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At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: Elsa D'Esterre Keeling

Author: Elsa D'Esterre Keeling (1857–1935)

Alternate Name(s): Elizabeth Henrietta Keeling (legal name); Madame D'Esterre (pseudonym)

Biography: Elizabeth Henrietta Keeling was born in 1857 in Dublin, the middle daughter of John Keeling, the Irish publisher of the Dublin Hospital Gazette, and Adelaide Eleonore Hughes, a likely member of the D'Esterre family of Ireland. Keeling's father died in 1860 leaving a widow and three young daughters to fend for themselves. The family moved to Germany in 1874 where Keeling finished her schooling and took jobs as a translator for the British Legation in Stuttgart and the British Consulate General in Frankfurt. In the 1880s, Keeling, her eldest sister, and her mother moved to England where Keeling became a schoolmistess (1884–1890) and later opened her own school called Danvers College teaching elocution as "Madame D'Esterre." During the same period, Keeling began writing novels, beginning with the highly autobiographical Three Sisters: or, Sketches of a Highly Original Family, and adopted the pen name "Elsa D'Esterre-Keeling." She gave up writing by the turn of the century to focus on teaching. She never married, but adopted twelve children. Keeling died in Wimbledon in 1935. (Please note, the entries for this author in Loeber and Sutherland are not completely accurate due to newly discovered information.)

Author Tags:

References: pers inf (Martha Burgin,; Loeber; Sutherland

Fiction Titles:

  1. Three Sisters: or, Sketches of a Highly Original Family.  2 vol.  London: Sampson Low, 1884.
  2. Bib and Tucker: Being the Revelations of an Infant in Arms. An Absurdity.  1 vol.  London: Sampson Low, 1884.
  3. The Professor's Wooing: Being the Courtship of Monsieur La Mie.  2 vol.  London: Sampson Low, 1886.
  4. In Thoughtland and in Dreamland.  1 vol.  London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1890.
  5. Orchardscroft: The Story of an Artist.  1 vol.  London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1892.
  6. Appassionata: A Musician's Story.  1 vol.  London: William Heinemann, 1893.
  7. Old Maids and Young.  1 vol.  London: Cassell, 1895.
  8. A Return to Nature: A Kentish Idyll.  1 vol.  London: Jarrold and Son, 1897.
  9. The Queen's Serf: Being the Adventures of Ambrose Gwinett in England and Spanish America.  1 vol.  London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1898.