Let the Flowers Go: A Life of Mary Cholmondeley (Gender and Genre)

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9781851966493: Let the Flowers Go: A Life of Mary Cholmondeley (Gender and Genre)
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Born in 1859 of an aristocratic background, Mary Cholmondeley was a gifted writer. Producing a number of well-received novels, her main success came with the controversial satire Red Pottage (1899), a favourite amongst British troops in the Boer War and even enjoyed by Queen Victoria. Something of an enigma, she was often portrayed as an unambitious spinster to whom celebrity had come as a surprise. On the contrary, however, by the time of her sudden fame, she was already an established writer, having published a number of titles since 1887. But success did not come easily to Cholmondeley. The victim of chronic asthma throughout her life, she became dependent on the morphia she took to alleviate the pain, and was forced to correct the proofs for Red Pottage during a serious illness, during intervals of lucidity. Her private life was unconventional, consisting of an early love affair, broken off due to a misunderstanding of a kind that would sit better in a work of fiction, and from which she never fully recovered. She never left home during her father's lifetime, but after the deaths of her mother and youngest sister, remained with her father and surviving sisters first in Shropshire and later in London. Giving a comprehensive critique of Cholmondeley's writings, Oulton analyzes the inspiration and influences behind some of her greatest work and provides an appealing biography of a writer whose work is of increasing interest to modern scholars.

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'this outstanding biography provides expert scholarship as well as a thoroughly engrossing story.' Victorian Studies 'Oulton has painstakingly reconstructed Cholmondeley's life and a literary career which spanned four decades and encompassed seven novels, short fiction, drama and a family memoir.' Women: A Cultural Review 'Let the Flowers Go is an important and engaging study of a marginalised writer, and a very welcome addition to the growing body of work on lesser-known women authors.' The Latchkey

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