Diana Norman: Biography

Diana Norman

25 aug 1933

Diana Norman, née Mary Diana Narracott, was a British journalist and novelist, born in August 1933. Today she is most remembered for her collection of her historical crime novels.

Norman was born in London, but was evacuated to the Devonshire countryside to escape the bombing of London during the Second World War. Her father was a journalist, and Norman decided to follow in his footsteps. She married the film critic Barry Norman and worked in the city as a journalist until after the birth of her daughters when she and her husband made the decision to move to the countryside. This is when Norman began writing novels. She started to study medieval history, and this new hobby became the inspiration for her historical crime fiction.

Norman’s first novel, Fitzempress’ Law, is set during Henry VII’s reign. It tells the story of a group of young people who are sent back in time by an old woman who they have upset. They have to navigate their way around the legal system of the time in order to solve their own personal problems. This was the first of 11 such novels published during Norman’s lifetime. In 2006, Norman published her first novel under the pseudonym of Ariana Franklin. She went on to write 6 historical mystery novels under this penname, 2 of them winning her an Ellis Peters Historical Dagger award and a Dagger in the Library award.

Diana Norman died in January 2011. Her life is the detailed in her husband’s memoir See You In The Morning, which was published in 2013.