Friday, April 10, 2015


This is Sarah Grand. Who? I hear all two and a half of my readers crying out, thirsting to know more about this largely forgotten Irish feminist and writer. 

Sarah Grand was born Frances Elizabeth Bellenden Clarke, in Donaghadee, County Down. She was married at 16,to a man 21 years her senior. Her experience of marriage, from her own teenage immaturity through childbirth and ultimately sexual estrangement from her bizarre husband, as well as what she learned from him during his career as a military doctor about sexually transmitted infections, led to her most successful novel, The Heavenly Twins, in 1893. 

She changed her name to Sarah Grand, she toured the U.S., and here is why I put 'meow!' as my headline. 

A copy of The Heavenly Twins rests in the New York Public Library: it is a copy once owned by Mark Twain. As he turned the pages, America's first and greatest funny man grew increasingly frustrated with la grande Grand, and scribbled copious notes in the margins, culminating with the comment: "A cat could do better literature than this."

Tuesday, April 07, 2015