Couching at the Door
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Dorothy Kathleen Broster was born on 2nd September 1877 at Devon Lodge in Grassendale Park, Garston, Liverpool.
At 16, the family moved to Cheltenham, where she attended Cheltenham Ladies' College and then on to St Hilda's College, Oxford to read history, where she was one of the first female students, although at this time women were not awarded degrees.
Broster served as secretary to Charles Harding Firth, a Professor of History for several years, and collaborated on several of his works. Her first two novels were co-written with a college friend, Gertrude Winifred Taylor.
With the Great War interrupting her literary ambitions she served as a Red Cross nurse at a Franco-American hospital, but returned to England with a knee infection in 1916.
After the war, she moved near to Battle in East Sussex and took up writing full-time.
In 1920 she at last received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Oxford.
Her novels, mainly historical fiction, peaked in popularity with 'The Flight of the Heron', in 1925, a best-seller followed up by two sequels.
As well as poetry and various articles she also wrote several short stories, the best known of which is a classic of weird fiction 'The Couching at the Door' in which an artist appears to be haunted by a mysterious entity.
An intensely private individual many readers deduced from her name that she was both a man and Scottish.
D K Broster died in Bexhill Hospital on 7th February 1950. She was 73.<