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Obituaries
Times 13 May 2000
Guardian 19 June 2000

Diana Ross

A well-loved and influential children's writer in the nineteen forties, fifties and sixties. Many of her stories were originally written for the BBC  and were also broadcast in Australia, New  Zealand and Canada. She illustrated many of her fairy stories herself under the name of GRI.
 
She is probably best known for her Little Red Engine stories. The first of these, The Little Red Engine gets a Name, illustrated by Jan Lewitt and George Him, was published in 1942.  Subsequent  stories, such as The Story of the Little Red Engine (1945) , were illustrated by Leslie Wood.
Diana Patience Beverley Ross. British. Born Valletta Malta 8 July 1910 and baptised on board her father's ship HMS Diana by the ship's chaplain. Educated at : Kensington High School, London; Girton College Cambridge, B.A. (honours) in history 1932; Central School of Art London 1933-35.  Married the photographer and interior designer Anthony Denney in 1940 (divorced 1950) Twin daughters and one son. Variously art teacher and children's author and often illustrator of her own work under the name of GRI.  Pioneer contributor to children's radio and television. Died 4 May 2000 at home in Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
 
Diana Ross : Home
Books written by Diana Ross
Illustrations by Diana Ross 
Children's Literature Links
About Diana Ross

These pages prepared for Diana Ross and her family by Antony Anderson October 1999, revised May 9 2000
©Diana Ross 1999
Web Page Design © Antony Anderson October 1999
Contact: antony.anderson@onyxnet.co.uk


Diana Ross : Reference Notes

 1 : Diana Ross : Pioneer contributor to children's radio and television

"Her nursery tales make constant use of repetition, alliteration, and the cumulative trickst that delight small children. She does not waste words. At the same time there is a great deal of accurately observed detail - the kind that educates as well as entertains...It was no accident that BBC producers seized upon her work. The 1950's was a time of expansion in children's radio and television, and Ross was a pioneer contributor." 
Joy Whitby: Twentieth Century Children's Writers 

2: Diana Ross: developer of new kind of nursery realism.

"She helped to develop a new kind of nursery realism - what she herself calls coat-and-gumboot stories about ordinary children doing ordinary things.... She was also one of the first to explore a new kind of hero. As anthropomorphic as Pooh and Piglet, the Little Red Engine was no longer a privileged middle-class, cuddly toy. He was a worker serving the whole community, in tune with the classless, mechanised society of post-war England. It is worth noting her that the first Little Red Engine story was published four years before the W.V. Awdry's first little book came into print." 
Joy Whitby: Twentieth Century Children's Writers