Born in London in 1919, Meriol Trevor graduated from Oxford in 1942. Her first publications were books for children and historical novels. She then wrote a number of acclaimed biographies, including ones on Pope John XXIII, St. Philip Neri and John Henry Newman. In 1967 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Here is something she wrote about herself (probably around 1955) and how she came to write Sun Slower, Sun Faster:
“When I was a child, I lived partly in Kent and partly in an imaginary world which my brother and I built up as we played in the garden and the orchards. When we moved to Cambridge and schools, I found another friend there and another world sprang up, with maps and cities and generations of people whose histories we talked and scribbled about for years. Later we both wrote stories about these imaginary places. Because of the war, and because I never wanted any other career but writing, I did a series of odd jobs, working in a nursery, steering canal boats between Limehouse and Birmingham, cooking for a camp for boys who had been in trouble with the police, and going to Italy when the war was over on reconstruction work. I still do odd jobs, mostly domestic, when I am not able to live at home in North Devon, where I like to be. The house where I live is built with stone quarried out of the field in which it stands, and faces south-west to the sea and the Atlantic gales. Last year I spent the winter working near Bristol, where a play of mine was acted in the Cathedral, and this is how I got the idea for Sun Slower, Sun Faster.”
Miss Trevor later wrote, “In all my books for children I have concentrated on personal relations, usually with the more serious confrontations between the adults—but also adult/child and child with child—occasioned by the general events going on at the time.” This emphasis on relationship is a key feature in all of her books. The characters’ interactions and her wonderful sense of “story,” in which the persons and the place come very much alive, are experienced as much in her adult biographies as in the author’s works for children.
In the 1990’s, Meriol Trevor was very happy to see her children’s books being read by an entirely new set of young readers. Sun Slower, Sun Faster, a noteworthy blend of her love for her country and for her faith, is the first book reprinted since her death on January 12, 2000.