Monday 30 July 2007

Beth Coombe Harris

I have been dipping into the children's section again. This time it is Beth Coombe Harris who can be blamed for the baggy eyes. 'In the Grip of the Druids' is a story of ancient Britain, a land of pagan rites, rituals and human sacrifice ruled by the Druids. The story is set in rural Devon and follows the lives of the villagers there, some of whom are converted by a travelling storyteller preaching the Gospel. In response, the Druids tighten their grip and the new converts are targetted by them to highlight to the other villagers the wrath of 'the gods' when they are rejected. This is an exciting story full of historical facts and biblical truths. Possibly slightly predictable to an adult, but equally could well be scary to a younger child, I think this is well placed in the 11+ category.
We also stock 'The Invincible Refugees' (a story of Huguenot refugees in the 17th Century) and 'Gillian's Treasure' (a story of the persecution of Protestants in Tudor England).

Having done a quick Google search on Beth Coombe Harris, I can see she is a popular author but I can't seem to find anything out about her - can anyone enlighten me?



PeterinScotland said...

It's shocking just how many prolific authors have absolutely no information about them on the internet. Ditto publishers.

Sam Smith said...

I realize this is 4 years down the track. I have just been doing the same research after finding a typewritten copy of Beth Coombe Harris' poem, "This Earthly House."

I would love to know what your research uncovered. The only additional information I have is an address following her name at the bottom of the page.

PeterinScotland said...


Well, it looks like she might have been "Brethren" i.e. "Open Brethern" -she is listed here:

and here:

Note that the Rylands site says she lived at Heathfield - would that be in Sussex? You *could" tell us what the address was which you found.

The publisher, John Ritchie, belonged to the Open Brethren.

There are several other people mentioned online with the names "Coombe Harris" but I don't see any hint of a connection.

There is a possible childhood photo on - I've had a "free subscription" at some time in the past so I didn't do this on this occasion.

Kind regards


Tricia D said...

So 11 years on from initial post in case anyone interested Beth was my great great aunt - she was born in 1873 in Shaldon in Devon and died in Sep 1957 in Eastbourne, Sussex.

CJStuart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CJStuart said...

Good afternoon Tricia, I have been trying to track down more information about your great great aunt for ages. I am a Devonian interested in writers born in Devon. You don't happen to have any more information about her do you as she was a prolific writer, but there doesn't seem to be any more biographical information about her. I've got one or two of her books and decide that she must have been a Methodist and possibly with Cornish connections.
Thank you so much for any details you could let me have and that I could the share with another writer Julie who is also interested in women writers in Devon. My web site is: and my email details are
With many thanks and best wishes, Myfanwy

Unknown said...

Hello Tricia, thank you for sharing your Aunt with us! I have a poem that says it waw written by Beth Coombe Harris, titled: This Earthly House. But I can't find in print anywhere. Have you heard of it? Thank you for responding. vickie