Monday, March 30, 2009

Violet Hunt: Victorian Of The Munt

Isobel Violet Hunt (1862 - 1942)

“A woman made for irregular situations.” –A friend

You may not know of Violet Hunt, but you may know of someone just like her.

Violet and her sister Venetia were the daughters of Alfred Hunt, watercolourist, and Margaret Hunt, novelist. As a family, they did things like hang out with Pre-Raphaelites together.

She, beautiful, said that Oxford and Cambridge boys were boring, and at the age of 22 had an affair with a married painter who was about the same age as her dad. Next up in the old-married-man-department was Oswald Crawfurd who dyed his hair black, took her to see prostitutes in Hyde Park, and may have given her syphilis, too.

Violet called herself a “female rake” who snubbed eligible men on principle. Some say that Oscar Wilde proposed to her in 1879.

At 46, she began an affair with Ford Madox Ford (then Ford Madox Hueffer) who was thirty-five (and, of course, married). Even so, she lived with him from 1910 to 1918. She changed her name to Huefferand he changed his name to Ford.

Violet was a prolific writer who wrote diaries, memoirs, biography and 17 novels including: A Hard Woman; Unkist, Unkind!; The Human Interest - A Study in Incompatibilities; and Tales of the Uneasy.

She appears as characters in other people’s books including one that Graham Greene described as “the most possessed evil character in the modern novel.” Wow.

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