At the Circulating Library Author Information: Sophie Frances Fane Veitch

Author: Sophie Frances Fane Veitch (1839–1907)

Alternate Name(s): J. A. St. John Blythe (pseudonym)

Biography: Sophie Frances Fane Veitch was born in 1839 in Sopley, Hampshire, the daughter of Rev. William Douglas Veitch (1801–1884) and Eleanor Julia A. Veitch (1809–1876) (née Raitt). Over the years, her father served as rector of St Thomas, Winchester, the chaplain to the Bishop of Jerusalem (from 1843), and curate of St Saviour’s Parish, Paddington (1862–1877). In 1875, her father inherited his family’s estate, Eliock, near Sanquhar in Dumfriesshire. Veitch's sister Zepherina Smith was co-founder of the Royal College of Midwives and president of the Midwives’ Institute from 1890 to 1894. Veitch began her literary career by contributing to the Churchman’s Shilling Magazine and Temple Bar under her pseudonym "J. A. St John Blythe." She was a competent German translator: she wrote the text to accompany a series of illustrations by a German missionary entitled Views in Central Abyssinia (1868) and translated Ludwig Dahn's Saga of Halfred the Sigskald (1886). Between 1869 and 1895 she published nine novels, of which the first three appeared under "J. A. St John Blythe," and was frequently published by Alexander Gardner, Paisley. In 1885 and 1886 she edited the Holyrood Annual, published by Gardner, and was a regular contributor to his magazine the Scottish Review (1882–1900). In Carlisle in 1889 she married John Brown of Barnkin Farm, Dumfries. She died in Dumfries Infirmary at age 69 in 1907. (CL)

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References: Allibone; British Census (1851); Burke; Scotland Census (1881; 1901); Times (8 September 1884); William Wilson, Folklore and Genealogies of Uppermost Nithsdale (1904)

Fiction Titles:

  1. Wise as a Serpent.  3 vol.  London: Bentley, 1869.
  2. A Lonely Life.  1 vol.  London: Houlston and Co., 1870.
  3. Wife or Slave.  3 vol.  London: Bentley, 1872.
  4. Monksford: A Tale of Much Talking.  3 vol.  London: Samuel Tinsley, 1879.
  5. Angus Graeme, Gamekeeper.  2 vol.  London: Alexander Gardner, 1883.
  6. James Hepburn, Free Church Minister.  2 vol.  London: Alexander Gardner, 1887.
  7. The Dean's Daughter: A Novel.  2 vol.  London: Alexander Gardner, 1888.
  8. Duncan Moray, Farmer: A Novel.  2 vol.  London: Alexander Gardner, 1890.
  9. Margaret Drummond, Millionaire.  3 vol.  London: A. and C. Black, 1893.