Friday, June 28, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013



Roger Robinson: a publisher and bibliographer, the late Violet Williams: for many years Naomi Mitchison’s secretary, and Caroline Mullan: a reader and avid collector of Naomi Mitchison’s work have banded together, in association with Beccon Publications and The Science Fiction Foundation to produce a bibliography of the works of Naomi Mitchison, 1897-1999. Mitchison did many things in her long life: she was the only girl to attend the Dragon School, Oxford, a nurse during the Great War, active lifelong in left and feminist causes, and received a CBE in 1981; but she was, above all, a writer. The bibliography lists over 2,000 items: novels, articles, poetry, reviews, plays, autobiography, speeches, interviews and letters.


The earliest item listed is Saunes Bairos, the play Mitchison wrote in 1913 while still at school. The latest is the hitherto unpublished short story, On the Edge, published (with Mitchison’s kind permission) in the bibliography itself.

Emeritus Professor Isobel Murray, Editor in chief of the Naomi Mitchison Library, in progress from Kennedy and Boyd, said:

“No one has hitherto dared to attempt a Bibliography of Naomi Mitchison: her work is so various and voluminous that the task has scared the critics and biographers alike. This new undertaking will be of enormous value to people working in many disciplines. It is compiled with rigorous scholarship, and will continue to grow as items are traced and new studies appear. I welcome it whole-heartedly.”


Mitchison was the author of over 80 books, with a career extending over 80 years and 5 continents, and encompassing literature, journalism, politics, science, theatre, poetry, memoir and autobiography. Her novels include The Corn King and the Spring Queen (1931); non-fiction includes The Moral Basis of Politics (1938), and Images of Africa (1980). Her autobiographical memoir, Mucking Around: Five Continents over Fifty Years, was published in 1981. Mitchison’s stories, articles and letters appeared in publications as diverse as The Times and The Guardian, The New Humanist and Trends in Biochemical Sciences, The Countryman and The Illustrated Weekly of India.

Caroline Mullan said:


"We hope this comprehensive bibliography of her works will be valuable to scholars of literature, and of the history of the 20th Century."

The bibliography is a work in progress, and its authors intend to maintain and extend it over the coming years. It is available for use on the Beccon Publications website at:

For more information about the Bibliography and its authors, please visit or contact Roger Robinson at 01708 342304.


Notes to the Editor:

1.     Naomi May Margaret Mitchison, CBE (née Haldane; 1 November 1897 – 11 January 1999) was a Scottish writer. She was appointed CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1981. Naomi Mitchison’s science fiction includes the ground-breaking novel, Memoirs of a Spacewoman, published by Gollancz in 1962, as well as other novels and short stories.

2.     The Science Fiction Foundation is a registered charity. The aim of the Science Fiction Foundation is to promote science fiction, and bring together those who read, write, study, teach, research or archive science fiction in Britain and the rest of the world. Contact the Science Fiction Foundation via its website: or by emailing Secretary Shana Worthen at

3.     Beccon Publications is a British small-press publisher specialising in science fiction, and does not produce "print-on-demand" editions, preferring to print one or two "real" books each year. The first Beccon publication - a bibliography of Barrington J Bayley - was issued in August 1981. Since then more than 50 booklets and books have been produced, including a number of titles nominated for prestigious Hugo and BSFA Awards.