Publications: best known for Portrait of a Rebel (1929) which was made into the 1936 Katherine Hepburn film A Woman Rebels.
Writer and playwright Netta [Janet] Syrett was born at 23, Harbour Street, Ramsgate in 1865 and lived in the town to aged eleven, when she was sent off to school. Her connection with Ramsgate seems to have had little impact on her life though her memoirs record a happy childhood in a relatively prosperous family. She was the eldest of eleven children (two of her sisters, Mabel and Nellie (Ellen) Syrett became renowned artists who illustrated her works) and niece to the prolific writer and journalist Grant Allen.

She wrote 38 novels, 20 children’s books, 4 plays and 18 short stories which were published in many of the popular periodicals of the period. She is now particularly remembered as a New Woman writer for her depictions of independent heroines who reject traditional Victorian gender roles and through her contributions to The Yellow Book. She recorded her memoirs in The Sheltering Tree in 1939.


Adams, Jad. English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920; Greensboro Vol. 62, Iss. 2, (2019): 206-243.
Syrett, Netta. The Sheltering Tree. Geoffrey Bles, London. 1939. Via Internet Archive Online