1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
As a child, Florence Louisa Barclay was rambunctious and inquisitive. Born on December 2, 1862 in Surrey England on Limpsfield, Florence was raised on the English countryside until she was seven years old. Her father, Reverend Samuel Charlesworth, presided over the local Rectory. She displayed a "great faith in prayer and (proved to have) a really wonderful voice and the soul of a musical genius" which was later displayed in the main character of The Rosary (Daughters 24,27).
Florence and her family, which also included a younger and older sister, moved to Limehouse, an East London Parish. Her father taught her there the priciple of an "uncompromisiong regard for the truth" (Daughters 47). She used this principle in her writings in that her characters and stories were always "pure fictions of her ingenious brain which her readers never believed and would write her letters asking for the real name and address of Dr. Brand from The Rosary" (Daughters 47).
On March 10, 1881 at the age of eighteen, she married Reverend Charles W. Barclay. For their honeymoon they took a tour of the Holy Land where they discovered Jacob's well that Christ once sat on (Barclay). They also climbed a pyramid in Cairo, Egypt where she wrote in her diary that she could see "on one side lay the fertile Delta...(and) on the other side, the desert" (Daughters 69). This excerpt is reminiscent of the scene in The Rosary when Jane looks out over the same diametric landscape.
By 1901 she had had all of her 8 children at Hertford Heath where she now lived. In 1909 she visited America to participate in the Chautauqua tour that her sister, Maud, was a member of. The inspirational group toured several states in America.
The writing of The Rosary began in 1905 when she was bed ridden with heart strain from riding a bicycle. She asked her oldest daughter what song the heroin should sing in the novel and the and the daughter replied "The Rosary" since she knew it was a favorite American song of her mother's (Daughters 210). She set the manuscripts to her sister in America in 1908. On the insistence of Maud, the manuscripts were sent to Putnam and Sons Publishers of New York. The book was published in 1909 and became a best seller in 1910.
From December 1920 to March 1921 Florence fought bronchitis which affected her heart. After an operation she fell asleep and never woke up on March 10, 1921. Inspired by the popularity of her first best seller, she had written several other novels listed in the supplemental section.
Daughters, By One of Her. The Life of Florence Barclay: A Study in Personality. London: Putnam, 1921.
"Florence Barclay." Google (10 Feb. 2000): n. pag. Online. Internet. 3 April 2000.