Novelist and poet. Born Mary Rosa Stuart Kettle, she took her mother's maiden name of Mackenzie when her work was published. A prolific writer, of which there is now little known, who wrote many romances, notably Cardingmill Valley (1882) a romance of the Shropshire highlands. This tells the story of the Derinzy family, living at Haglath Hall, offering intrigue, damaged reputations and family turmoils, set amongst the dramatic hills of Shropshire. As with all good romances there is a happy ending for all, as past wrongs are righted, leaving the reader with a flavour of life in the 1800s. Rosa dedicated this novel to her brother George Mackenzie Kettle who then lived in Dallicott Hall, Shropshire. The book offers many descriptions of the surrounding countryside:-
Among the ancient British hills, not far from the Welsh border, lies a lone tract of very romantic, almost mountainous country. Those who have looked down often on continental moraines, where arrowy rivers and rushing torrents sweep past, bringing with them all kinds of debris, will be reminded, in miniature, of scenes near the sources of mighty streams, even though it is only a brook that trickles between dark heaving slopes of heath; or that spreads itself out into shallow pools, blue with forget-me-nots growing among pebbles, and peeping out of the glancing water.
Those marked with an asterisk(*) are available in the West Midlands Creative Literature Collection:-
The Carding-mill valley; a romance of the Shropshire
The Earl's cedars; a romance (1878)
Fabian's Tower; a romance
The falls of the Loder : a romance of Dartmoor (1881)
La belle Marie; a romance of the Cornish coast
The last MacKenzie of Redcastle (1888)
Lewell pastures; a story of the Welsh border-land (1883)
Lord Maskelyne's daughter; a story of the northern border (1880)
My home in the shires; a romance (1884)
The ranger's lodge; a romance (1878)
The tenants of Beldornie; a romance of the south coast (1885)
An introduction, sample chapter and the complete text of The Carding-mill valley is available on this website.
Page created 6 October 2002 and last updated
28 October 2002
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