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28 March 2015

Alison Uttley Walk, Cromford, 7 June 2015.

Alison Uttley also wrote about the local area including the Cromford Canal, which she could see from her home at Castle Top Farm. On this walk, Hugh Potter will take you first for a ride on a horse-drawn narrowboat...

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11 March 2015

Alison Uttley Scholarships for 2015.

Congratulations to these students in Ashburne Hall, University of Manchester, where Alison was a student 1903-6:

Joe Longman

Charles White

Miss Deepanshi

1 August 2014

Alison Uttley Prize for 2014.

We are pleased to announce that Monique Henson has been awarded the Alison Uttley Prize for 2014.


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30 April 2014

Alison Uttley Scholarships for 2014.

We are pleased to announce the following recipients of the Alison Uttley Scholarships for 2014:

Elizabeth Morrisoe

Kate Morton

Denisa Mitu

Emma Runswick

Glen Walkley Stubs

Sam Gilmore

Congratulations to everyone!

27 July 2012

"Traveller in Time: gender, national identity and the formation of childrens British History"

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13 April 2012

A Traveller in Time

A slideshow has been added to the site, produced by Holly Thompson and showing information and comments about the book.

12 February 2012

A Little Grey Rabbit for the Twenty first Century.

We are delighted to announce that the first four books that Alison Uttley wrote in this series are being re-issued in April by Templar Publishing. They are beautifully produced, still the size for little hands as Alison Uttley always wanted and competitively priced at £5.99 each.

The spring titles are: The Squirrel the Hare and the Little Grey Rabbit, How Little Grey Rabbit Got Back her Tail, The Great Adventure of Hare, The Story of Fuzzypeg the Hedgehog.

This website gets frequent requests from readers worldwide: "Why are these lovely books not in print?"

Well, now they will be again and more are promised. Parents and aunts and uncles can put their own well-loved and battered copies back in the cupboard and buy lovely new ones for the next generation. A boon for birthdays and a great filler for Christmas stockings.

»view details (PDF format)

1 November 2010

Alison Uttley event at Cromford, 30 October - report

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14 July 2010

Alison Uttley Event at the Buxton Festival, Derbyshire, 9 July 2010 - report and pictures.

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15 June 2010

The launch party for Recipes from a Country Farmhouse.

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»visit photo album

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Previous Events

Professor Denis Judd spoke to enthusiastic audiences at the Shottlegate WI and also at the Sedbergh book fair, Manchester University and Cromford on the life and work of Alison Uttley.

The Shottlegate Event

The Sedbergh Event

The Manchester University Event

Photographs from the Manchester University Event

The Cromford Event


Vote for your favourite work by Alison Uttley in a Poll.

Open Poll


iconLatest News

icon50th Anniversary of "Grey Rabbit's May Day".

Aims of the Society - To promote interest in the life and work of Alison Uttley 1884-1976
President: Professor Denis Judd

"Why do children love them? Because I believe in them. Mine aren't made up. They are real...I don't sit down to write a story, they come." ~ Alison Uttley, writing about her characters.

Knowing that the Queen had read the Little Grey Rabbit books to her children, Denis Judd recently sent Her Majesty a copy of the new edition of his biography of Alison Uttley. The Queen was pleased to be reminded of the books which she and her family had so enjoyed reading. She also sent her good wishes to the members of the Alison Uttley Society.

Manor Farm

Manor Farmhouse, Dethick, Nr. Matlock, Derbyshire.
The farm was the inspiration and setting for Alison Uttley's classic story "A Traveller in Time".

icon Biography


Alice Jane Uttley (1884-1976) was born Alice Taylor at Castle Top Farm, near Cromford, Derbyshire, and was educated at the Lea School in Holloway and the Lady Manners School in Bakewell, where she developed a love for science which culminated in a scholarship to Manchester University to read physics, where in 1906 she became only the second woman to graduate with honours in Physics at the university. Whilst an undergraduate, she lived in Ashburne House, which later became Ashburne Hall, and was the University of Manchester's first Hall of Residence for women.

Having trained as a teacher in Cambridge, she took up the post of Physics teacher at the Fulham Secondary School for Girls in 1908. In 1911, she married James Uttley, the brother of her old university friend, Gertrude Uttley, and by whom she had one son, John Corin Uttley (1914-1978). James Uttley's mental health was permanently impaired by his service in the first World War, and he took his own life in 1930, leaving Alison with the need to support herself and her son. This she did by becoming the author of a series of tales about animals, including Lttle Grey Rabbit, the little Red Fox, Sam Pig and Tim Rabbit (as an author, she was known as Alison Uttley). Her writing career blossomed, and she continued to write stories for children, whilst expanding her range by writing for older children and adults. Her `country' books, beginning with The Country Child and continuing with series of essays on country themes, such as Country Hoard were extremely popular, due to her uncanny ability to remember the smallest details of her Derbyshire childhood and express them with beautiful poeticism.

Little Grey Rabbit.
Little Grey Rabbit, one of Alison's most popular and endearing characters.

She remained fascinated by dreams and fantasy, and this is shown most clearly in her book A Traveller in Time which blended dreams and historical fact, although she also wrote a factual work The Stuff of Dreams . Eventually settling in Beaconsfield, in a house named Thackers after the manor house in A Traveller in Time , Alison Uttley wrote over 100 books and was given an honourary Litt.D by Manchester University in 1970 in recognition of her literary achievements. She died in hospital on 7th May 1976.

Alison Uttley Centenary

Painting of Alison at her graduation in 1906.
Portrait of Alison painted from a photograph taken at her graduation in 1906.


icon Portrait


A portrait of Alison is available for viewing in the National Portrait Gallery. This portrait is by Madame Yevonde (1893-1975)

© Yevonde Portrait Archive.

icon Signature


icon The Alison Uttley Prize

The University of Manchester has established a Prize in memory of Alison in their Physics and Astronomy department. The Prize is awarded annually for the student who had contributed most to the life and work of the School of Physics and Astronomy during the previous year.
Pictured above is the 2014 Winner, Monique Henson.

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