Eirene Adeline Botting

(1534 words)
  • Louise Harrington (University of Wales, Cardiff)

Antonia White was born Eirene Adeline Botting on 31 March 1899, the only child of Cecil Botting, a classics master at St Paul's school, and his wife Christine White. She began to write at the age of five, using, she later remarked, “very pompous language copied from the Victorian children's books on my grandmother's shelves”. Her father converted to Catholicism in 1906 (a move that prevented him ever becoming headmaster of any of the English public schools), and Antonia was received into the Catholic faith the following year. This conversion was to be of paramount importance in White's life and work, and the source of her ambivalence towards her adopted faith, as she had neither been born Catholic nor chosen it freely. From the …

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Harrington, Louise. "Eirene Adeline Botting". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 April 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4687, accessed 25 September 2016.]