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Margaret St. Clair

Also Known As: 
Idris Seabright
Wilton Hazzard
Birth Date: 
February 17, 1911
Death Date: 
November 22, 1955
Huchinson, KS

Margaret St. Clair (17 February 1911 – 22 November 1995) was an American science fiction writer, who also wrote under the pseudonyms Idris Seabright and Wilton Hazzard. St. Clair was born at Huchinson, Kansas. She married Eric St. Clair in 1932, whom she met while attending the University of California, Berkeley. In 1934 she graduated with a Master of Arts in Greek classics. She started writing science fiction with the short story "Rocket to Limbo" in 1946. Her most creative period was during the 1950s, when she wrote such acclaimed stories as "The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes" (1950), "The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles" (1951), "Brightness Falls from the Air" (1951), "An Egg a Month from All Over" (1952), and "Horrer Howce" (1956). She largely stopped writing short stories after 1960. The Best of Margaret St. Clair (1985) is a representative sampler of her short fiction. Apart from more than 100 short stories, St. Clair also wrote nine novels. Of interest beyond science fiction is her 1963 novel Sign of the Labrys, for its overt early use of Wicca elements in fiction. These elements may have derived from her reading of Robert Graves's book The White Goddess and of the writings of Gerald Gardner, with whom Margaret and her husband were put in touch by Raymond Buckland. It was Buckland who initiated the St Clairs into Gardnerian witchcraft. They were also influenced by reading the novels of Dion Fortune. Her interests included witchcraft, nudism, and feminism. She and her husband decided to remain childless. She died at Santa Rosa, California, in 1995.