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May Sinclair [Re: Sinclairs with middle name St. Clair]
> Do you have any more info about the people, the company or the ships?
> or points of referance?
May Sinclair (1863-1946) was a novelist, Bronte scholar, short story writer,
reviewer, suffragist, poet, philosopher, translator and essayist. Her work
is still read, anthologized and studied today. She was the first to apply William
James's term "stream of consciousness" to literature, in a review of Dorothy
Richardson. She was a friend of HG Wells, TS Eliot, and Rebecca West, among
others, and encouraged young writers like Noel Coward and Charlotte Mew. May
Sinclair was one of the great gathering that celebrated Mark Twain's 70th birthday.
Upton Sinclair reportedly claimed kinship with her.
> It could be that a St. Clair married a Sinclair. We have been known for
> keeping it in the family!
Perhaps the St. Clair was in her grandparents' generation... We know that her
mother was Amelia Hind, and her parents married Sep 26, 1850 in Belfast. I
remember reading that Amelia came from a Scots-Irish family.
>> Their father William Sinclair (c1829-1881) was a ship owner with offices
>> in Liverpool 1851-67. The ships' home port was Belfast; the smallest of
>> was the Saint Clair.
Sinclair's biographer Theophilus E.M. Boll researched the immediate family,
and ships or yachts registered in their names. That's where I got the information
above. Her father William Sinclair lost his business and his family, later
died Nov 19, 1881 age 52 of alcoholism. May had five older brothers: William
(b.Oct 18, 1851), Joseph Walter (b.Jul 29, 1855), Francis Edward (b.Mar 11,
1857), Harold (b.Sep 12, 1858) and Frederick Amelius (b.Jan 23, 1861) known
as Reginald St. Clair. The brothers had inherited heart disease, and none of
them lived to old age. Her brother Joseph emigrated to British Columbia but
at least some of his family returned to the UK.
Boll also found a reference to May's father's sisters, but so far as I can
see didn't write anything about their ancestors. His 1973 book "Miss May Sinclair:
novelist; a biographical and critical introduction" is still quoted, and is
available in my public library (cross-referenced using Sinclair's full name,
where the "St. Clair Sinclair" caught my eye). A biography that came out just
last year from OUP-USA, "Miss May Sinclair: a modern Victorian" by Suzanne
Raitt, reportedly draws on newly discovered manuscripts and may have further
May Sinclair's mother did live into old age (c1822-1901), and that mother-daughter
relationship is the subject of much interested study, particularly as Sinclair
acknowledged her 1919 novel "Mary Olivier" to be largely autobiographical.
There are quite a few online references to May Sinclair and her work. "Mary
Olivier: a life" and "The life and death of Harriett Frean" can be ordered
from Virago Press http://www.virago.co.uk/virago/home.asp . The University
of Pennsylvania Library has put the 1922 first edition of Harriet Frean online
at http://www.library.upenn.edu/etext/sinclair/fe/ . Also http://www.xrefer.com/entry/366879
has The Bloomsbury Dictionary of English Literature entry on Sinclair, with
Internet service provided by telus.net http://www.telus.net/
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