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F. M. Mayor (Flora Macdonald Mayor) Biography

(1872–1932), (Flora Macdonald Mayor), Mrs Hammond's Children, The Third Miss Symons

story miss stories collection

British novelist and short-story writer, born in Kingston-upon-Thames, educated at Newnham College, Cambridge. Her collection of stories Mrs Hammond's Children (1901) attracted little attention but The Third Miss Symons (1913), introduced by John Masefield, was highly praised; it is the story of a single woman circumscribed by late Victorian society, and could be described as a classic ‘spinster novel’. It was followed by Miss Browne's Friend—A Story of Two Women, serialized in the Free Church Suffrage Times (191415). Her finest work was The Rector's Daughter (1924), in which simplicity of structure belies a rigorous exploration of social and emotional truths. A mature expansion of her earlier theme, it was duly acclaimed: Rebecca West pronounced Mayor's immense superiority to Galsworthy; E. M. Forster and Virginia Woolf wrote admiringly to her. Other publications include the novel The Squire's Daughter (1924) and a posthumous collection of stories, The Room Opposite (1935).

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