Born on October 12, 1893, at Moss Hall, close to Blackburn, Alice was the sixth child in a family of nine. In her later years, Alice wrote a great deal of plays, poetry, novels, articles, and other writings in both standard and dialect English.

Despite my difficulties in locating information about Alice Miller, I remained committed to writing a blog post about her because I thought she was a fascinating writer. Many of her works have been lost or misplaced, but these poems, which were published and are only available in the University’s archives, were well-liked by the Lancashire Authors’ Association. I discovered Alice Miller’s photos and some of her poetry when looking through the poets’ archives at the LAA Collection. Among her brief collection is a children’s book titled ‘Bobbles of the Shining Hamlet’.

I was shocked to discover, after perusing a portion of her book, that no other scripts written by the LAA had received any recognition. This is unfortunate, in my opinion, as the majority of her work that I have found is flawless, and her writing is truly remarkable. ‘Buskie Billie and other Verses’ is another of her works that hadn’t attained the kind of success I had anticipated. When I searched for information about the book, all I could find was a website advertising the book for sale for more than £20. It’s fascinating that I was able to browse through all of the records donated to the University of Bolton, and that I also discovered one of the stamps that Alice Miller used to authenticate her work, as shown below.

Alice's Miller's signature thrush stamp
Alice Miller with the Lancashire Authors' Association, centre.

Alice dropped out of school at the age of 13 to work in a cotton mill, although she later battled to get a better education by going to night classes in Accrington and Blackburn. She enrolled in the comprehensive training programme at Hillcroft College in Surrey in 1937 after receiving an LCC scholarship. Alice drew a thrush, which appears on a lot of her artwork, and used it as her “emblem.” She also put together a manuscript of poetry on wildflowers, but sadly it was never turned into a book.


Anon. (early 1960s?) Alice Miller with the Lancashire Authors’ Association. [Photograph] Bolton: University of Bolton.

Miller, A. (n.d.) Buskie Billie and other verses. N.A Oswaldtwistle.

Miller, A. (n.d.) Bobbles of the Shining Hamlet. N.A Oswaldtwistle.

Orimolade, M. (2024) Alice Miller’s Signature Stamp. [Photograph]



Colby, Robert A. (1985) “Tale Bearing in the 1890s: The Author and Fiction Syndication”. Victorian Periodicals Review. Vol.18, No.1, pp. 2-16.

Hilliard, Christopher (2009) “The Provincial Press and the Imperial Traffic in Fiction, 1870s-1930s”. Journal of British Studies. Vol.48, No.3, pp. 653-673.

Johanningsmeier, Charles (1995) “Newspaper Syndicates of the Late Nineteenth Century: Overlooked Forces in the American Literary Marketplace”. Publishing History. Vol. 37, No.1, pp. 61-82.

Jones, Aled (1984) “Tillotson’s Fiction Bureau: The Manchester Manuscripts”. Victorian Periodicals Review. Vol.17, No.1, pp. 43-49.

Singleton, Frank (1950) Tillotson’s 1850-1950: Centenary of a Family Business. Bolton: Tillotson & Son Ltd.