Rumer Godden, now a well established Virago Modern Classics author, is considered by many to be one of the foremost English language authors of the 20th century.
Nine of her books have been made into films.
She won The Whitbread Award for Children's Literature in 1972 and was awarded the OBE in 1993.
Her last book, "Cromartie versus The God Shiva Acting through the Government of India" was published by Macmillan in November 1997 and she died in 1998 aged ninety-one.
In 2007 Cambridge University honoured her by holding a Symposium of her work to celebrate her Centenary.
Rumer Godden wrote some 60 works during her life, drawing on her experiences of life in India and Britain.
The influence of India is reflected in "Black Narcissus", "The River", "Kingfisher's Catch Fire", "Breakfast with the Nikolides" and recently republished, "The Lady and the Unicorn". . .
and her interest in the religious life is shown in "In This House of Brede" and "Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy".
My favorite is In This House of Brede, the writing of which brought her to Stanbrook Abbey and the Catholic Church:.
To do research on ''In This House of Brede,'' Ms. Godden lived for three years near Stanbrook Abbey. Her experience with the nuns there contributed to her decision to convert to Roman Catholicism in 1968. In many of her stories and novels, Ms. Godden would write about the rewards and perils of the contemplative life.
It is a marvelous book, demonstrating Godden's interest in the passage of time depicted in fiction (see Take Three Tenses or China Court) and her great sense of drama and conflict in the midst of order and control.