member of the Stevenson family who also attained considerable
literary merit is Dorothy Emily Stevenson. Born in
Edinburgh on the 18th November 1892, she lived in Scotland
all her life and wrote over 40 books, most of which were
written in Dumfriesshire.
Her father, David Alan Stevenson (1854-1938), was RLS's
first cousin. Dorothy was educated at home by a governess
and began to write stories and poems at the age of eight.
In 1916 she married Captain James Reid Peploe of the 6th
Gurkha Rifles, and had four children.
Her first published novel was "Peter West",
which had appeared as a serial in Chambers Journal. "Mrs
Tim of the Regiment" was written in 1932 and has
sequels: "Mrs Tim Carries On" (1941), "Mrs
Tim gets a Job" (1947) , and "Mrs Tim Flies
Home" (1952). The Mrs Tim books actually grew out
of Dorothy's diaries she had kept as an "army wife" and
were very successful.
The readers of D. E. Stevenson's novels are often gratified
by her tendency to allow her characters to "come back" in
sequels to their original books, either as main characters,
secondary characters or in cameos. Those who read D. E.
Stevenson's books for their cosy portrayal of friendship,
love and family life are often surprised that she wrote
"An Empty World" in 1936 which can best
be described as science fiction! The setting is 1973 and
deals with the aftermath of the destruction of life on earth
by a giant comet.
The themes and plots of the eight books D. E. Stevenson
wrote during the World War II were of course affected
by the turmoil and uncertainty of the times. They were "The
English Air" (1940), "Mrs Tim Carries On"
(1941), "Spring Magic" (1942), "Crooked
Adam" (1942), "Celia's House"
(1943), "The Two Mrs Abbotts" (1943),
"Listening Valley" (1944) and "The
Four Graces" (1946).
Dorothy Emily Stevenson died the 30th December 1973 at
the age of 81, and is buried in Moffat, Dumfriesshire,
Scotland, where she lived for many years.