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Victoria Cross entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
Timeline
Excerpts
Works By
In the course of a forty-year career that began in the final decade of the nineteenth century, the pseudonymous Victoria Cross published nearly two dozen novels, three collections of short stories, and several plays, and saw some of her works adapted for film. Her work, controversial in her day for its treatment of transgressive sexualities and emphasis on physical passion as well as extravagant romance, repeatedly challenges social mores, and gender and sexual conformity. She confronts conventional attitudes towards such matters as race, imperialism, animal rights, and medicine, although not always in a fashion that accords comfortably with twenty-first-century tastes. The moral ambiguity and discomfort provoked by her works—perhaps particularly her representations of race, her simultaneous reliance on and reversal of conventions, and her tendency to cap apparently utopian stories with unsettling conclusions—may explain the extent to which this once immensely popular novelist remains largely unknown.
Milestones
1 October 1868 VC was born Annie Sophie Cory at Rawalpindi, Punjab, India (now in Pakistan). Bibliographic Citation link.
1894 VC began her literary career by sending manuscripts of the novel "The Refiner's Fire" and short story "Different Views" to publisher John Lane. Bibliographic Citation link.
By 27 April 1901 VC's Anna Lombard appeared in print, to become the best-selling treatment of transgressive female sexuality and reputedly the most widely-read novel of its day. Bibliographic Citation link.
By 24 April 1937 VC's final novel, Jim, features a writer protagonist whose pursuit of a beautiful woman ends only when he discovers that she is a Harpy: he dies gazing at her beautiful face as she feasts (literally) on his heart. Bibliographic Citation link.
2 August 1952 VC died at a nursing home, the Clinica Capitanio, in Milan. Bibliographic Citation link.
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