Betty Miller (author)

Betty Miller, date unknown

Betty Miller (née Spiro; 1910 - 24 November 1965) was an Irish author of both literary fiction and non-fiction. She wrote her first novel, The Mere Living (1933), whilst studying journalism at University College, London. Her literary reputation was established by the publication of her biography of Robert Browning (1952), which earned her election to the Royal Society of Literature.[1] After the Second World War she wrote extensively for literary journals including Horizon, The Cornhill Magazine and The Twentieth Century. Of her seven novels, two are still in print: Farewell, Leicester Square (1941), published by Persephone Books in 2000, and On the Side of the Angels (1945), published by Capuchin Classics in 2012.

Betty Spiro was born in Cork, Ireland, the daughter of Sara (Bergson) and Simon Spiro. Her parents were Lithuanian Jews.[2] In 1933, she married Emanuel Miller (1892–1970), the founding father of British child psychiatry.[3] The couple had two children: Sarah, (died 2006), and Sir Jonathan Miller (1934–2019), the theatre and opera director.


  • The Mere Living (1933)
  • Sunday (1934)
  • Portrait of the Bride (1935)
  • Farewell Leicester Square (1941)
  • A Room in Regent's Park (1942)
  • On the Side of the Angels (1945)
  • The Death of a Nightingale (1948)
  • Robert Browning: A Portrait (1952)


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of British Women's Writing, 1900-1950, 1st edition, Pan Macmillan, 2009. ISBN 978-0-230-22177-2
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Thom, Deborah. "Miller, Emanuel". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/61403. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)