate College, Belfast, and in Caen, Normandy; worked as journalist in Dublin, 1891-99, converting to Catholicism at 23; she moved to London in her 20s to work as journalist; ed. Social Review; 1895-99; became a record-breaking woman cyclist and sub-edited Irish Cyclist; she wrote press coverage for shipping companies in exchange for passage to exotic places;
 
she travelled to Tahiti, 1906; ran a coffee plantation in Papua, New Guinea; she was first white woman to travel up Sepik and Fly rivers; settled in Australia; and commissioned by the Australian Govt. to publicise the development of the country; contrib. to Wide World Magazine and National Geographical; issued 42 books incl. thirty novels, some short fiction and numerous travelogues, all based on her South Seas experiences. DIB DIW ATT DUB OCIL

[ top ]

Works
  • Brokenaway [sic] (London & NY: John Lane 1897);
  • Vaiti of the Islands (London: Eveleigh Nash 1907), 303pp.; Do. [new Edn.] (London: Newnes [1920]); Do. [7d. Novels] (London: Newnes [1921], [1925]); also The Island Queen [presum. abridged from Vaiti of the Islands, below] ([London:] Todd Publ./Bantam Books 1943), 16pp.; Do. [another edn.] (Vallancey Press [1944], 8pp.;
  • Guinea [ ... &c.] (Hutchinson 1910), viii, 322pp., with 45 ills. & map;
  • When the Red Gods Call [abridged; ‘7d. Novels’] 1st ed. Mills & Boon, 1910, as above] (London: George Newnes [1916], [1921]).
  • The Sorcerer’s Stone (London: Hodder & Stoughton [1914]);
  • Red Bobs of the Bismarcks (London: Hurst & Blackett 1915);
  • Kris-Girl (London: Mills & Boon 1917, 1923), v, 310pp.;
  • Nobody’s Island [abridged; 7d. novel] (London: Newnes [1920]), 128pp.;
  • The Terrible Island (London: Hurst & Blackett 1920), 288pp.;
  • White Savage [?]Sands (London: Newnes [1924], [1929]), 123pp.;
  • Little Red Speck & Other South Sea Stories (London: Hurst & Blackett 1921, and Do. [2nd edn.[ [1925], 286pp.;
  • My South Sea Sweetheart (NY: Macmillan 1921; Hurst & Blackett [1927]), 128pp.;
  • The Wreck of the Redwing (London: Hurst & Blackett [1927]), 287pp.; another ed. ([London:] C. A. Pearson 1929), 254pp., Do [another edn.] ([London:] R Hale [1936]), 251pp.
  • The Long Beach and Other South Sea Stories (London: Hurst & Blackett [1922]); Do. [another edn.] (London: Cassell 1933);
  • Conn of the Coral Seas (NY: Macmillan 1922; London: Hurst & Blackett [1927]), 128pp.;
  • Black Sheep’s Gold (NY: Holt 1927);
  • Never Come Back and Other Stories (London: Hurst & Blackett [1923]);
  • The Sands of Oro; A Novel (London: Hurst & Blackett 1924);
  • Eyes in the Corners and Other Stories (London: Hurst & Blackett [1927], 207pp.; The Paradise Poachers (London: Hurst & Blackett [1928]), 287pp.
  • The Star in the Dust (London: Cassell 1930);
  • My Lady Far-Away (Lon;Cassell 1929; 1931), 318pp.;
  • Isles of Adventure, Experiences in Papua & Neighbouring Islands (London: Herbert Jenkins 1930), 307pp., ill. [pls.];
  • Mystery of the Tumbling Reef (London: Cassell 1932), 319pp.;
  • Pieces of Gold and Other Stories (London: Cassell 1935), 336pp.;
  • Rita Regina (London: Herbert Jenkins 1939);
  • Lost Child (London: Herbert Jenkins 1940), 231pp.;
  • Victorian Family Robinson; A Novel (London: Cassell 1934) (vi), 315pp.;
Also commonly noticed: In the Strange South Seas (1907); When the Red Gods Call (1910); Guinea Gold (1912); The Beach of Terror (1931); South Sea Sarah (1940); Note: all abridged edns. presumed 2nd edns. or later.

[ top ]

Criticism
Clare McCotter, ‘An Elizabeth of the Pacific: The Monarch in Motion in Beatrice Grimshaw’s Travel Writing’, in The Irish Review, 39, 1 (Winter 2008), pp.161-74; also A. A. Kelly, a paper presented to IASAIL (TCD July 1992; See Conference papers, ed. T. Brown. ]

[ top ]

References
Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction (Dublin: Maunsel 1919), lists When the Red Gods Call (Mills & Boon 1910) [in which the hero is Hugh Lynch, a Clareman]; Guinea Gold (Mills & Boon 1912) [with character Geo. Scott, A Belfastman],, both set in Guinea; IF lists as first novel Broken Away [sic] (Lane 1897) [set in Dublin and Belfast, in which a written-out novelist Alfred Moore attempts to murder and steal the manuscript of Stuart Rivington; Dublin literary milieu].

[ top ]

Ann Owens Weekes, ed., Unveiling Treasures: The Attic Guide to the Published Works of Irish Women Literary Writers: Drama, Fiction, Poetry (Dublin: Attic Press 1993), Biog. [as in Life, supra] and Bibl. [as in Works, supra.]

[ top ]

Brian Cleeve & Ann Brady, A Dictionary of Irish Writers (Dublin: Lilliput 1985) calls her the ‘first white woman to penetrate Borneo’ [cf. ATT, ‘white woman’ also]; but DUB reports that there is a misleading claim to this effect, based on Who’s Who entry, where she said she had often met natives who had never seen a white person – that is easy in Papua’.

[NOTE bio-date vars. ?1880 - DIW; 1880 - DIB; 1871 - ATT; 1870 - DUB.]

[ top ]

Bernard Share, ed. Far Green Fields, 1500 Years of Irish Travel Writing (Belfast: Blackstaff 1992), excerpts from From Fiji to the Cannibal Islands (Nelson 1917) [err. for 2nd ed.]; Katie Donovan, A Norman Jeffares, and Brendan Kennelly, eds., Ireland’s Women, Writings Past and Present (G&M 1994), selects From Fiji to the Cannibal Islands [pp.301-04]. SEE also account of her in A. A. Kelly, ed., Wandering Women: Two Centuries of Travel out of Ireland (Dublin: Wolfhound 1995).

[ top ]

Notes
Kith & Kin?: Richard Ryan (Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies, 1821) lists ‘Nicholas Grimshaw’ (Vol. II, p.288). Note also that there is a character ‘Sylvie Grimshaw’ in Forrest Reid’s novel, The Genlte Lover: A Comedy of Middle Age (1912).

[ top ]