Saturday, December 16, 2023

GB Stern

Gladys Bronwyn Stern or GB Stern (1890 –1973) wrote many novels, short stories, plays, memoirs, biographies and literary criticism. She wrote her first novel, Pantomime, in 1914 at the age of 24. Her first critical success came with Twos and Threes in 1916.

She married New Zealander Geoffrey Lisle Holdsworth in 1919 and divorced him "fairly soon after". Her closest male friends were the playwright John van Druten and Jack Cohen. A long-time friend was Rebecca West, who came to call her "Peter", as did most of Stern's friends. Stern went through a number of secretaries but Freda Bromhead managed to survive five years with her and came back to help her years later when Stern was in a nursing home.

Her family was never terribly religious and Stern herself disliked the word 'Jew' and preferred 'Israelite'. In 1947 she converted to Catholicism. She wrote about the conversion in 1954 in All in Good Time.

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