Florence Henniker

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Florence Henniker (1855–1923) was a British novelist.


She was born Florence Ellen Hungerford Milnes,[1] in 1855, the daughter of Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Lord Houghton.[2] She married a British army officer, Arthur Henry Henniker-Major (1855-1912) in 1882.[3] Her first novel, Sir George was published in 1891.[3]

In May 1893,[3] while hosting a party at Dublin Castle, her brother's residence as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, she met Thomas Hardy whom her father had known since 1880.[2] She would remain friends with Hardy for the rest of her life,[2] although she rejected his sexual advances.[4] They collaborated on a short story "The Spectre of the Real", first published in 1894.[5] Hardy's letters to Henniker were published in 1972 under the title One Rare Fair Woman.[1]

In 1898, the Spectator described her novel Sowing the Sand as a book "conform[ing] generally to the type long ago established by Ouida, which in our young days used to be accounted improper, but is now food for babes."[6] Reviewing her collection of short stories Contrasts in 1903, the same magazine said its contents showed "much insight into character, and an almost inhuman power of devising heartrending situations in everyday life."[7]

Selected works[edit]

  • Sir George (1891)[8]
  • Bid Me Good-bye (1892)
  • Foiled (1893)
  • Outlines [short stories] (1894)
  • In Scarlet and Grey [short stories] with The Spectre of the Real by Thomas Hardy and Florence Henniker (1896)
  • Sowing the Sand (1898)
  • Contrasts [short stories] (1903)
  • Our Fatal Shadows (1907)
  • Second Fiddle (1912)

Her play The Courage of Silence was produced in 1905.[3] She edited Arthur Henniker: A Little Book for his Friends (1912), which included an uncollected poem by Thomas Hardy: "A.H., 1855-1912".[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Search results Author: Florence Henniker". COPAC. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Pite 2006, p. 329.
  3. ^ a b c d Purdy 1944.
  4. ^ Pite, p. 336.
  5. ^ Pite 2006, p. 332.
  6. ^ "6 AUGUST 1898, Page 20 "RECENT NOVELS"". The Spectator Archive.
  7. ^ "11 APRIL 1903, Page 23. Contrasts. By Florence Henniker". The Spectator Archive.
  8. ^ List from Purdy 1944; all are novels unless otherwise stated