Marie Belloc Lowndes

May Sinclair

Marie Belloc, the daughter of Louis Belloc, a French barrister, was born in France on 5th August 1868. Her mother was Elizabeth Rayner Parkes, the daughter of the Birmingham radical, Joseph Parkes, and granddaughter of Joseph Priestley.

The Belloc family moved to England in 1872. Like her brother, Hillaire Belloc, Marie was a talented writer and she had her first story published when she was only sixteen. This was followed by several novels that were well received by the critics. In 1896 Marie married Frederic Lowndes, the editor of The Times.

In 1908 the famous playwright, Cicely Hamilton, formed the Women Writers Suffrage League (WWSL). The WWSL stated that its object was "to obtain the vote for women on the same terms as it is or may be granted to men. Its methods are those proper to writers - the use of the pen." Belloc Lowndes was one of the first women to join the WWSL.

In 1913 Belloc Lowndes published highly successful novel, The Lodger. The fictionalized story about Jack the Ripper sold more than a million copies and was made into a popular feature film. Other important novels written by Belloc Lowndes include What Timmy Did (1921), The Story of Ivy (1928) and the Christine Diamond (1940).

Marie Lowndes Belloc died on 13th November 1947.