The people behind Nottingham City of Literature keep finding stories about Mapperley connections to famous writers. A few weeks ago it was DH Lawrence and his relationship with a woman who lived on Private Road. Now it is the novelist Dorothy Whipple, who lived in Mapperley Park and whose work was made into film.
Between the wars Dorothy Whipple was Nottingham’s best-known novelist. The “Jane Austen of the 20th Century,” according to J. B. Priestley.
She married a man twice her age and moved here after he became Nottingham’s first Director of Education. Most of her life was spent in Nottingham and it was here at 35 Ebers Road in Mapperley Park that she wrote her hugely popular stories.
Dorothy was born as Dorothy Stirrup in 1893. She had a happy childhood as one of several children in the family of an architect in Blackburn. In her early 20s, a close friend named George Owen was killed in the first week of the Great War. She worked as the secretary to Henry Whipple, a widowed educational administrator who was 24 years her senior. She married him in 1917. Their life together was mostly spent in Nottingham. She returned to Blackburn after his death in 1958. Dorothy died in 1966.
There is a primary school in Bestwood that is named after her husband Henry Whipple.