May Sinclair

(August 24th, 1863 — November 14th, 1946)

May Sinclair was the pseudonym of Mary Ameila St. Clair, a popular British writer whose works were published around the turn of the 19th century.

Sinclair’s mother was strict and religious. Her father was an alcoholic who died young. Before finishing her education, she was required to quit school to help take care of her five brothers — four of which suffered from a fatal congenital heart disorder.

A feminist and a suffragist, she wrote primarily to support herself and her mother. Her works were very popular, particularly in the United States. Her works often touched on feminist subjects and topics that were taboo for the time in which she was writing. Her works received very favourable critical reviews and were influential for writers such as George Orwell and Agatha Christie. Her works were considered modernist, and her novel Mary Olivier was published serially alongside James Joyce‘s Ulysses.

Sinclair was also a well-known literary critic. She was the first person to use the term ‘stream of consciousness’ in a literary context.

In the late 1920s, she began to suffer from Parkinson’s disease and was unable to continue writing. She died nearly twenty years later.

May Sinclair is a book author.

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Mary Olivier


Sometimes when the New Year is young, it’s easy to look back on other times of transition. I know a lot of fiction describes a moment where suddenly one transitions from childhood to adulthood, but I think the reality is that childhood ends in a series of moments, realizations, and formative events. This is a review of May Sinclair’s Mary Olivier. The book is a 1919 first edition.