Catherine A. McMullen (1906-1998)
Better known as the author Catherine Cookson. Catherine was born in South Shields, the illegitimate daughter of an alcoholic. Moving to Hastings in 1929, she ran the laundry at the Workhouse. She married Tom Cookson, a Grammar School teacher in June of 1940 and took up writing to ease her depression caused by four miscarriages triggered by a rare vascular disease. She joined the Hastings Writers' Group soon after its formation in 1947, eventually becoming its patron, and had her first work, Kate Hannigan, published in 1950. In total she authored almost 100 books.
She was created an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1985 and was subsequently elevated to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1993.. Moving back to the north-east in later life, she and her husband moved near to Newcastle, finally settling in Jesmond near to medical facilities for her declining health. Catherine died just sixteen days prior to her 92nd birthday, many of her novels that had been composed on her sick-bed being published post-posthumously, with Tom passing away seventeen days later.
References & Notes
- Catherine Cookson - Wikipedia, accessdate: 19 August 2020
- "Council drops Cookson link signs". 15 January 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- Hastings Chronicle page dedicated to Catherine Cookson