Lucas Malet entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Lucas Malet, author of eighteen novels in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was a great admirer of French fiction. Her books are hard to classify generically, having elements of the sensation novel (adultery, illicit sex, indirect murder, female protagonists who are heartlessly self-seeking), of satire, psychological analysis, and social protest. She breaks the taboos of genteel English fiction by lifting the lid of respectable life to reveal its members as engaged a in cut-throat struggle for status or survival. Her Times obituary stated that her place in literary history was secure. Bibliographic Citation link.
4 June 1852 LM was born Mary St Leger Kingsley at Eversley Rectory in Eversley, Hampshire, the youngest but one in a family of four.. Bibliographic Citation link.
1882 LM published her first novel, Mrs. Lorimer, a Sketch in Black and White, under a pseudonym to keep her work separate from that of her father or uncle. Her friend and fellow-novelist Emma Marshall much admired this book. Bibliographic Citation link.
December 1890 LM published The Wages of Sin. A Novel, set partly around a fishing village called Beera (said to be based on Clovelly in Devon) and partly in fashionable and artistic London. Bibliographic Citation link.
By November 1901 Lucas Malet published another controversial novel: The History of Sir Richard Calmady. Bibliographic Citation link.
27 October 1931 LM died of cancer at the age of seventy-nine, at a friend's house: 18 The Norton, Tenby, Pembrokeshire. Bibliographic Citation link.
By 2 August 1932 The Private Life of Mr Justice Syme, the last novel by LM, was posthumously published, completed after her death by Gabrielle Vallings. Bibliographic Citation link.
Back to Top