D. E. Stevenson

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D. E. Stevenson, date unknown

D. E. Stevenson (1892–1973), Dorothy Emily Peploe (married name) was a Scottish author of more than 40 light romantic novels. Her father was the lighthouse engineer David Alan Stevenson, first cousin to the author Robert Louis Stevenson.

2009 saw a renewed interest in Stevenson's books with the reissue of two of her most popular novels, Mrs. Tim of the Regiment (from Bloomsbury) and Miss Buncle's Book (from Persephone Books). The sequel, Miss Buncle Married, was reissued by Persephone in 2011.

Early life[edit]

D.E. Stevenson was born in 1892 in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was educated at home by governesses. She started to write at eight, but because her parents and governesses disapproved she had to do this in secret. She later wanted to go to university but her father refused, concerned about having an educated woman in the family. Stevenson was married in 1916 to a captain in the 6th Ghurkha Rifles.[1]


Inter book links[edit]

Miss Buncle spills into The Four Graces as well as Spring Magic, and her book is described in "Anna and her Daughters". Celia's House inspired Listening Valley, where Celia makes a re-appearance. We hear of her again during Anna and Her Daughters. Anna pops up briefly in the Katherine books which link with Charlotte Fairlie (Mr. Heath the vicar makes a re-appearance this time). Later Sarah Morris ends up in Ryddelton in Sarah's Cottage to be befriended by Debbie (who made her debut in Celia's House) and to hear about Tonia (Listening Valley) and Charlotte Fairlie.

More links exist from the Katherine books, via Mr Sandford the lawyer, to House on the Cliff which links via Miss Martineau the landlady to The Blue Sapphire. The Katherine books also tell us more about MacAslan who we first meet in Smouldering Fire. Stevenson's last book, The House of the Deer (a reworking of a serial published in The Glasgow Bulletin in 1936) revisits the MacAslan family in the second generation, and is a sequel to "Gerald and Elizabeth".

Gerald and Elizabeth enter into the saga around Drumburly and re-introduce Freda from Five Windows. Jock from the Music in the Hills trilogy also knows of Freda. Bel Lamington links into these books. Bel's friend Margaret was a Musgrave and there are links from The Musgraves to The Tall Stranger which was a sequel (of sorts) to Five Windows (though Stevenson, uncharacteristically makes an error between the two books - in "Five Windows" the main character is David Kirke, in "The Tall Stranger" his name is spelled Kirk). The Musgraves give a tenuous link back to Ryddelton via the Mulberry Coach, a story written by one of Anna's daughters and nearly performed by Delia Musgrave.

The Amberwell books link closely to Still Glides the Stream which in turn ties in with the Sarah books, in that Will and Sarah both visit Nivennes and meet with the Delormes family, although their visits are many years apart.

Books Within Books: Another recurring character is the author Janetta Walters, whose light romantic novels are either loved or loathed by Stevenson characters. We first hear of her books in Mrs. Tim Carries On and Spring Magic. She appears in person in The Two Mrs. Abbotts and The Four Graces.

Republished By Persephone Books (UK) and Sourcebooks Landmark (U.S.)[edit]

Persephone Books reprinted Miss Buncle's Book in 2008 and Miss Buncle Married in 2011. Sourcebooks Landmark released them in the U.S. in 2012, followed in 2013 by The Young Clementina and The Two Mrs. Abbotts.

External links[edit]