Author: Ann Bridge
Ann Bridge (11 September 1889 – 9 March 1974) is the pseudonym of Mary Ann Dolling (Sanders) O'Malley, also known as Cottie Sanders. Bridge wrote 14 novels, mostly based on her experiences living in foreign countries, one book of short stories, a mystery series, and several autobiographical non-fiction books.
She was born Mary Ann Dolling Sanders, nicknamed "Cottie", the seventh of eight children of an English father, James Harris Sanders (1844–1916), and an American mother from Louisiana, Marie Louise Day (1852–1923). Her father was a successful international salesman of metal products. In 1900, her parents took her and their other children on a visit abroad to Paris and Switzerland and Cottie, "born with an inexplicable craving for heights," was enchanted by the Alps and became interested in mountain climbing. The family continued to spend summers in Switzerland.
The Sanders family moved to London in 1904 when Cottie's father encountered financial difficulties. Cottie passed the entrance exams to enter Oxford University, but did not attend, instead staying home to help her mother recover from the death of a son. She lamented missing "the mental discipline and the serious scholarship a University can give." Intellectually, she described herself as "half-baked." By 1911, her father had lost almost all of his fortune, and the family moved into a six-room flat in London. Cottie went to work as an assistant secretary for the Charity Organization Society. She described herself during this period as "poor" but happy.
In 1913, on a visit to Argyll, Cottie met Owen St. Clair O'Malley, a diplomat. They were married not a happy one. She was described as "stormy, troubled, and troublesome" and "an unloved wife who made herself 'one of the best-loved of all women novelists' in the twentieth century."