Mary Wesley

(380 words)
  • Chris Willis

Mary Wesley (Mary Aline Mynars Siepmann) became unexpectedly famous at the age of 70 with the publication of her first adult novel, Jumping the Queue (1983), the tragi-comic tale of a woman whose plans for suicide are interrupted by a series of minor mishaps and romantic incidents which became an instant best-seller. Further success followed with The Camomile Lawn which recounted the exploits an unconventional upper-class English family and their German Jewish friends during the Second World War.

Set among the English upper classes, Wesley's novels feature unconventional heroines who often shock those around them, and who have active love-lives well into their old age. She once wrote: “People are startled by …

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Willis, Chris. "Mary Wesley". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 June 2003
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]