Edith Somerville and Violet Martin came from impoverished but resourceful Anglo-Irish landlord families. From 1886-1915 they collaborated on novels and short stories and published under the names of Somerville and Ross. Their letters are lively and full of close observation of Irish life.
Edith Somerville and Violet Martin came from impoverished but resourceful Anglo-Irish landlord families. From 1886-1915 they collaborated on numerous novels and short stories, often illustrated by Edith, and published under the names of Somerville and Ross. In the 20 years up to 1906, when they started to live together, they exchanged hundreds of letters. Thereafter, although the correspondence was more sporadic, it is supplemented here with extracts from their diaries and with letters to Edith's sister, Hildegarde. They are full of lively and close observation and often record aspects of Irish life previously unremarked by male writers. Their portrait of Ireland between 1856 and 1915 is comprehensive and valuable. The letters chronicle the last days of a society centred on the great house and chart the course of an unusual collaboration between two gifted women. Somerville and Ross also wrote "The Real Charlotte" and "Some Experiences of an Irish RM".
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