Monday, 18 January 2016

Eva Anstruther (1869 - 1935) – British poet and writer

Eva Isabella Henrietta Hanbury-Tracy was born on 25th January 1869.  Her parents were Charles Douglas Richard Hanbury-Tracy, 4th Baron Sudley, and his wife, Ada Maria Katherine, nee Tollemache.   Eva grew up in the family home Toddington Manor near Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire.

Eva began writing seriously at the age of fourteen and had some of her work published.  She wrote novels, short stories, a play, poems and contributed articles to newspapers.

In 1889, Eva married Henry Anstruther and the couple had a son and a daughter.  They separated later and were divorced in 1915.

When the Camps Library – a scheme for providing Allied Prisoners of War with books during WW1– was set up on 1st October 1914, Eva was appointed Honorary Director of the organisation.   As she had many contacts among important people of the literary world at the time, Eva was able to make arrangements with certain publishing companies whereby stocks of their unsold books were made available to Camps Library free of charge. 
For her work as Director of the Camps Library, Eva was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1918.

Eva died at her home in Chelsea, London, on 19th June 1935.

Source:  Article by Edmund G.C. King ‘Books are more to me than food. British PoWs as Readers 1914 – 1918’ on Project Muse, John Hopkins University Press, Volume 16, 2013; pp. 246 – 271 (Article) - kindly sent to me by a friend in America.

And Wikipedia