Dame Beatrice Bradley Biography - Gladys Mitchell
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Dame Beatrice Bradley

A Brief Biography - Creator - Gladys Mitchell

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Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley, a psychiatric adviser to the Home Office, was the creation of Gladys Mitchell. Bradley enjoyed a long and distinguished career covering some fifty-five years. It began in 1929 with Speedy Death which was published in the UK by Gollancz and in the USA by Dial, up until 1984 in her last case The Crozier Pharohs.

She was a vivid and eccentric character who was clearly blessed with good health and stamina a s she pursued her investigations well into her twilight years. Indeed in a situation not unlike
Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, Dame Beatrice's age has been computed to be 125 years !
This however proved no barrier to Mitchell whose trademark of the eccentric and sometimes fantastic plot line was soon well established. Dame Beatrice, twice married, was ably assisted by her secretary Laura, whose husband was, not inconveniently, a Scotland Yard detective. To further add to her eccentricities she was also of 'singular appearance' said to 'look like a pterodactyl and a Cheshire cat grin'. Her investigations were conducted using a mixture of psychoanalysis, a sense of humour, heavy sarcasm and 'common sense' not to mention a good measure of mysticism, a theme which runs through many of the stories.

Mitchell's output was prodigious, with Dame Beatrice appearing in some sixty-six novels and several short stories, thereby providing a great challenge for both reader and collector.

Gladys Mitchell Bibliography     Gladys Mitchell Biography

Text © 2004 R.D. Collins


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