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Ruth Tomalin (1919, Piltown, County Kilkenny, Ireland – 22 November 2012, Eastbourne) was a British journalist, novelist, and children's author.


Ruth Tomalin grew up in West Sussex on the Stansted Park estate, where her father was head gardener. She was educated at Chichester High School, Sussex, and then at King's College London, where she received her diploma of journalism in 1939. She served from 1941 to 1942 at Bosham in the Women's Land Army. From 1942 to 1961 she was a reporter for newspapers in Hampshire, Sussex, Dorset, and Hertfordshire. From 1961 she was a part-time court reporter in London.

Ruth Tomalin's work falls into two distinct categories. There are several short novels for children of 9 to 10, the best of which is A Stranger Thing. There is also a group of novels concerned with the childhood and youth of Ralph Oliver and latterly his young cousin Rowan — The Garden House, The Spring House, and Away to the West: these are longer and far more exacting works, so difficult to classify that in the judgement of some critics they are adult novels and cannot be regarded as children's books at all.

In 1942, she married Vernon Leaver. They had one son but the marriage ended in divorce. In 1971, she married William N. Ross, who predeceased her.

Selected publications

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(novel) (for children) (for children) (for children) (Francie book series, 1 of 2)

(Francie book series, 2 of 2)

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