There were two 20th century children’s writers called Frances Carpenter. On-line book sites rarely distinguish them. The “right” Carpenter was the real name of a busy USA educator. The “wrong” Carpenter was a pseudonym for one of the shadowy “men behind girl’s fiction” of the Thirties and beyond.
Frances Carpenter (UK) wrote two children’s books, A Rebel Schoolgirl and the lesser-known Sally of the Circus, both reprinted in the 1950s. Their author had been published earlier under his own name.
Horace Eli Boyten (21.8.1901 – 9.4.1986) was born in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, being noted there in the 1911 census, and later is said to have lived in Highgate. In the 1920s he wrote some boy’s and girl’s fiction as H.E. Boyten, including the 1926 Chums serial Plot and Peril, an historical adventure published in book form the same year. About this time Boyten began a long career with the Amalgamated Press in editorial and writing capacities for their girl’s weekly papers such as Girl’s Crystal and School Friend. Most such Amalgamated writers were male and adopted female pseudonyms usually unrelated to their real names, although Boyten for some work became “Enid” Boyten just as Ernest McKeag became “Eileen”.
Boyten’s best-remembered characters were the “Silent Three” schoolgirls created with editor Stewart Pride. The three heroines wore masks and hooded robes to fight crime and injustice throughout numerous text and picture stories, illustrated initially by the talented Evelyn Flinders, a veteran of the schoolgirl “hooded secret society” genre. (A guide to the series, A Silent Three Companion, was privately published by Marion Waters in 1995, indicative of a continuing interest in the stories.)
In 1953 a feminine version of Boyten’s name came to the attention of solicitors acting for Enid Blyton. Perhaps an “Enid Boyten” lead story in several School Friend annuals had been a step too far. Horace Eli agreed to change his “Enid” to “Hilda Boyten”. However he seems to have continued writing as “Helen Crawford” without incident. In person he was described as “a very nice chap, quiet and modest”.