Isabel Maud Peacocke (1881–1973) was a prolific children’s author who lived in Devonport as a child. She began writing after World War I and had numerous books published during the 1920s and 1930s. Most of her books are now available only for reference in historical collections but in her day she was extremely popular in England and Europe.
"Peacocke's novels, both for children and adults, are a celebration of Auckland and its environs. Her characters sail on the harbour, take trams along Karangahape Road, and sometimes catch a rickety bus which rattles over dirt roads to the bush of the Waitakere Ranges and the magnificent surf beaches of the West Coast. Cheltenham Beach, where she grew up, is the setting for two of her children's novels and for the autobiographical When I was seven (1927). In spite of this sense of place she was little known in New Zealand. All her novels were published in Britain and distribution arrangements were poor." (Dictionary of New Zealand Biography)
Isabel’s publisher was Ward Locke of London and their print run would often sell out before any stock made its way to New Zealand. She was appointed the first and sole teacher at Dilworth School for disadvantaged boys in 1906.
Betty Gilderdale writes:
- My Friend Phil (Ward Lock 1915).
- Dicky, Knight-Errant illustrated by Harold Copping (Ward Lock 1916).
- Patricia-Pat (Ward Lock 1917).
- Robin of the Round House (Ward Lock 1918).
- Cinderella's Suitors (Ward Lock 1918).
- The Misdoings of Micky and Mac illustrated by Harold Copping (Ward Lock 1919).
- David Copperfield's Youth adapted from David Copperfield (Whitcombe & Tombs 1920).
- The Guardian (Ward Lock 1920).
- Piccaninnies illustrated by Trevor Lloyd (Whitcombe & Tombs 1920).
- Ginger (Ward Lock 1921).
- Figs from Thistles (Ward Lock 1921).
- Sand Playmates illustrated by Trevor Lloyd (Whitcombe & Tombs 1921).
- The Boy Heroes of France (Whitcombe & Tombs 1921).
- Quick Silver (Ward Lock 1922).
- The Adopted Family (Ward Lock 1923).
- The House at Journey's End (Ward Lock 1925).
- His Kid Brother (Ward Lock 1926).
- Brenda and the Babes (Ward Lock 1927).
- Tatters: The Story of a Faithful Comrade (Ward Lock 1928).
- The Runaway Princess (Ward Lock 1929).
- Waif's Progress (Hodder & Stoughton 1929).
- Haunted Island (Ward Lock 1930).
- The Dwarf of Dark Mountain (Ward Lock 1931).
- The Cruise of the Crazy Jane (Ward Lock 1932).
- The Guardians of Tony (Ward Lock 1933).
- Cathleen with a "C" illustrated by J. Den Mills (Ward Lock 1934).
- Little Bit O'Sunshine (Ward Lock 1935).
- Marjolaine (Ward Lock 1935).
- The Good Intentions of Angela illustrated by O. Dawson Mills (Ward Lock 1937).
- Lizbett Anne illustrated by J. Dawson Mills (Ward Lock 1939).
- April, May, June (Ward Lock 1943).
- Shadow Valley (Ward Lock 1945).
- Halcyon's Family (Ward Lock 1947).
- Rich Man's Ridge (Ward Lock 1949).
- Concerning the Marlows (Ward Lock 1950).
- No More Tears (Ward Lock 1951).
- The Little Tree (Ward Lock 1952).
- The Uncertain Lover (Ward Lock 1953).
- Change Partners (Ward Lock 1955).
- The Cruise of the Crazy Jane illustrated by Alan Gilderdale (Hodder & Stoughton 1984).