Jameson, Margaret Storm (1891–1986) By Covington, Elizabeth R.
Storm Jameson was a novelist and critic born in Whitby, Yorkshire, and educated at the University of Leeds and King’s College London. Over her prolific sixty-year career, Jameson produced novels, autobiographies, short stories, poems, biographies, and critical essays. A lifelong socialist, feminist, and proponent of social justice, the political activism she waged in the street and in the committee-room infused her literary output. Jameson’s realist narrative style endeavoured to create a ‘documentarist’ fiction that portrayed common life without cataloguing the author’s emotions upon contact with the poor or downtrodden. Her experimentation with the form of the novel, however, divides her work from the merely factualist accounts of other documentarist writers and aligns it with the literary experimentation of the high modernists. Jameson was the first female president of the British PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists) organization, serving from 1938 to 1944. While a pacifist for most of her life, her anti-Nazi sentiments led her to support Britain’s role in the Second World War against Germany, and her work with PEN saved many writers and artists from the Nazis. During her lifetime, Jameson’s most influential works were her Triumph of Time and autobiographical Mirror in the Darkness trilogies, but it is her two-volume autobiography, Journey from the North, that has retained lasting influence.