New Publication: Lucas Malet entry in Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women’s Writing
I’m honoured to have contributed an entry on Victorian author Lucas Malet (Mary St. Leger Kingsley Harrison) to The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women’s Writing, edited by Lesa Scholl, which is now published online [read it here].
Lucas Malet was one of the late Victorian era’s most famous, popular and critically-acclaimed authors, but she and her diverse range of novels and other writing have since faded into obscurity. Recovery scholarship over the last few decades is now gradually bringing her back to light, and I am so excited to be among those scholars restoring Malet’s reputation and status as one of the most eminent writers of her time. I felt, of course, that an Encyclopedia of Victorian Women’s Writing would not be complete without Malet, and I’m so glad to see this entry now out in the world!
By way of preview, here is my definition for ‘Lucas Malet’ in the encyclopedia:
“Lucas Malet (1852–1931) was the pseudonym of Mary St. Leger Kingsley Harrison, one of the most popular and acclaimed novelists writing in English at the Victorian fin-de-siècle. Even though her best-selling novels rivalled and substantially influenced those of authors like Thomas Hardy and Henry James, Malet’s substantial oeuvre and literary impact were largely forgotten by the twentieth-century critical and historical accounts that canonized her male contemporaries. In response to this omission, recent scholarship has increasingly brought Malet’s writing, networks, and artistic influence to light, illuminating particularly Malet’s ability to engage, at times controversially, with many of the most pressing social, cultural, and political issues of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Malet’s works span a wide stylistic and generic range, including but not limited to realism, naturalism, Aestheticism, the grotesque, the Gothic, and proto-modernist formal experimentation, while her extensive range of daring subject matter included the New Woman, sexuality, same-sex desire, adultery, prostitution, illness, disability, medicine, science, spirituality, and the supernatural. With a career spanning the 1880s to the 1920s, Malet’s work provides a case study of the literary transition from late-Victorian realism to modernism and the development of the novel from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries. Continuing scholarship on Malet is needed to consolidate her reclaimed position as one of the most significant late-Victorian writers.” (Mills, 2022)
Read the full entry here: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02721-6_357-1
I have also written about Lucas Malet’s Gothic novels in a chapter for the Palgrave Handbook of Steam Age Gothic: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-40866-4_33
I hope you enjoy reading more about this wonderful and intriguing author!