Lucas Malet

-
LM , 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.
“The Times Digital Archive 1785-2007”. Thompson Gale: The Times Digital Archive.
(29 October 1931): 14
Head-and-shoulders photograph of Lucas Malet, albumen print, c. 1894. She is seen in profile. with strong features and dark wavy hair in a bun on the nape of her neck. She has a dark choker round her neck and a deep frill edging her dress. The oval portrait has a leaf-pattern background with Malet's non-literary name in capitals: "Mary Kingsley Harrison".
"Lucas Malet" Retrieved from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/Mary_St._Leger_Kingsley_Harrison_%28Lucas_Malet%29.png. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.

Milestones

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..
Chitty, Susan. The Beast and The Monk: A Life of Charles Kingsley. Hodder and Stoughton, 1974.
160
Who Was Who. A. and C. Black, 1897.
3
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.
Marshall, Beatrice. Emma Marshall. Seeley, 1900.
208
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.
Malet, Lucas. The Wages of Sin: A Novel. Swan Sonnenschein, 1895.
prelims
“Contemporary Authors”. Gale Databases: Literature Resource Centre-LRC.
British Library Catalogue.
By November 1901
Lucas Malet published another controversial novel: The History of Sir Richard Calmady.
“Contemporary Authors”. Gale Databases: Literature Resource Centre-LRC.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
27 October 1931
LM died of cancer at the age of seventy-nine, at a friend's house: 18 The Norton, Tenby, Pembrokeshire.
Who Was Who. A. and C. Black, 1897.
3
“Contemporary Authors”. Gale Databases: Literature Resource Centre-LRC.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
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 .
“The Times Digital Archive 1785-2007”. Thompson Gale: The Times Digital Archive.
(2 August 1932): 15

Biography

More than one form of LM 's name is still in use. Most critics use Lucas Malet, but although she married before her first publication the MLA Bibliography lists her as Mary St Leger Kingsley.

Birth and Family