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Author
    (January 1, 1839-January 25, 1908)
    Born in Bury St. Edmunds, England, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Maria Louise Rame
    Author of romance/adventure novels
    Wrote the novels 'Held in Bondage' (1863), 'Under Two Flags' (1867), 'Idalia' (1867), 'A Dog of Flanders' (1872), 'The Village Commune' (1881), 'Princess Napraxine' (1884) 'A House Party' (1887) and 'Helianthus' (1908)
    Pen name pronounced 'wee-da'
    Her pen name was based on her childhood mispronunciation of 'Louise.' ('A fact that should be sufficient warning to the prospective reader,' according to a latter-day critic.)
    She wrote in bed on purple paper.
    When she was reprimanded for talking through the entertainment at a dinner party, she replied 'As I talk better than others, I ought to be listened to, even if singing is going on.'
    She spent extravagantly and spent much of her time moving from hotel to hotel to keep one step ahead of the creditors.
    Her finances got so bad that when her mother died, she kept the body in the house for weeks until she could afford the burial.
    She was a founding member of the Italian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
    Her novels were popular partly because she avoided the moralizing that was common among Victorian writers.
    Max Beerbohm called her one of the 'miracles of modern literature.'
    She wrote, 'I do not object to realism in fiction. What I object to is the limitation of realism to what is commonplace, tedious and bald -- the habit, in a word, of insisting that the potato is real and that the passion flower is not.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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