Ruth Manning-Sanders

Portrait of Ruth Manning-Sanders in 1957

Ruth Manning-Sanders

Born:

1886 Aug 21st
Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom

Died:

1988 Oct 12th
Penzance, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Gender:

Occupation:

Authored By: Samantha Morrish

Ruth Manning-Sanders (née Ruth Vernon Manning), writer, was born on 21st August 1886 in Swansea and died on 12th October 1988 in Penzance. She was the third and youngest daughter of John Edmondson Manning, a Unitarian minister, and Emma Manning (neé Browne Brock). The family moved to Sheffield when she was three, and then, relocated to Manchester in 1902. Manning-Sanders enjoyed a childhood surrounded by books and stories. In the Foreword to Scottish Folk Tales, she recalls holidays in the Scottish Highlands, where they would stay at the Stewart family’s farm, Shian[1], and the Grandmother would entertain them with ancient, local folk stories. Manning-Sanders enjoyed devising and performing plays with her sisters. Her love of literature and talent won her a Shakespeare Scholarship to the University of Manchester.

Her studies were cut short when she met George Sanders, a Cornish painter who later turned to writing. The creative couple married in Totnes on 22nd May 1911. For the first two years of their marriage, they travelled across the UK in a horse-drawn caravan with the tenting circus, Count Rosaire's. During the winter period, Manning-Sanders would study the artists’ and animals’ training processes. This experience informed many of her circus stories in later years. She did, also, play an active role in the circus and rode an Elephant on parade.

In 1913, the Manning-Sanders had their first child, Joan, followed by a son, David, two years later. The young family rented houses in Cornwall, Sussex, and the south of France. David and Joan were raised with the help of a governess, Miss Bridge. Through home-schooling, all three adults ensured the children enjoyed a stimulating learning environment. Joan went on to become a successful artist in her own right and received notoriety at a young age. After a period of transience, the Manning-Sanders settled in Sennen Cove, Cornwall, and were part of the Newlyn School. Mary Butts, another Hogarth Press author, was a neighbour of the Manning-Sanders in Sennen Cove.

The Hogarth Press was instrumental in the formation of Manning-Sanders’ writing career. Previously, she had only one title published, The Pedlar and Other Poems (1919) and was very much starting out when the Hogarth Press published Karn in 1922. Virginia Woolf described the narrative verse as, a ‘long poem by a short fat poetess’[2]. Despite the Woolfs believing the poem had ‘a good deal of merit’[3] the edition did not sell well. Despite low sales figures, the Hogarth Press published Manning-Sanders again in 1926 with Martha Wish-You-Ill. In 1927, she dedicated The City to Virginia Woolf and this poem won The Blindman Prize. She went on to have a very successful career and published over 90 books in varying genres, including prose, poetry and non-fiction. Manning-Sanders is, perhaps, best known for her children’s’ stories and retelling of ancient tales, which she began writing after the Second World War but her fascination with the fantastical was already present in Karn.

[1] Means ‘the place where fairies live’.

[2] THE QUESTION OF THINGS HAPPENING The Letters of VIRGINIA WOOLF, Volume II: 1912 – 1922, ed. Nigel Nicolson (London: The Hogarth Press, 1976), p. 502.

[3]Ibid, p.495.

 

Further Reading                   

Hurst, Veronica, Sanders, Ruth Vernon Manning Online at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/58989.

Otto, Chris, Paper Great, Online at http://www.papergreat.com/search/label/Ruth%20Manning-Sanders.

Poem Hunter n.d, Ruth Manning-Sanders, Online at http://www.poemhunter.com/ruth-manning-sanders/biography/.

The Independent, Obituary: Robin Jacques, 23rd March 1995, Online at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-robin-jacques-1612378.html.

Twentieth-century children's writers, ed. Laura Standley Berger (London: St. James Press, 1995).

West Morning News, 22nd November 2011, Newlyn School's child prodigy comes in from the cold after eight decades in the wilderness, Online athttp://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Newlyn-School-s-child-prodigy-comes-cold-decades/story-13919197-detail/story.html.

Whistler, Theresa, Imagination of the heart: The life of Walter de la Mare (London: Duckworth, 1993).

Women Artists in Cornwall, 28th November 2011, A Forgotten Prodigy ~ Joan Manning Sanders 1913-2002, Online at http://cornishmuse.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/forgotten-prodigy-joan-manning-sanders.html.

Woolf, Leonard, Letters of Leonard Woolf, ed. Frederic Spotts, (London: George Weidenfeld and Nicholson Limited, 1990).

Woolf, Virginia, THE DIARY OF VIRGINIA WOOLF, VOLUME II, 1920 – 1924, ed. Anne Oliver Bell, Assisted by Andrew McNeillie (London: The Hogarth Press, 1978).

Woolf, Virginia, THE DIARY OF VIRGINIA WOOLF, VOLUME III, 1925 – 1930, ed. Anne Oliver Bell, Assisted by Andrew McNeillie (London: The Hogarth Press, 1980).

Woolf, Virginia, THE QUESTION OF THINGS HAPPENING The Letters of VIRGINIA WOOLF, Volume II: 1912 – 1922, ed. Nigel Nicolson (London: The Hogarth Press, 1976).

Zabel, Morton Dauwen, ‘A Prize Poem’, Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, Vol. 32 (1928), pp. 348-350.

 

Selected Bibliography 

Hurst, Veronica, Sanders, Ruth Vernon Manning Online at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/58989.

Manning-Sanders, Ruth, ‘Foreword’, Scottish Folk Tales (London: Methuen, 1976).

Otto, Chris, Paper Great, Online at http://www.papergreat.com/search/label/Ruth%20Manning-Sanders.

Woolf, Virginia, THE QUESTION OF THINGS HAPPENING The Letters of VIRGINIA WOOLF, Volume II: 1912 – 1922, ed. Nigel Nicolson (London: The Hogarth Press, 1976).

Women Artists in Cornwall, 28th November 2011, A Forgotten Prodigy ~ Joan Manning Sanders 1913-2002, Online at http://cornishmuse.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/forgotten-prodigy-joan-manning-sanders.html.

Full Bibliography

Ruth Manning-Sanders – Archival Material

Letter to Leonard Woolf, n.d., University of Sussex, Special Collections (The Keep).

Correspondence to members of staff of the BBC, 1942 – 1962, BBC Written Archives Centre.

Letters to Thomas Moult (8), Joy Silvia Moult (2) and Beth Moult (1), 1935 – 1946, Brotherton Library, Brotherton Collection.

Letter to T. F. Powys, 1936, Cambridge University Library.

Ruth Manning-Sanders – Publications

The Pedlar and Other Poems (London, Selwyn & Blount, 1919).

Karn (London: The Hogarth Press, 1922).

Pages from the History of Zachy Trenoy (London: Christophers, 1923).

The Twelve Saints (New York: E. J. Clode, Inc. 1926).

Martha Wish – You – Ill (London: The Hogarth Press, 1926).

The City (London: Ernest Benn, 1927).

Selina Pennaluna (London: Christophers, 1927).

Waste Corner (New York: E. J. Clode, Inc. 1928).

The Crochet Woman (New York: Coward-McCann, Inc., 1930).

The Growing Trees (New York: W. Morrow & Company, 1931).

She Was Sophia (London: Cobden-Sanderson, 1932).

Elephant (New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1938).

Luke’s Circus (London: Collins, 1939).

Adventure may be Anywhere (New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1939).

Mystery at Penmarth (New York: R. M. McBride and Company, 1941).

Circus Book in Colour Photography (London: Collins, 1947).

The Circus (New York: Chanticleer Press, 1948).

The West of England (London: Batsford, 1949).

The Story of Hans Andersen, Swan of Denmark (London: Heinemann, 1949).

The River Dart (London: Westaway Books, 1951).

Seaside England (London: Batsford, 1951).

The English Circus (London: Laurie, 1952).

The Golden Ball (London: Hale, 1954).

Melissa, 1957 (Publishing information unknown).

Peter and the Piskies: Cornish Folk and Fairy Tales (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1958).

A Bundle of Ballads (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1959).

Red Indian Folk and Fairy Tales (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1960).

Circus Boy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1960).

Animal Stories (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961).

Birds, Beasts and Fishes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962).

The Smugglers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962).

A Book of Giants (London: Methuen, 1962).

A Book of Dwarfs (London: Methuen, 1963).

The Red King and the Witch (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964).

A Book of Dragons (London: Methuen, 1964).

Damian and the Dragon: Modern Greek Folk-Tales (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965).

The Crow’s Nest (London: H Hamilton, 1965).

A Book of Witches (London: Methuen, 1965).

The Extraordinary Margaret Catchpole (London: Heinemann, 1966).

The Hamish Hamilton Book of Magical Beasts (London: H Hamilton, 1966).

A Book of Wizards (London, Methuen, 1966).

A Book of Mermaids (London, Methuen, 1967).

A Book of Ghosts and Goblins (London, Methuen, 1968).

Stories from the English and Scottish Ballads (London: Heinemann, 1968).

The Magic Squid (London, Methuen, 1968).

A Book of Ghosts (London, Methuen, 1968).

The Glass Man and the Golden Bird: Hungarian Folk and Fairy Tales (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968).

A Book of Princes and Princesses (London, Methuen, 1969).

Jonninkin and the Flying Basket (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969).

The Spaniards Are Coming! (London: Heinemann, 1969).

Gianni and the Ogre (London: Methuen, 1970).

Elephant (Bath: Chivers, 1970).

A Book of Devils and Demons (London: Methuen, 1970).

A Choice of Magic (London: Methuen, 1971).

A Book of Ogres and Trolls (London: Methuen, 1972).

The Three Witch Maidens (London: Methuen, 1972).

Tortoise Tales (London: Methuen, 1972).

Festivals (London: Heinemann, 1972).

A Books of Charms and Changelings (New York: Dutton, 1972).

Tripple-Trapple (London: BBC, 1973).

A Book of Sorcerers and Spells (London, Methuen, 1973).

A Book of Magic Animals (London, Methuen, 1974).

Sir Green Hat and the Wizard (London: Methuen, 1974).

Granddad and the Magic Barrel (London: Methuen, 1974).

Stumpy (London: Methuen, 1974).

Old Dog Sirko (London: Methuen, 1974).

Ram and Goat (London: Methuen, 1974).

Young Gabby Goose (London: Methuen, 1975).

A Book of Monsters (London: Methuen, 1975).

Fox Tales (London: Methuen, 1976).

A Book of Enchantments and Curses (London: Methuen, 1976).

Scottish Folk Tales (London: Methuen, 1976).

A Book of Kings and Queens (London: Methuen, 1977).

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse: Aesop's Fable Retold,(London, Harper Collins, 1977).

Boastful Rabbit (London: Methuen, 1978).

Folk and Fairy Tales (London: Methuen, 1978).

Old Witch Boneyleg (London: Harper Collins, 1978).

A Book of Marvels and Magic (London: Methuen, 1978).

The Haunted Castle (London: Angus & Robertson, 1979).

A Book of Spooks and Spectres (London: Methuen, 1979).

Oh Really, Rabbit! (London: Methuen, 1980).

A Book of Cats and Creatures (London: Methuen, 1981).

A Book of Heroes and Heroines (London: Methuen, 1982).

A Book of Magic Adventures (London: Methuen, 1983).

A Book of Magic Horses (London: Methuen, 1984).

Hedgehog and Puppy Dog (London: Methuen, 1984).

Tales of Magic and Mystery (London: Methuen, 1985).

A Cauldron of Witches (London: Methuen, 1988).

Rouvière, Nadine (Co-author), Petit-Lapin Malin (Montrouge Cedex, Bayard Jeunesse, 2002).

Works By Author