Katherine C. Thurston (1879-1911)
[Katherine Cecil Thurston; née Madden;] b. Woods Gift, Cork, dg. Dr. Paul Madden, a friend of Parnell; ed. privately; m. Ernest Temple Thurston, 1901, sep. 1907, and div., 1910; success with John Chilcote (1904), second novel; her popular novels include The Gambler (1906), and The Fly on the Wheel (1908), all dramatised; due to remarry when she was found dead in her room at Moores Hotel, Cork, probably by suicide though a verdict of asphyxia as result of epileptic fit was returned; d. 5 Sept. [found on 6th]; an obituary in the Irish Book Lover speaks of suspicious circumstances of her death. DIW DIB IF ATT OCIL
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Novels, The Circle (Edin: Blackwood 1903), John Chilcote (Edin: Blackwood 1904); The Gambler (London: Hutchinson 1906); The Mystics (Edin: Blackwood 1907); The Fly on the Wheel (London: Hutchinson 1908; rep. Virago 1987); Max (London: Hutchinson 1910).
Note, an extract from The Fly on the Wheel appears in Colm Toibín, ed., The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction (1999).
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Gerardine Meaney, Decadence, Degeneration and Revolting Aesthetics: The Fiction of Emily Lawless and Katherine Cecil Thurston, in Colby Quarterly, 36, 2 (2000), pp.157-75; see also John Wilson Foster, Irish Novels 1890-1940: New Bearings in Culture and Fiction (Oxford: OUP 2008).
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Stephen Brown, ed., Ireland in Fiction [Pt. I] (Dublin: Maunsel 1919), lists John Chilcote, MP (London: Hutchinson 1906; NY: Harper; new eds., 1917), of which 200,000 copies were sold in USA; also The Gambler (London: Hutchinson 1906; NY: Harper, new ed. 1917) [psychological study of Irish womans character, Protestant upper middle class society; Ireland, Venice, and London; smart set, empty life; two ill-assorted marriages; shows foolish pride of some Irish gentry]; The Fly on the Wheel (Blackwood 1908), 327pp. [Middle class Catholic Waterford; self-willed girl in revolt; falls in love with middle-aged Stephen Carey; restraint, though passionate scenes; complications ended by intervention of priest, sympathetically drawn; ends in suicide of girl. Brown adds: The manner of the authors own death gives this a poignant interest, implying that she comitted suicide too.
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Ann Owens Weekes, Unveiling Treasures [… &c.] (Dublin: Attic Press 1993), m. English novelist and playwright, 1901; John Chilcote MP (1904), political thriller, sensational incidents, dramatised by her husband, and twice filmed; sense of humour and colourful life-style; The Fly on the Wheel (1908) and Max  more original; compares her Waterford fiction world of newly arisen Catholic middle classes to Kate OBriens, guards itself against intrusion of questions, ideas or characters; although Waterford matrons welcome Isabella Costello, beautiful, penniless, but educated (in Fly), she will not be accepted as wife to their sons; engaged to young Frank Carey, whom she met in Paris; his brother Stephen intervenes; Stephen, the father of his brothers, all sons of a builder, ruthlessly refuses to pay Franks fees unless she writes and breaks the engagement; if a woman likes to make a poor marriage she does it with her eyes open and she finds compensations; its the man who does it blindly, and its the man who sinks under it; but Stephen falls in love with Isabel; refuses to leave Waterford because it would blight his sons future; bitterly humorous analysis of Irish Catholic middle-class society of time; rep. Virago, 1987, ed. Janet Madden-Simpson, with afterword; lists The Circle (Edinburgh: Blackwood 1903), John Chilcote (Edinburgh: Blackwood 1904); The Gambler (Edinburgh: Hutchinson 1906); The Mystics (London: Blackwood 1907); The Fly on the Wheel (1908; rep. Virago 1987); Max (London: Hutchinson 1910), all novels.
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