British novelist Barbara Masterton left us after a short illness. She passed away in Durham on August 17th.
The eldest of four children, Barbara was born and educated in Weymouth (Dorset), where she attended Weymouth Grammar School and Poole College of Art. She was married at twenty to an accountant. Now retired, her husband is a former City Treasurer of Newcastle. They have had five children and fourteen grandchildren. Whilst their children were young Barbara wrote novels for her own interest, as a form of escapism, keeping her work under the bed in a wooden box known as “Mum’s Coffin”. When at the age of forty-one, her fifth child arrived, she tore up all her manuscripts, believing she would never have another opportunity to write, but she was wrong… She was a talented writer and an avid reader, and above all she had a love of the English language and beautiful prose. She was interested in people and enjoyed observing them to inform and enrich her writing. Barbara is the author of seven wonderful novels: Island of Glass, Late Harvest, Orbs of Jade, Mrs Milsent’s Daughter, Oils in Water, Cross Currents and Snapshot Smiles.
A non-conformist at heart, she admired people’s differences and individuality. She loathed pettiness and encouraged understanding, acceptance and compromise among her children to keep a strong family bond.
She was also a talented artist and her numerous watercolours and acrylic paintings adorn the walls of her children and grandchildren’s homes.
A brave, clever and gifted woman, she will be desperately missed by her family, friends and readers.