Annie French Hector: Contribution as Irish Novelist

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      Annie French Hector (Mrs. Alexander) 1825-1902 Originally from Ireland, this well-traveled author wrote over forty novels, many dealing unadornedly with matters of kinship, inheritance and obsession with money. The Snare of the Fowler (1892) details both the disappointment of someone who narrowly misses a large legacy and the predicament of a supposed heir dispossessed when he discovers that a woman, initially thought to be illegitimate, is entitled to inherit. Similarly, Her Dearest Foe (1876) is about a property dispute, though the dispute is resolved when the two combatants marry.

      The young Annie French traveled extensively with her parents before they finally settled in London. However, it seems that, on marrying the explorer, merchant and archaeologist Alexander Hector in 1858, her nomadic life continued. She claimed to have written nothing between marriage and her husband's death in 1875. However, her best-known novel, The Wooing out, was published in 1873. As a widow, she wrote to support her four children and once again travel was on the agenda. The family lived in France and Germany in 1876—1882 and in St Andrews in 1882—1885, the former locations providing material for novels such as The Freres (1882). Her final novel, Kitty Costello (1904), is semi-autobiographical.

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