Neglected Women Writers’ Month: Annie Vivanti Chartres

Annie Vivanti (Chartres) was a London-born Italian writer, and lived between 1866 and 1942.  She was the daughter of an Italian exile and a German writer, and spent her childhood in Italy, England, Switzerland, and the United States. Annie_vivanti_1.jpg

With two books already under her belt, in 1882, Annie married the Anglo-Irish journalist John Chartres, and spent the next eighteen years living in England and the States.  Her most famous novel written during this period, 1910’s The Devourers, was based upon her daughter, Vivien, a violin prodigy.  Vivanti was a supporter of Irish independence, and defended the Italian cause in English newspapers during the First World War.  In 1941, she was placed under house arrest in Italy due to her English connections, and died the next year in Turin.

“They belonged to another sphere.  They had come up the wrong street, into the wrong house.  If they could have life and motion they would rise quickly – Nancy could imagine them – lifting dainty skirts and tripping hurriedly out from the sordid flat.”
(From The Devourers)

Bibliography:

  • The Devourers, novel (1910)
  • Circe, novel (1912)
  • Marie Tarnowska, novel (1915)

Snippets:
– A free ebook of The Devourers can be found at Project Gutenberg.
– Read about the intertwined lives of Annie Vivanti Chartres and her daughter Vivien here.

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