Malet, Lucas [Mary St. Ledger Kingsley Harrison]

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave encyclopedia of Victorian women's writing
EditorsLesa Scholl, Emily Morris
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9783030783181, 9783030027216
ISBN (Print)9783030783174
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Lucas Malet
  • Fin-de-siècle
  • Feminism in literature
  • aestheticism
  • Modernism (Literature)--England
  • novel
  • popular fiction
  • medicine in literature
  • gothic
  • Gothic fiction
  • new woman
  • Biography


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