Meg Elizabeth Atkins

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Meg Elizabeth Atkins, about 1980
Meg Elizabeth Atkins (Margaret Elizabeth Atkins, 1932–2013)[1][2] was a novelist and an active member of the North Western Homosexual Law Reform Committee (NWHLRC).

Meg Atkins was born in Essex and worked as a stable hand before moving to Manchester where she worked as a secretary, flitting between jobs to support her writing. Later she became a full-time writer, living with her husband in Lincolnshire.[3] Her early novel The Gemini (which she later repudiated as an apprentice effort) has a gay theme. Later she specialised in crime fiction, with her series character DCI Sheldon.[4] She is perhaps best known for Palimpsest and Cruel as the Grave.[2]

Although heterosexual, she got involved in the North Western Committee because her best friend was a gay man:

"It seemed to me a total injustice that simply because of your sexual inclinations you should be criminalised."[5]

Around 1966 she conducted a personal campaign around the industrial firms in the Trafford Park estate in Manchester, visiting firms' welfare officers, and asking them to support the campaign for decriminalisation.[6]


  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. Google Books.
  4. Amiable Warriors Volume One, page 128 footnote.
  5. Interviewed by Peter Scott-Presland, January 2012. Quoted in Amiable Warriors Volume One, page 128.
  6. Amiable Warriors Volume One, pages 129–130.