Winifred Holtby

(804 words)
  • Chris Willis

One of Yorkshire's best-loved authors, Winifred Holtby (1898-1935) died tragically young in 1935 just after finishing her masterpiece, South Riding.

Born the Yorkshire Wolds village of Rudston in 1898, Holtby was the daughter of farmers Alice (nèe Winn) and David Holtby. As a teenager, Winifred was sent to Queen Margaret's School, Scarborough. On 6 December 1914 the town was shelled by German warships, causing heavy casualties. 16-year-old Holtby's vivid eye-witness account was published in the Bridlington Chronicle. The article was reprinted as a pamphlet and sold in aid of the Red Cross. It was still being used as a teaching aid in Scarborough schools in the 1970s.

After working briefly in a London n…

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Willis, Chris. "Winifred Holtby". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 July 2001
[, accessed 03 July 2015.]

Articles on Holtby's works

  1. Mandoa, Mandoa!
  2. South Riding