Duley, Margaret Iris

Margaret Iris Duley, writer (b at St John's 27 Sept 1894; d there 22 Mar 1968). Duley won international recognition with 4 novels: The Eyes of the Gull (1936), Cold Pastoral (1939), Highway to Valour (1941) and Novelty on Earth (1942). The Caribou Hut (1949), a brief history of a St John's hostel during WWII, is a local classic. Duley's work is regional. She depicts vividly the seasons, landscapes, folk customs, moody waters and winds of Newfoundland. Outport characters are unsophisticated and idiomatic, city characters cerebral and witty. The novels focus on the female psyche. Male protagonists are usually less courageous and less intellectual than the fine-grained heroines. Duley's ideas mark her as feminist in advance of her place and time. A poetic prose style, skilful use of animals and children and a ghoulish humour enhance her books.