BENSON, Stella (1892-1933)

Scope and Content

Papers of and relating to Stella Benson, [1930]-1947, comprising 2 letters to Mrs Forster, 1932, concerning a model for a painter, a missionary and the purchase of a clock for a Chinese neighbour who nursed her illness; report of the Sub-committee of the League of Nations Society, Hong Kong, on an investigation into the traffic in women and children and prostitution in Hong Kong, with covering letter presenting the report to the Colonial Secretary, [1930]; article entitled 'Stella Benson goes to a Chinese Wedding' from the Radio Times by Stella Benson, 1932 ; letter from Mrs G H Forster to Miss White (later Professor Beatrice White), enclosing the papers and containing reminscences about Stella Benson, 1947.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born, Shropshire, 1892; suffered poor health and as a child travelled to Switzerland and the West Indies; worked briefly with the suffragette movement, 1914; during the war involved in social work for eighteen months in Hoxton, London, later on the land; went to California, 1918; sailed for England via the Far East, 1920; married James Carew Gorman Anderson of the Chinese customs service, 1921; based in Hong Kong after her marriage and campaigned against licensed prostitution; published novels, short stories and articles, 1915-1931, including Tobit Transplanted (1931) awarded Femina Vie Heureuse Prize, 1932; died, 1933.
Publications: include: I Pose (Macmillan & Co, London, 1915); This is the End (Macmillan & Co, London, 1917); Twenty [Poems] (Macmillan & Co, London, 1918); Living Alone (Macmillan & Co, London, 1919); The Poor Man (Macmillan & Co, London, 1922); The Awakening. A fantasy (Printed by Edwin and Robert Grabhorn for the Lantern Press, San Francisco, 1925); The Little World (Macmillan & Co, London, 1925); Goodbye, Stranger (Macmillan & Co, London, 1926); The Man who Missed the 'Bus (Mathews & Marrot, London, 1928); Worlds within Worlds [Sketches of travel] (Macmillan & Co, London, 1928); The Far-away Bride [With an appendix containing the Book of Tobit, from the Apocrypha] (Harper & Bros, New York & London, 1930); Tobit Transplanted (Macmillan & Co, London, 1931); Christmas Formula, and other stories (William Jackson [Joiner & Steele], London, 1932); Collected Short Stories (Macmillan & Co, London, 1936.


The papers are arranged chronologically.

Access Information

The Archives are available for access in the Archives Reading Room located on the 2nd Floor of the Mile End Library. The Archives Reading Room is open Mondays to Fridays 9am-4pm by appointment only. Contact the Archives for more information: Archives, Main Library QMUL, 328 Mile End Rd, London E1 4NS, telephone: 020 7882 3873, email: . For more information about the Archives see the website:

Acquisition Information

Donated by Professor Beatrice White to Westfield College Library.

Other Finding Aids

Archivist's Note

Sources: Who's Who 1897-1996 CD-ROM (A & C Black); Historical Manuscripts Commission On-line National Register of Archives; British Library Public on-line catalogue. Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying at the discretion of the Archivist.

Related Material

Diaries and papers, 1902-1933, held by Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archive (reference: Add 6762-6803); correspondence (reference: Add MSS 59659-60), additional papers (see Annual return 1999), correspondence with Macmillans, 1915-1932 (reference: Add MS 54972) and letters to Sydney and Violet Schiff, 1924-1932 (reference: Add MS 52916), held by the British Library, Manuscript Collections; letters, 1926-1933, mainly to Donald B Clark, held at New York Public Library (reference: see NUC MS 79-1833).


Stella Benson Phyllis Bottome (printed for Albert M. Bender, San Francisco, 1934); Portrait of Stella Benson Richard Ellis Roberts (Macmillan & Co, London, 1939); Some letters of Stella Benson, 1928-1933 edited by Cecil Clarabut (Hong Kong, [Libra Press], 1978).

Geographical Names