Dorothy Richardson

Dorothy Richardson ( - )
Short biography

Born in Abingdon, Richardson is known for her series of 13 semi-autobiographical novels in which she pioneered a modernist, stream-of-consciousness narrative.

Full biography

Richardson was first introduced to Cornwall in 1912 by J.D. and Beatrice Beresford, when they invited her to St. Ives and then to St. Merryn near Padstow. It was there that she began writing the first volume of Pilgrimage: Pointed Roofs.

In 1917, she married Alan Odle, a bohemeian illustrator. From 1917 until 1939, the couple spent their winters in Cornwall and their summers in London, reversing the usual pattern for financial purposes.

From 1939, they lived permanently in Cornwall. Odle died in 1948 and Richardson remained in Cornwall until 1954, when she was persuaded, following a bout of shingles, to move to a nursing home in Beckenham. She was a friend of Bryher, submitting a number of articles to their film journal Close Up.

Eva Tucker's 2003 book '...the enchanted guest of spring and summer': Dorothy Richardson (1873-1954), published by the Patten Press, details in length Richardson's 36 years spent in Cornwall.

Works in our collections

A photograph of Dorothy Richardson. She has centre-parted hair is wearing a string of pearls and a pince-nez with round lenses.
Image caption
Dorothy Richardson.
Date of birth
17 May 1873
Place of birth
Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Date of death
16 June 1957
Place of death
Beckenham, Kent
Collection (people)
Person (listed)
Person (listed)
Person (listed)