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Q: Irene Rutherford McLeod ( No Answer,   5 Comments )
Subject: Irene Rutherford McLeod
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: lily99-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 27 Aug 2003 19:24 PDT
Expires: 26 Sep 2003 19:24 PDT
Question ID: 249465
Where was poet Irene Rutherford McLeod from and when did she die?

Request for Question Clarification by omnivorous-ga on 05 Sep 2003 05:05 PDT
Lily99 --

There doesn't appear to be an easy answer to your question and I
wanted to update you on what's been tried.

Irene Rutherford McLeod,an Australian-born poet, who wrote 'Songs to
Save a Soul' (1915) and 'Before Dawn' (1918); her poem 'Lone Dog' has
been republished in many anthologies.  In 1949, she published a short
story entitled 'Snow' under
her married name -- Irene de Selincourt.
She married Aubrey de Selincourt (1894-1962) and had a pair of
they two spent most of their married life in England -- he being a
and a schoolmaster (at Clayesmore).  She was the sister-in-law of A.A.
in fact her daughter Lesley married Christopher Robin Milne in 1949.
I checked the AWARD, Ozpoet and Australian Society of Authors
databases and National Library of Australia site.  I also e-mailed the
reference desk at NLA and they don't have additional information in
any databases.

I checked print copies of Who's Who; Dictionary of National Biography
(Oxford Press); Contemporary Authors (U.S.); the Biography Index
and the New York Times to 2002.  The last mention of her work that
I have is a reference to a BBC broadcast of a play done by her
called 'The New Girl' in 1957:
When her husband died at the end of 1962 there was an obituary in the
on Dec. 22, 1962 which indicates that she's still alive.  The
Dictonary of National Biography says that a biography of him was done
in the Illustrated London News on Jan. 5, 1963 -- but the British
Library can't find it.  The BLA was kind enough to try the Biography
of Australian Literature Project 1788-1992, The Biography & Genealogy
Master Index, Women Novelists 1891-1920, Childhood in Poetry, by John
Mackay Shaw, The New Century Handbook of English Literature, The
Illustrated London News and the on-line Times Digital Archive -- but
they did not find further reference to her.

So, until we find someone more resourceful, further details are

Best regards,

There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Irene Rutherford McLeod
From: pinkfreud-ga on 27 Aug 2003 20:06 PDT
I've been interested in Irene Rutherford McLeod ever since I was a
small child. I read her poem "Lone Dog" in a poetry anthology called
"Silver Pennies," and it really caught my fancy.

Here are two sites that say she was Australian:

"Irene Rutherford Mcleod is a bit of a mystery woman to me. I know she
was Australian, and that she wrote several books of verse, published
around 1915-1920, but that's about it."

Old Grey Poet: Journal of a Writing Man

"Years ago I came across a poem by an Australian named Irene
Rutherford McLeod, called 'Lone Dog.'  It's sing-songy and easy to
memorize...I can still remember most of it.  Sometimes when I'm
feeling my eccentricity more than usual, I think McLeod's lone dog may
be my alter ego."

National Council of Teachers of English

This was all the biographical info I could find:

"Irene Rutherford McLeod, born August 21, 1891, has written three
volumes of direct and often distinguished verse, the best of which may
be found in Songs to Save a Soul (1915) and Before Dawn (1918). The
latter volume is dedicated to A. de SÚlincourt, to whom she was
married in 1919."

The Book of Threes

Although many sites list her year of birth, I have found no mention of
her year of death. Her vital statistics are generally listed as
Subject: Re: Irene Rutherford McLeod
From: bowler-ga on 28 Aug 2003 08:04 PDT
Her name is also listed as Irene Rutherford Mcleod de Selincourt:

Subject: Re: Irene Rutherford McLeod
From: omnivorous-ga on 28 Aug 2003 08:36 PDT

Bowler-GA has provided the critical link here: Irene Rutherford McLeod
married Aubrey de Selincourt (1894-1962) in 1919 and they had 2
daughters.  Aubrey wrote literary criticism; biography; travel; and
children's fiction.  It appears that the pair spent most of their
adult life in London, judging from his publications.

We're getting closer on this one . . .

Best regards,

Subject: Re: Irene Rutherford McLeod
From: omnivorous-ga on 28 Aug 2003 13:03 PDT
Lily99 --

This is the type of question that drives researchers nuts -- someone
who just disappears from reference.

I've checked the AWARD, Ozpoet and Australian Society of Authors
databases on the National Library of Australia site and found nothing.
 I've also checked print copies of Who's Who; Dictionary of National
Biography (Oxford Press); Contemporary Authors; and the Biography
Index (1946-1976).  However, when her husband died at the end of 1962,
there was an obituary and biography of him done for the Illustrated
London News on Jan. 5, 1963.  It may note whether or not she was still

Irene was the sister-in-law of A.A. Milne, the author of "Winnie the
Pooh."  If you do a Google search with the following terms, you'll
find a reference to the Milnes and de Selincourts which is not exactly
"de Selincourt" + Irene

Best regards,

Subject: Re: Irene Rutherford McLeod
From: luciaphile-ga on 06 Sep 2003 11:51 PDT
I checked with several print sources. Aside from her birthdate, which
Pink found, a couple of reference books list her as "an English
novelist," but that's the best I've been able to find.


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