Novelist: Elspeth Huxley

Elspeth Huxley was both a novelist and non-fiction writer, although her non-fiction dominated especially concerning World War 1. Of her novels, Red Strangers, although not set in the war or about it, is a relevant read as she attempts to explain the relationship between the white newcomer settler and the black long-time resident in East Africa. It seems almost fraudulent to include her as a novelist of World War One in Africa but I decided to do so anyway as it confirms which of her books about the war are not novels…

1907 – born 23 July, London
1912 – parents move to Kenya
1913 – Elspeth moves to Kenya
1914 – Father, Josceline Grant, joins East African Mounted Rifles
1914 – December, leaves for England to rejoin Royal Scots, family goes with
1919 – returns to Kenya
1925 – 1927 studying Diploma in Agriculture at Reading University
1927 – 1928 Cornell University
1931 – Elspeth married Gervais Huxley, a writer and tea commissioner for the Empire Marketing Board
1997 – dies 10 January in Tetbury

Relevant Books by Elspeth Huxley

1935 – White Man’s Country: Lord Delamere and the making of Kenya (Biography; section on WW1)
1939 – Red Strangers (Novel)
1959 – The flame trees of Thika: Memories of an African Childhood
1962 – The Mottled Lizard (memoirs)
1980 – Nellie: Letters from Africa (correspondence with her mother)
1990 – Nine faces of Kenya: Portrait of a Nation (includes snippets from various books including some on World War 1)

Sources – for complete list of books
Her papers are at the Bodleian Library, Oxford

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