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Cicely Hamilton

Cicely Hamilton, author of William – An Englishman

Cicely Hamilton was born Cicely Hammill in 1872. Her father was in the army; when her mother died she was looked after by strangers who were unkind to her. She was educated at Malvern and in Germany, taught for two years but, disliking institutions, turned to acting in provincial rep (using the name Hamilton) as well as writing adventure stories for cheap periodicals. She believed in equal pay and birth control, being opposed to sentimentality about marriage and motherhood, and her ‘personal revolt was feminist rather than suffragist.’ Besides William – An Englishman (1919), Cicely Hamilton wrote over twenty plays, of which the best-known was Diana of Dobsons (1908). Her polemic Marriage as a Trade appeared in 1909. She wrote half a dozen novels including Theodore Savage (1922), an apocalyptic story of civilisation destroyed by scientific warfare, and Full Stop (1931). Cicely Hamilton died in 1952.

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