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At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: Catherine Louisa Pirkis

Author: Catherine Louisa Pirkis (1839–1910)

Alternate Name(s): Lyne (maiden name); Mrs. F. E. Pirkis (familiar name)

Biography: Catherine Louisa Pirkis was born in London, the daughter of Lewis Stephens Lyne, an accountant and comptroller-general of Inland Revenue. Her father died in 1859, in the words of his obituary, "from the consequences of excessive exertion of the brain," and Pirkis's brother eventually served in the same position. In 1872, at the age of 33, Pirkis married Frederick Edward Pirkis, fleet-paymaster for the Royal Navy, and the couple moved often. They had a daughter (born 1874 in Surrey) and a son (born 1876 in Belgium). A few years later, Frederick's brother George married Catherine's sister Susan, and the families eventually lived together. Pirkis wrote her first novel, Disappeared from Her Home, in 1877; the mystery novel portends her creation of the popular lady detective Loveday Brooke in the 1890s. Thereafter she became a prolific novelist, short story writer, and journalist. Pirkis and her husband actively worked in the anti-vivisetionist movement and in organizations for the protection of animals, such as The National Canine Defense League. Pirkis died in 1910 after a long illness; her husband died a few days later.

Author Tags:

References: Pall Mall Gazette (24 September 1872); Times (5 October 1910; 10 October 1910)

Fiction Titles:

  1. Disappeared from Her Home: A Novel.  1 vol.  London: Remington, 1877.
  2. In a World of His Own.  3 vol.  London: Remington, 1878.
  3. A Very Opal.  3 vol.  London: Hurst and Blackett, 1880.
  4. Trooping with Crows.  1 vol.  London: Chatto and Windus, 1880.
  5. Wanted, an Heir.  3 vol.  London: Hurst and Blackett, 1881.
  6. Saint and Sibyl: A Story of Old Kew.  3 vol.  London: Hurst and Blackett, 1882.
  7. Di Fawcett: One Year of her Life.  3 vol.  London: Hurst and Blackett, 1883.
  8. Judith Wynne: A Novel.  3 vol.  London: F. V. White, 1884.
  9. Lady Lovelace: A Novel.  3 vol.  London: Chatto and Windus, 1885.
  10. A Dateless Bargain.  3 vol.  London: Hurst and Blackett, 1887.
  11. The Road from Ruin: A Novel.  2 vol.  London: Spencer Blackett, 1888.
  12. At the Moment of Victory: A Novel.  3 vol.  London: Ward and Downey, 1889.
  13. A Red Sister: A Story of Three Days and Three Months.  3 vol.  London: Sampson Low, 1891.
  14. The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective.  1 vol.  London: Hutchinson, 1894.