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Caryl Brahms, born Doris Caroline Abrahams (8 December 1901, Croydon – 5 December 1982, London) was an English writer.

Brahms was born into a Sephardic Jewish family who had come to Britain from Turkey a generation earlier. She was initially educated at Minerva College, Leicester, Britain's first Jewish boarding school for girls. She later studied at the Royal Academy of Music and began to write for the London Evening Standard, and later the Daily Telegraph, as ballet correspondent.

In 1937 she began her series of novels written in collaboration with S. J. Simon, with A Bullet in the Ballet, which introduced the phlegmatic Inspector Adam Quill and the excitable members of Vladimir Stroganoff’s ballet company. The same characters appeared in Casino for Sale (1938), Envoy on Excursion (1940) and Six Curtains for Stroganova (1945).

Brahms and Simon also wrote what they called ‘backstairs history’, producing their own highly unreliable and comic retellings of history – Elizabethan (No Bed for Bacon, 1941), Victorian (Don’t, Mr Disraeli, 1940), and Queen Anne to George V (No Nightingales, 1944).

After Simon’s death, Brahms wrote on her own and also in partnership with Ned Sherrin, adapting for television plays by Georges Feydeau, Sacha Guitry and Eugene Labiche, as well as producing original work for television and the theatre.

In 1966 one of Brahms' musical collaborations with Ned Sherrin, Comes the Time, was performed by Kenneth McKellar in A Song for Europe. Sherrin wrote a memoir of her, Too Dirty For the Windmill.

As a seasoned literary collaborator, Brahms was in a good position to write a book about Britain’s most famous theatrical collaboration, her 1975 Gilbert and Sullivan – Lost Chords and Discords. However, the book was controversial. One review said, "It is an opinionated work which is not amiss from a critic such as Brahms, but laced throughout there are sometimes juvenile, sometimes merely indulgent, interjections sure to delight some and quickly tire others."[1]




Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Caryl Brahms (1901 – 1982), born Doris Caroline Abrahams, was an English writer of Turkish-Jewish descent. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music and was ballet correspondent for the London Evening Standard and later the Daily Telegraph. She is best known for her humorous writings.

See also S. J. Simon.


  • Singer worth their while must watch it;
    Always count your dotted crotchet.
    • Rappel 1910

Ooh! La-La!

  • Lucky Australians! They can go on sleeping for another seven hours and stil pass as early risers.
  • He smiled his irresistible smile, but Dora found it highly resistible.
  • It must be someone collecting for charity. Respectable women never call the family for any other reason.

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