Frankau, Pamela

BORN 3 Jan 1908, London - DIED 8 Jun 1967, London
REAL NAME Frankau, Pamela Sydney
GRAVE LOCATION London: Hampstead Cemetery, Fortune Green Road, Camden

Daughter of the novelist Gilbert Frankau and granddaughter of novelist Julia Frankau. Before she was 20 her first novel, "Marriage of Harlequin" (1927) was published and it was an immediate succes. She became a close friend of Rebecca West and G.B. Stern.

For a long time she had an affair with poet Humbert Wolfe, allthough he was married. Rebecca West didn't like him and after she wrote a novel in which Pamela and Humbert figured only thinly disguised, Pamela broke off all relations to her. In later years they were resumed. After Humbert died in 1940 she stopped writing for almost ten years.

During the war she worked for the BBC and the Ministry of Food. In 1942 she became a Roman Catholic. From 1943 until 1953 she lived in the USA. She married the academic Marshall Dill in 1945, but after their only child died in infancy the marriage fell apart and a divorce followed.

Back in England she started a lesbian relationship with theatre director Margaret Webster in the 1950s. In her last finished work "Clothes of a King’s Son" (trilogy, 1963-1967) she writes openly about sexual desire between women. In 1967 she died of cancer. Rebecca West wrote her obituary in The Times and observed that 'none of her novels, though they are better than most, was as good as she was'. In recent years her reputation has faded allthough some of her books have been reprinted by Virago Press.

Works: "The Willow Cabin" (1949); "The Winged Horse" (1953); "A Wreath for the Enemy" (1954).

Related persons
• is grandchild of Frankau, Julia
• was a friend of West, Rebecca


The grave of Pamela Frankau at Hampstead Cemetery, Fortune Green Road, London.
Picture by Androom (17 Mar 2006)


Pamela Frankau - Wikipedia

Franklin, Benjamin

Published: 16 Apr 2006
Last update: 5 Mar 2017