Clotilde Graves

Life
1864-1932 [Clotilde Inez Mary Graves; pseudo “Richard Dehan”]; b. Buttevant, Co. Cork; dg. of an Irish clergyman [prob. Rev. Robert Graves, a brother of the bishop Charles Graves, bishop of Limerick [q.v.], and cousin of Alfred Perceval Graves, q.v.]; studied art in Bloomsbury; author of 16 plays in NY and London, including Nitocris, a play in verse (Drury Lane, 1887); also the pantomime Puss in Boots (1898); The Lover’s Battle (1902), and a heroical comedy in verse, based on Rape of the Lock; a London journalist, she wrote a successful novel The Dop Doctor [1911] as Richard Dehan; also Between Two Thieves (1914); she was a constant contrib. to the comic mag. Judy; produced 12 story collections; died penniless. See also Irish Book Lover 6. PI DIW OCIL.

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Works
as Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • The Belle of Rock Harbour, a tale (London: Judy Off 1887), 79p., ill. L Willson.
  • Dragon’s Teeth, novel (London: Dalziel Bros 1891), iv, 292pp., and another edn. (Holden & Hardingham, 1925), 376pp.
  • The Lovers’ Battle, a heroical comedy in rhyme, founded on Alexander Pope’s ‘Rape of the Lock’ [verse play] (London: Grant Richards 1902), viii, 226pp.
  • A Mother of Three, 3 act farce in TH Lacy, Vol. 157 [1850s] (190?).
  • The Pirate’s Hand, a Romance of Heredity, by the author of ‘Kneecapped’, ed. C Graves (Judy 1889), 122pp., pref. signed RLS [intended as parody of R L. Stevenson].
  • Nitocris, a play in verse (Performed at Drury Lane, 1887).
  • Seven Xmas Eves, being a romance of social evolution [tales by] C. Graves, B. L. Farjeon, and 5 others (London: Hutchinson & Co [1894]), viii, 264pp.
  • Maids in a Market Garden, novel (London: W.H. Allen & Co., 1894), iv, 252pp; and another edn. (Holden & Hardingham [1912]), 126pp.[?].
  • A Well-Meaning Woman, novel (London: Hutchinson 1896), vii 344pp.
  • The General’s Past (London: Stage Publishing Bureau 1925), 40pp.
As Richard Dehan [pseud.]
  • Between Two Thieves (London: William Heinemann 1912), 712pp.
  • The Cost of Wings and Other Stories (London: William Heinemann 1914), vii, 300pp.
  • Dead Pearls, A Novel of the Great Wide West (John Long [1893]), 336pp.
  • The Dop Doctor (London: William Heinemann 1911), v, 671pp., and Do. [another ed.] (1913).
  • The Headquarter Recruit and Other Stories (London: William Heinemann 1913), ix, 368pp.
  • The Man of Iron (London: William Heinemann 1915), x, 815pp., and Do. [another edn.] (Thomas Nelson 1915).
  • Earth to Earth (London: William Heinemann 1916), vii, 328pp.
  • Off Sandy Hook, short stories (London: William Heinemann 1915), vii, 322pp.
  • Gilded Vanity (London: William Heinemann 1916), v, 314pp.
  • A Sailors’ Home and Other Stories (London: William Heinemann 1919), vii, 319pp.
  • Eve of Pascua and Other Stories (London: William Heinemann 1920), 288pp.
  • The Villa of the Peacock and Other Stories (London: William Heinemann 1921).
  • The Eve of Pasqua and Other Stories (London: William Heinemann 1920).
  • The Just Steward (London: William Heinemann 1922), 587pp.
  • The Man with the Mask and Other Stories (Thornton & Buttworth 1924), 316pp.
  • The Pipers of the Market-Place (Thornton & Buttworth 1924), 350pp.
  • Shallow Seas (Thornton & Buttworth 1930), 313pp.
  • The Sower of the Wind (Thornton & Buttworth 1927), 446pp.
  • That Which Hath Wings, a novel of the day (London: William Heinemann 1918), 492pp.
  • The Third Graft and Other Stories (London: John Long [1933]), 254pp.
  • Under the Hermés and Other Stories (London: William Heinemann 1917), vii, 341pp.; Also Dead Pearls (London: John Long 1932); The Lovers’ Battle (London: Grant Richards [n.d.]). [See British Library Catalogue.]

See Jenny Bloodworth, Clotilde Graves: journalist, dramatist and novelist : writing to survive in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century [PhD] (Univ. of Leicester 2013): Katherine Newey, in her study of nineteenth century female playwrights, has written of those, ‘who routinely worked for money, in theatres where the takings were as important as aesthetic achievement or legitimacy’. While Joanne Shattock, in a study of women authors, acknowledges that earnings were the key to a woman’s professionalism. With her short hair, masculine style of dress and her penchant for cigarettes, Clotilde Graves (1863-1932) epitomised the vigorous New Woman of the fin de si├Ęcle. Drawing on previously unused material from Graves’s case file, held in the Royal Literary Fund Archive, this thesis charts her progress as a writer to explore both the motivational force of economics on her literary career, and its impact on her various discourses as a journalist, playwright and novelist. The study, divided into three sections, explores a number of key themes including: sexual abuse, marriage, the fallen woman, and the maternal ideal, to assess Graves’s development as both a writer and an advocate of social purity feminism. The thesis exposes the precarious nature of the writer’s profession, especially for a woman, and reveals the demands on Graves to balance personal beliefs against the immediate need to earn a living. Though she died penniless her extensive output included innumerable articles, twenty plays, nine compilations of short stories, and fifteen novels. The thesis appraises Graves’s adoption of male aliases and her employment of autobiographical material, which is contextualised against the production of her most popular novel, The Dop Doctor. This work shows that compromise was often a prerequisite and confirms that commerciality did not necessarily translate into financial achievement, nor did it provide economic security. This recovery of a forgotten female writer, of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, contributes to the growing body of work in this field. (Available online; accessed 20.02.2024.)

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References
Eggeley Books (Cat. 44) lists Shallow Seas (Thornton & Buttworth 1930), x+11-313pp., Java and South Seas during First World War; The Sower of the Wind (Thornton & Buttworth 1927), xiv, 5-446pp., set among aborigines of NW Australia.

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