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Boston College collection of Pamela Frankau

Collection MS-1995-006: Boston College collection of Pamela Frankau


  • Creation: approximately 1948-1968

Scope and Contents

These papers are composed of correspondence, a short story, and manuscripts created by Pamela Frankau. Most of the correspondence is addressed to Mrs. d'Arch Smith, who is most likely Frankau's sister Ursula (Frankau) d'Arch Smith. The letters describe personal events in Frankau's life while summering in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts in 1965 and 1966. The collection also contains a typed short story and nine complete manuscripts written in the author's hand. The manuscripts include novels and Frankau's autobiography, Pen to Paper, written in 1961. Also included is a ten page biographical introduction written by Rebecca West for Frankau's novel Colonel Blessington that was not included when the work was published posthumously in 1968.


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical Note

Pamela Frankau was born in London, England on January 8, 1908. Daughter of Gilbert Frankau and Dorothea Drummond (Black) Frankau, she grew up in England and was educated in Sussex. Frankau came from a literary family; her father was a popular British novelist, her grandmother was an Edwardian novelist under the name of Frank Danby, and her grand-uncle wrote and produced many musicals under the name Owen Hall.

Frankau wrote more than thirty novels, several dozen articles and short stories, and enjoyed the popularity of being a praised novelist in her time. Her first novel, Marriage of Harlequin, was published in 1927, when she was only nineteen. From 1927 to 1939, she worked as a journalist for publications such as the Amalgamated Press, The Daily Sketch, The Mirror, and the Women's Journal. Her novel The Willow Cabin (1949) was her most popular piece of fiction.

Of Jewish descent, both Frankau and her father converted to Roman Catholicism in 1942. Following her conversion, Frankau spent much of her time in the United States, where she met and married the historian Marshall Dill, Jr. in 1945. Frankau and Dill divorced in 1961, after which she divided her time among residences in Britain, France, and the United States. Frankau died at the age of 59 at her home in Hampstead, London on June 8, 1967.


Contemporary Authors Online, "Pamela Frankau." Gale, 2002. "Pamela Frankau." Available from: Gale, Reproduced in Biography Resource Center, Boston College Library (Accessed 1 April 2020). Gale Document Number: GALE|H1000033584.

World Authors: 1900-1950. HW Wilson, 1996. "Pamela Frankau." Available from: Wilson Biographies Plus Illustrated (Accessed 1 November 2007).


2.75 Linear Feet (8 containers)

Language of Materials



The collection documents the work of twentieth-century British novelist Pamela Frankau through her correspondence, manuscripts for eight of her novels, her autobiography, and a short story. Also included is a short biographical note about Frankau by Rebecca West, written for the introduction to Frankau's novel Colonel Blessington.


Arranged into three series: I. Biographical note by Rebecca West; II. Correspondence; and III. Writings.


Purchased from I. D. Edrich, London and Bertram Rota, Ltd. in 1984.


Boston College Collection of Pamela Frankau
approximately 1948-1968
Cheryl Kohen and David Tennant, 2007; Ray Hartley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States