Biography of Josephine Tey Essay

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Josephine Tey is a pseudonym under which Scottish author and playwright Elizabeth Mackintosh published mystery novels. Mackintosh used a second pseudonym, Gordon Daviot, for her plays and also in her personal life, which she guarded zealously. Tey avoided the press, shunned photographers, and never granted interviews. For this reason, and the fact that she kept only a small circle of friends, Tey is a difficult subject for a biographical paper. Due to the lack of information from other sources, Tey’s novels can be examined for insights to her character and experiences. While her books are not really autobiographical, glimpses of Tey can be found in them. Hunting for these glimpses can be as interesting as solving the mysteries in her stories. Elizabeth Mackintosh was the daughter of Colin and Josephine Horne Mackintosh. She was born in Inverness, Scotland sometime in 1896 or 1897. She had two sisters, both of whom married, although she herself never did. Her father was a produce dealer. Her sister, Mairi MacDonald, reports that Tey was an active and happy young person who didn’t care overly much for her studies but took great pleasure in gymnastics. Known as “Bessie MacK” to her school friends, she would “scamper off to the cloakroom, where upon an old set of parallel bars - housed there for no apparent reason - she delighted herself and others by turning somersaults, and performing various other acrobatics in a highly expert manner.” Tey attended the Royal Academy in Inverness and then the Anstey Physical Training College in Birmingham from 1915-1918. The curriculum consisted of classes in medicine, chiropractic treatment, physical theory, gymnastics, and dance. It was a popular course of study for young women at that time. After graduating, she taught at physical training colleges near Liverpool and in Tunbridge Wells in England until 1926 when her

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