September 4th, 2006


Ah, so that was her name.

If artistic ability was particularly linked to genetics, I should be fairly talented — my mother remembers being dandled on the knee of her 'Uncle William', better known to the world in general as Sir William Walton, the composer. And on my father's side, it was Great Aunt Helen who was the literary one. I was taken to see her when I was quite young, but she died sometime in the late 1960s.

The problem was, I've never been able to find a likely 'Helen Beauclaire' via Google or any other search engine, so I was beginning to think she was a bit of a myth. But last night, I struck gold.

It turns out that her surname was not Beauclaire, but Beauclerk — a homonym, but not one that Google is going to notice. And Googling on Helen Beauclerk worked: various online booksellers have her books. It may help that she was the translator of some of Colette's work into English, and that she was married .. well, OK, not legally married, but effectively so ... to the artist Edmund Dulac, who illustrated some of her work.

Oh, and she's mentioned in the Encyclopaedia of Fantasy, apparently.