Born: Established: 2 Sep 1902 Gisborne ; Died: 25 Aug 1993 Sydney
Florence James graduated from the University of Sydney in 1926, winning the University Medal for her honours thesis. During her years at university, James met Dymphna Cusack and the two women performed together in the dramatic society. James worked as a journalist in London during the 1930s, sharing a room with Christina Stead for a time. She married William John 'Pym' Heyting in London in 1932. In 1938 James returned to Sydney.
James and Cusack lived for a time in a cottage in the Blue Mountains in 1945, where they collaborated on Four Winds and a Family and Come in Spinner. In 1947, James left for London to pursue a publishing career. She established a solid reputation as a critic, reviewer and editor. James returned to Australia in 1963 and, in that year, became one of the first members of the fledgling Australian Society of Authors.
As a Quaker, James was known for her strong commitment to the cause of pacifism. During the 1960s, she spent several weeks in London's Holloway Prison following her arrest for activities with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
(Major source: 'No Surrender for This Spinner of Earthly Tales', The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 August 1993, p.17)