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Gathered here for the first time are the stories of Enid Dinnis, who lived and wrote in London throughout the first half of the 20th century. Enid Dinnis moved widely in the London literary world but she was also Mother Superior of a ‘hidden’ religious order, The Daughters of the Heart of Mary. Few in London’s literary scene knew that Dinnis was a nun but she lived most of her life in a small convent in Wimbledon with other well-known figures from the period, including Maud Petre. Dinnis wrote Catholic stories for readers of all ages. She is one of the finest lost authors of the Catholic Literary Revival. Dinnis’s intervention in the short story genre is considerable. She weaves together fairy tale, myth, Catholic mysticism, epiphanic dialogue and everyday characterization to produce stories that are both simple and complex, both light-hearted and profound. Always concerned with ‘the wonderful resourcefulness of the love of God’, her stories proclaim the presence and workings of divine grace in the everyday lives of all people—old and young, sceptics and seekers, farmers and priests. Dinnis’s stories show that God’s love is the answer to all human struggles and quests. They illustrate what it means to receive love – human and divine – and to pass it on. Her work is filled with visions and confessions, miracles and conversions – but it is never overly pious or saccharine. Her characters are real people experiencing the truths proclaimed by the Catholic faith, which is always as marvelous as it is every-day. Enid Dinnis’s stories reenchant the post-enlightenment world along Catholic lines. Her stories put the supernatural firmly back into the world in a way that is needed now more needed than ever.
Enid Dinnis (1873-1942) was born in London, the daughter of an Anglican Vicar in Stepney. She was educated at a Belgian convent and converted to Catholicism, after which she joined a ‘hidden’ religious congregation, the Daughters of the Heart of Mary. Dinnis moved widely in the London literary world before and during the wars. She wrote copiously in prose and verse, finding a distinctive Catholic voice and devising a particular style that combined Catholic mysticism and miracle with fairy tales and ordinary contemporary life. She was for the last decades of her life Mother Superior of the DHM house in Wimbledon.