Ada Leverson

Standard Name: Leverson, Ada
Birth Name: Ada Esther Beddington
Nickname: Sphinx
Married Name: Ada Esther Leverson
Pseudonym: A Sensible Pessimist
Pseudonym: Elaine
AL has been best remembered for her association with Oscar Wilde . But her six novels have never disappeared from public view or critical appreciation, and today interest has also developed in her journalism: stories, essays, dialogues, parodies, and memoirs—which embody (as do her novels) a good deal of covert literary and cultural criticism. Her shorter writings buzz with intertextuality, analysing and parodying the literary, intellectual, and artistic fashions of the day. Her novels present an ironic, amused, but ultimately bleak view of domestic life among the urban leisured class. Men make marriage choices for gain rather than for feeling, and intelligent women opt, for reasons of convenience, to make the best of unsatisfactory marriages.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Friends, Associates Edith Sitwell
ES had many friendships, and there were few notables in the artistic world whom she did not meet. Her friendships were quite volatile, with frequent quarrels, sometimes caused by the practical jokes and the heightened...
Intertextuality and Influence Victoria Cross
Reviews of Theodora were mixed. Janet Hogarth , in a Fortnightly Review article titled Literary Degenerates, and B. A. Crackanthorpe in Nineteenth Century, criticised the story's representation of sexual desire.
“Dictionary of Literary Biography online”. Gale Databases: Literature Resource Center-LRC.
The reviewer...
Leisure and Society Violet Hunt
VH met writer Ada Leverson in 1895; Leverson's daughter called Hunt coarse and plain with a skin like leather . . . she symbolised the New Woman on a bicycle, except that these were depicted...
Literary responses Viola Tree
Novelist Ada Leverson (a close friend of Oscar Wilde ) wrote a parody of VT 's question-and-answer format (from the column, not the book, which appeared after her death), which mocks both VT and the...
Literary responses Rose Allatini
Meanwhile the Times Literary Supplement saw the novel as well-written—evidently the work of a woman. The reviewer judged that as a frank and sympathetic study of certain types of mind and character, it is of...
Literary responses Ivy Compton-Burnett
Praised in the Daily Mail and Times Literary Supplement (where the anonymous reviewer was Walter de la Mare ), Dolores was compared to its advantage with works by Ada Leverson and Arnold Bennett . ICB
Textual Production Olivia Manning
After her return to England she sometimes wrote for the BBC (with which her husband was now a producer), providing scripts for the long-running serial Mrs. Dale's Diary, one number in the series A...
Textual Production Oscar Wilde
Ada Leverson later recalled the night: the contrast between the perfume, brilliance, and gaiety inside the theatre, and the conditions outside, with a snow-storm more severe than had been remembered in London for years. A...


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Leverson, Ada. Bird of Paradise. G. Richards, 1914.
Leverson, Ada. Love at Second Sight. G. Richards, 1916.
Leverson, Ada. Love’s Shadow. G. Richards, 1908.
Leverson, Ada, and Oscar Wilde. “Reminiscences of the Author”. Letters to the Sphinx from Oscar Wilde, Duckworth, 1930, pp. 19-49.
Leverson, Ada. Tenterhooks. G. Richards, 1912.
Leverson, Ada. The Limit. G. Richards, 1911.
Leverson, Ada, and Colin MacInnes. The Little Ottleys. MacGibbon and Kee, 1962.
Leverson, Ada, and Frank Haviland. The Twelfth Hour. G. Richards, 1907.