Derek Roebuck

Susanna Hoe

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Last Updated: 03/05/2023

HOLO Books

Susanna Hoe 

Susanna Hoe

SUSANNA HOE has spent much of her life abroad: in Kenya, Switzerland, Italy, Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong. This has encouraged her interest in writing about women, mostly British, who have lived in or travelled to foreign places.  Travels in Tandem: The Writing of Women and Men Who Travelled Together (April 2012) epitomises this interest. It is also published as a Kindle book and e-book. There is also an update to chapter 1, entitled now 'Lucy and Thomas Atkinson: Complicated Lives in Russia and Beyond', which can be downloaded here under 'updates/inprogress'.

Her first book, of sixteen, a parliamentary novel (Lady in the Chamber, Collins ) was published in 1971.

Five years in Papua New Guinea resulted in At Home in Paradise: A House and Garden in Papua New Guinea (HOLO Books, 2003) This is available as a Kindle book.  'More at Home in Paradise: Domestic Dramas in Papua New Guinea' is still in her bottom drawer because she has been unable to contact Margaret for her approval..

Ten years in Hong Kong and subsequently saw the publication of six books, mainly about foreign women in the region.  Typical are The Private Life of Old Hong Kong (Oxford University Press, 1991) and Women at the Siege, Peking 1900 (HOLO, Books 2000).

In Chinese Footprints: Exploring Women's History in China, Hong Kong and Macau (Roundhouse, 1996), she shows most clearly the links between the past and the present, how women activists can pick up the baton handed them by their forebears.

This aspect of her writing is manifest in the story of her own time in Hong Kong, published as Watching the Flag Come Down: An Englishwoman in Hong Kong 1987-97 (HOLO Books, 2007) to mark the tenth anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to China (updates on this website) soon to be available as a Kindle book.


She is working on The Isle of Wight: Women, History Books and Places which will be the sixth book in the series 'Of Islands and Women' that includes Madeira, Crete, Tasmania, Malta and Sardinia. In this series she presumes to write about the women of those islands, as well as the foreign women who visited them or lived there.


She and her husband Derek Roebuck lived in Oxford until his death in April 2020. She still lives in the same house..  The book they wrote together The Taking of Hong Kong: Charles and Clara Elliot in China Waters, published in hardback by Curzon Press in 1999, was reissued in paperback by Hong Kong University Press (2009). Their joint book Women in Disputes: A History of European Women in Mediation and Arbitration was published in May 2018.

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