More on Mysterious Ethelind

Several years ago I wrote about writer, gardener, cook and broadcaster Ethelind Fearon. She published many cookery books which no doubt at the time were useful and in a way quite ordinary, but now seem charming and sweet. I tried to find out more about her, and could only find the basic details which I write in a blog which I titled ‘Mysterious Ethelind.’ Several people commented, and most recently someone wondered if there was a photo of her – I’ve wondered that too. Prompted by this I started to do some more research, thinking outside the box as an acquaintance used to say, and i think I have discovered more about her.  I’ll share what I think I have found out tomorrow, but meanwhile, this is what I wrote before:

Ethelind Fearon was born 18th December 1898 and lived in Thaxted, Essex…. or was she and did she? She was one of many great food and recipe writers of the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, and published many books, wittily and charmingly written, including the one I have,’Jams, Jellies and Preserves’, published in 1953.  You can tell the sort of writer she was, look at some of her titles: Me and Mr. Mountjoy, Flower Growing For Ungardeners, The Reluctant Hostess, Home-Made Sweets, Candies and Fudge – How to Make Them, Fancy Cakes and Pastries… and several children’s books about animals, The Secret of the Chateau, The Sheep-dog Adventure and Pluckrose’s Horse.

I can’t find any substantial biographical information about her; I have come across a birth date on her death certificate (1974), 18th December, 1898, but I can’t find anyone of her name being born then, so maybe Fearon was her married name. There are little snippets of information in articles – she was passionate about gardening and was gardener to H.G Wells at one time, and also ran a tea house – what I suppose now we would call a tea room. She also apparently restored fourteenth-century houses. She had children and wrote a book, How To Keep Pace With Your Daughter, one edition of which (I don’t know if it was the first) was published in 1958. 

She sounds such an interesting character, with so many passions, and who kept company with so many other ‘characters’, I’m surprised there is no biography about her. If anyone does write one, I’ll be there, buying a copy as soon as it appears!

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