Brown, Susan, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy, eds. Katherine Cecil Thurston entry: Overview screen within Orlando: Women's Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Online, 2006. <http://orlando.cambridge.org/>. 25 October 2021.
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Writing and Life
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Katherine Cecil Thurston, often forgotten today, was a highly popular and successful writer of short stories and novels at the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1904, she was propelled to literary fame and fortune with her wildly successful book John Chilcote, MP (entitled The Masquerader in America), a sensational tale of political impersonation, which was made into two successful plays and later two films (one silent). This earned her an avid following, allowing her to experiment in her subsequent novels with more radical subject matter—including gambling, suicide, adultery, and the homoerotic—until her untimely death at the age of thirty-six. Her characteristic tone is thrilling, melodramatic, and often playfully sensational.
18 April 1875 KCT was born Katherine Cecil Madden, at a house named Wood's Gift in Cork City, Ireland. She was an only child.  Bibliographic Citation link.
By 24 September 1904 KCT's second novel, a political thriller, appeared simultaneously in London and New York under different titles: John Chilcote, MP in London and The Masquerader in New York. Bibliographic Citation link.
By 28 March 1908 The Fly on the Wheel, KCT's most realist novel, albeit with a sensationalist flavour, appeared in print. Uncanny similarities between the heroine's death and that, later, of the author's, helped to make it one of her best known works. Bibliographic Citation link.
By 15 October 1910 KCT's new-woman novel and final published work Max appeared in print, featuring a cross-dressing female heroine and a subtle exploration of the homoerotic. Bibliographic Citation link.
5 September 1911 KCT died, reportedly from asphyxia, in her hotel room at 13 Morrison Island in Cork. Her untimely death has been the subject of much speculation, since the circumstances indicate the possibility of either suicide or murder. Bibliographic Citation link.
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