Susan Pleydell was the nom de plume of Isabel Senior, née Syme. She was born in 1907 into a well-to-do farming family at Milnathort, near Kinross. They moved to Dollar when she was in her teens, and later to another farm near Rumbling Bridge. She had great musical ability, inherited from her mother, and after a local education was sent to the Royal College of Music to study the piano. Later she taught at a girls’ school in Bexhill at which time she was introduced to Murray Senior, then head of History at Shrewsbury School. They married in 1935. He had two headmasterships in the 1950s, one of a grammar school near Manchester until 1956, the other in South Wales. She taught the piano at Shrewsbury and for some years afterwards.
She had always been well read and having long had an urge to write began in earnest in the mid 1950s. It took a lot of effort to reach publication, but the first novel, Summer Term, eventually appeared in 1959. It makes full use of her experience in schools, as does its sequel, A Young Man’s Fancy (1962). Her other eight novels, the last published in 1977, benefit from her experience in music, her Scottish background – and, of course her own imagination, sympathy and powers of observation.
She died in 1986.