While the personal details discovered were slight (born 1893 in London, studies at Chelsea School of Art, died 1981), there was a good deal of discussion about her work.
Harnett's early publications were collaborations with George Vernon Stokes. Focused on the subjects of dogs and the countryside (and sometimes both). Titles included "In praise of Dogs" (1936) and Junk the Puppy (1937).
Our group read "The Wool Pack", which won the Carnegie Medal for best children's book in 1951. Set in the fifteenth century Cotswolds, this book gives a beautifully researched and elegantly written insight into the lives of wool merchants and country people of the time (with some skullduggery, smuggling and double-crossing thrown in for entertainment).
All members of the book group thoroughly enjoyed the book, enjoying Harnett's prose and the sense of immersion in another time. Harnett's exquisite line drawings which illustrate her books are an added bonus, and were remarked on by all the readers.
Notes at the end of each story show the links between the tale and real people and places in history. Harnett was a great researcher. Her attention to detail is lightly held, not intruding on the narrative, but you come away from reading her stories feeling as though you have visited another time and place.