Dougall, Lily

Lily Dougall, novelist, religious writer (b at Montréal 16 Apr 1858; d at Cumnor, Eng 9 Oct 1923). In 1880 she went to Britain, deciding on permanent residence there in 1900. Her first story was published in 1889. Her first novel, Beggars All (1891), received critical and popular acclaim, as did What Necessity Knows (1893), one of 4 novels set in Canada. Her novels are carefully structured, with unusual plot twists, lively dialogue and flashes of humour. The characters usually face moral and ethical dilemmas.

Dougall turned to religious writing with the anonymous essay Pro Christo et Ecclesia (1900), the first of 8 books on religious and theological topics. Farsighted in her views, she was concerned with the relationship between physical, psychological and spiritual health, and stressed Christianity's responsibility to adapt to new knowledge and to take a stand on contemporary issues.