The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

June 11, 2013

June 11, 1862

Martin Ross was the pen name of Violet Martin (June 11,  1862 to December 21,  1915). The Ross refers to the name of the ancestral home of this writer whose family goes back many centuries in Ireland. The co-author of The Real Charlotte (1894), Martin Ross was the author of works which examine Irish society and have a distinctly humorous intent. Apparently, however "the real" in The Real Charlotte points to the main character whose deliberate callousness has devastating effects on those around her. Martin's works are little known in the United States, but there were television series' made from her books 100 years after her birth. Somewhat helpful in decoding the subtleties of what for some is a foreign social order, is the criticism of George C. Schoolfield, in A Baedecker of Decadence, (2003). He spends many pages analyzing The Real Charlotte for it's connection with decadent authors like Strindberg. 

The other author of The Real Charlotte, is Edith Somerville,  Martin's cousin, with whom she collaborated on many books. They lived together, and after Violet's death, Edith went right on putting their names together on more books. Edith said she stayed in spiritual communication with Violet. The idea of associating cats and bad people, as these authors do in The Real Charlotte, who is portrayed as having a lot of them, is probably not evidence of decadence. The association though was the only clue I could find of decadence about these writers.

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