Neglected Women Writers’ Month: Maud Diver

Maud Diver, born Katherine Helen Maud Marshall in 1867, lived in British India.  She published novels, short stories, biographies, and journalistic pieces which centred around Indian topics, and the experience of Englishmen in the country.

hmd maud  089

Maud Diver

Maud grew up in both India and Ceylon, but was educated in England.  She was great friends with Trix Fleming, the sister of Rudyard Kipling, and married the officer Thomas Diver around 1896.  The couple moved to England, and had a son.

Maud published her first novel, Captain Desmond, VC, in 1907, which, along with several subsequent books, found itself upon bestseller lists.  Through her novels, she aimed to educate men on the best ways in which to live in India, encompassing such information as mixed marriages as a way to bring the East and West together.

“East and West are not antagonistic, but complementary: heart and head, thought and action, woman and man. Between all these ‘pairs of opposites’ fusion is rare, difficult, yet eminently possible. Why not, then, between East and West?”


  • Captain Desmond, V.C. (novel, 1907)
  • The Great Amulet (novel, 1908)
  • Candles in the Wind (1909)
  • The Englishwoman in India (non-fiction, 1909)
  • Lilamani. A Study in Possibilities (1911)
  • Sunia: and other stories (1913)
  • The Judgment of the Sword. The tale of the Kabul tragedy, and of the part played therein by Major Eldred Pottinger, the hero of Herat (1913)
  • The Hero of Herat : A Frontier Biography in Romantic form (1915)
  • Desmond’s Daughter (1916)
  • Unconquered: a romance (1917)
  • Strange Roads (1918)
  • The Strong Hours (1919)
  • Far to seek. A romance of England and India (1921)
  • Lonely Furrow (1923)
  • Siege Perilous, and other stories (1924)
  • Coombe St. Mary’s (1925)
  • But Yesterday- (1927)
  • Together (1928)
  • A Wild Bird (1929)
  • Ships of Youth: a study of marriage in modern India (1931)
  • The Singer Passes: an Indian tapestry (1934)
  • Kabul to Kandahar (1935)
  • Honoria Lawrence : a fragment of Indian history (1936)
  • The Dream Prevails (1938)
  • Sylvia Lyndon. A novel of England (1940)
  • Royal India. A descriptive and historical study of India’s fifteen principal states and their rulers (1942)
  • The Unsung. A record of British services in India (1945)

– The Book Show’s discussion, ‘Maud Diver: lost gem of the British Raj’, can be found here.
Here, you can find an interesting essay by Loretta M. Mijares, entitled ‘Distancing the Proximate Other: Hybridity and Maud Diver’s Candles in the Wind.


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