About Alice Jane Uttley (Taylor)
Alison Uttley (1884-1976) born Alice Jane Taylor in Cromford, Derbyshire.
Births Mar 1885
- Taylor Alice Jane Bakewell 7b 809
She was educated at the lea School in Holloway and the Lady Manners School in Bakewell. She read physics at Manchester University, having won a scholarship. She was the second woman honours graduate of the university. She spent her her student days living in Ashburne House, Victoria Park, Manchester which was the University's first Hall of Residence for women. It was founded in 1899 and initially housed only eleven students, increasing to 25 in Alison's day. Today, on the Fallowfield site, Ashburne Hall has about five hundred students.
She trained as a teacher in Cambridge and took up the post of Physics teacher at Fulham Secondary School for Girls in 1908.
Marriages Sep 1911
- Taylor Alice J Paddington 1a 281
- Uttley James A Paddington 1a 281
She married James Arthur Uttley in 1911, and the couple had a son John Corin Taylor (1915-1978). James Uttley committed suicide in 1930, when Alison was forced to turn to her writing to support herself. Her first book, The Squirrel, The hare and the Little Grey Rabbit was published in 1929. Alison wrote over 100 books in a period of 45 years - mostly for children.
Uttley died aged 91 in 1976. Her son John killed himself two years later, driving his car off a cliff. "I think Alison was a singularly controlling and dominating person, and probably difficult to live with," said her biographer, Professor Denis Judd,. "Her competitive and passionate nature often clouded her judgment and drastically affected her private and professional life. Though she ended her life as a grande dame of literature, she was acclaimed but never entirely content."
Some books by Alison Uttley
- Little Grey Rabbit's Christmas
- Wise Owl's Story
- Squirrel Goes Skating
- A Traveller in Time
- Little Grey Rabbit's Birthday
- Fuzzypeg Goes to School
- Little Grey Rabbit Makes Lace
- John at the Old Farm
- Sam Pig and the Cuckoo Clock
- Moldy Warp the Mole
- Little Grey Rabbit's Party
- Country Things
- Country Hoard
- Wild Honey
- Country Child
Journals reveal Alison Uttley as jealous, contemptuous woman with a particular loathing for 'the Blyton'
The private diaries of Alison Uttley reveal the author to have been a controlling, difficult woman who despised many people, including her near neighbour Enid Blyton whom she called a "vulgar, curled woman".
References, links and further reading