Ursula Joyce Torday was born on 19 February 1912 (some sources say his birth in 1888 or 1914) in London, England, UK, daughter of mixed parents, her mother, Gaia Rose Macdonald, was Scottish, and her father Emil Torday (1875-1931) was an Hungarian anthropologist, they married on 17 March 1910. She studied at Kensington High School in London, before went to the Oxford University, where she obtained a BA in English at Lady Margaret Hall College, and later a Social Science Certificate at London School of Economics.

In 1930s, she published her first three novels with her real name, Ursula Torday. During the World War II she worked as a probation officer for the Citizen's Advice Bureau, and during the next seven years afterwars, she also running a refugee scheme for Jewish children, inspiration for several of her future novels like, The Briar Patch (aka Young Lucifer) and The Children (aka Wednesday's Children) as Charity Blackstock. She worked as a typist at the National Central Library in London, inspiration for her future novel Dewey Death as Charity Blackstock. She also teaching English to adult students. She returned to publishing in early 1950s, using the pseudonyms of Paula Allardyce, Charity Blackstock (in some cases reedited as Lee Blackstock in USA), to sign her gothic romance and mistery novels, later she also used the pseudonym of Charlotte Keppel. Her novel Miss Fenny (aka The Woman in the Woods) as Charity or Lee Blackstock was nominated for Edgar Award. In 1961, her novel Witches' Sabbath won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists' Association. She passed away 6 March 1997, at 85.

Book List in Order:26 titles

  • Who gave away the position of the R.A.F. Station to the Nazis which resulted in Nicky being so badly burned? When Meg sees her ex-fiance for the first time for six years, he has a new face - provided by plastic surgery - and a bitter desire for reven...


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    The little village of Blackdown is a self-righteous community, and when Johnny Kilroy returned from the war in America, having lost an arm and fathered a bastard, the respectable Miss Selby, daughter of the late Schoolmaster, broke off her engagement...


  • Original title: Waiting at the Church. A captivating young lady in disguise and an aristocratic mitor who refused to play the gentleman spark a masquerade of love and danger in Georgian London. Emily made her own declaration of independence. Lo...


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    London, 1746 'I wish,' Philadelphia Smith said wistfully, 'that something would happen to me.' Nothing ever happened to Philadelphia until she made that wish one fine autumn evening, Her dreams came true that very night when she got more atten...


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    Original title: The Gentle Sex. Beautiful and headstrong Mary Ann had always lived in a sheltered world -- until the day her pretty maid's romantic indiscretion forced Mary Ann to confront the worldly and licentious Edward Carradine. Out of this e...


  • 1750, England. Beautiful and headstrong Mary Ann had always lived in a sheltered world - until the day her pretty maid's romantic indiscretion forced Mary Ann to confront the worldly and licentious Edward Carradine. Out of this explosive meetin...


  • Original title: Miss Jonas's Boy. People thought Miss Jonas a very odd lady indeed, still unmarried at fifty, with an outspoken way of talking and a habit of wearing exotic costumes she had picked up in her youthful travels. But Miss Jonas was als...


  • Original title: The Ghost of Archie Gilroy. A tempestuous historical romance of love's revenge. Barbara fears she's fallen in love with the elegant Englishman who ordered the Scottish rebel she had loved to be hanged....







  • Original title: The Moonlighters. The scene is set in the west country village of St. Barbary in the 18th century. Frances Morley was a most rebellious young, to the despair of her worried mother, strait-laced sister, and many disconcerted suitors...


  • Little did Octavia dream that the lurid novel she penned in secret would become the most sensational scandal of the London season. She was even less prepared to have her identity as the author revealed, and to be branded as a shocking adventuress....


  • Original title: The Respectable Miss Parkington-Smith. Of course, thought Miss Parkington-Smith, her wild nephew, Francis Shelbrooke, came from the bad side of the family. Now he had married Cassandra, that scandalous actress, with her flaming red...


  • Original title: Adam's Rib. From the glitter of Georgian London to the drawingroom of Victoria's day - a family's pride and passion unmasked. Three women in three centuries, all with the same problem: how to keep the love of a straying husband....


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    Tamar Brown arrives in a tiny English village to research her latest book, about Abigail Parkes, who had been burned as a witch three centuries before. Tamar is a redhead, as was Abigail, and soon the superstitious villagers fear that the witch has c...


  • Original title: The Gentle Highwayman. Georgian Era. Ahab had forgotten how lovely she was -- this spoiled and deceitful 'lady' who had once done her best to see him hanged. Now, imprisoned by her marriage to the brutish Lord Dacre, she was desper...


  • Original title: "Johnny Danger". Compared to her spiteful and beautiful cousin Melissa, Harriet Ashbourne is considered "quiet, respectable, and plain." And Harriet, who accepts the indignities of living on her uncle's charity, unhappily acknowled...


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    Georgian Era. By leaving England, plain and impoverished spinster Emma Forbes hopes to leave behind the pain of losing both her inheritance and her fiance... She gets a position of governess and English teacher to the wards of Ignace, a cold harshfea...


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    Exploring famous trials of the past was the job Liz took after the death of her husband. In search of genuine atmosphere she travelled to the village of Lessmere where the ancient Jacobean building, Southarn Folly, still stood. There in one night of ...


  • Original title: The Lady and the Pirate. A Georgian romance set in Scotland....


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    He said, "We will be married tomorrow." Then he laughed, " It will be a perfect marriage...We will show the world." He took her in his arms and kissed her.... And so, after a fairy-tale romance, the handsome Adam, Lord Vallence married Evelina, the p...


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