Noel Streatfeild's picture

Noel Streatfeild

(Mary Noel Streatfeild)
UK flag (1895 - 1986)

aka Susan Scarlett

Noel Streatfeild was born in Amberley, Sussex, the second daughter of a clergyman. Her older sister was pretty and delicate, her younger sister clever and beautiful - Noel saw herself as the plain one and made her mark by being quite rebellious. She always shone in the plays she and her sisters put on for her father's parish causes. She worked in a munitions factory during World War I and after the war went off to train as an actress. Her ten years on the stage were not very successful but they gave her valuable knowledge of theatre life to use later in her books.

Noel claimed to have a 'blotting paper memory' that was the secret of her success as a writer. She could think herself back into childhood and recall the delights of pets and holidays and Christmas - as well as the miseries of being snubbed, overlooked and excluded. She wrote 58 books for children; many are still in print, including her most popular title Ballet Shoes. In her best books the reader has the experience of living intensely with the child characters, understanding exactly how they feel about things, and why --perhaps this is why her books still seem alive to young readers 50 years after they were written.

Noel Streatfeild was astonished by the success of Ballet Shoes, her first book for children. Its acclaim was perhaps due to its originality. She wrote about hard-working, money-conscious, professional children unlike the amateurish, country-house heroes and heroines of most children's stories of the time. The Fossil sisters in Ballet Shoes are lively, well-drawn characters; they live in their readers' imaginations, long after the last page has been turned.

Genres: Children's Fiction
Bell Family
1. The Bell Family (1954)
2. New Town (1960)
     aka New Shoes
1. Gemma (1973)
2. Gemma and Sisters (1968)
3. Gemma Alone (1969)
     aka Gemma the Star
4. Good-Bye Gemma (1969)
     aka Gemma in Love
The Whicharts (1931)
Parson's Nine (1933)
Tops and Bottoms (1933)
The Children's Matinee (1934)
A Shepherdess of Sheep (1934)
Ballet Shoes (1936)
It Pays to Be Good (1936)
Caroline England (1937)
Tennis Shoes (1937)
The Circus is Coming (1938)
     aka Circus Shoes
Clothes-Pegs (1939) (as by Susan Scarlett)
Dennis the Dragon (1939)
Luke (1939)
Sally-Ann (1939) (as by Susan Scarlett)
The House in Cornwall (1940)
     aka The Secret of the Lodge
The Man in the Dark (1940) (as by Susan Scarlett)
Peter and Paul (1940) (as by Susan Scarlett)
Ten Way Street (1940) (as by Susan Scarlett)
The Winter is Past (1940)
Babbacombe's (1941)
Babbacombe's (1941) (as by Susan Scarlett)
The Children of Primrose Lane (1941)
     aka The Stranger in Primrose Lane
Under the Rainbow (1941) (as by Susan Scarlett)
I Ordered a Table for Six (1942)
Harlequinade (1943)
Summer Pudding (1943) (as by Susan Scarlett)
Curtain Up (1944)
     aka Theater Shoes
Murder While You Work (1944) (as by Susan Scarlett)
Myra Carroll (1944)
Saplings (1945)
Party Frock (1946)
     aka Party Shoes
Grass in Piccadilly (1947)
Poppies for England (1947) (as by Susan Scarlett)
Pirouette (1948) (as by Susan Scarlett)
The Painted Garden (1949)
     aka Movie Shoes
Mothering Sunday (1950)
Osbert (1950)
Love in a Mist (1951) (as by Susan Scarlett)
The Theater Cat (1951)
White Boots (1951)
     aka Skating Shoes
Aunt Clara (1952)
The Fearless Treasure (1953)
Family Shoes (1954)
The Grey Family (1956)
Judith (1956)
Wintle's Wonders (1957)
     aka Dancing Shoes
Bertram (1959)
Christmas with Chrystals (1959)
The Silent Speaker (1961)
Apple Bough (1962)
     aka Traveling Shoes
Lisa Goes to Russia (1963)
The Children On the Top Floor (1964)
Let's Go Coaching (1965)
The Growing Summer (1966)
     aka The Magic Summer
Old Chairs to Mend (1966)
Caldicott Place (1967)
     aka The Family at Caldicott Place
The Barrow Lane Gang (1968)
Nicholas (1968)
The Circus (1969)
Ballet (1970)
Ballet Shoes for Anna (1972)
When the Siren Wailed (1974)
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