HOLDSWORTH, Annie E (Sister of John)

Various Internet Sources

Sister of John N.B. and William W. Holdsworth. Daughter of William Holdsworth.


BORN 1860, Jamaica – DIED 1917

REAL NAME Holdsworth, Eliza Ann

GRAVE LOCATION Firenze: Cimitero Evangelico Agli Allori, Via Senese 184, Galluzo (2PPsSA V 20u)

Annie Holdsworth was born in Jamaica as the daughter of the Reverend William Holdsworth. Her father worked as a missionary among freed slaves. As a girl she started writing and after her father died she moved to London.

She was a member of the staff of the W.T. Stead’s “Review of Reviews” and together with Isabella Caroline Somers-Cocks she became the editor of the “The Woman’s Signal”. She was an active feminist. In 1894 her best known novel “Joanna Traill, Spinster” was published and many more novels followed, among them “The Years that the Locust Hath Eaten” (1895).

In 1898 she married Eugene Lee-Hamilton, the half-brother of author Vernon Lee in Hampshire. Curiously, Vernon Lee was present and approved of the marriage but advised against her brother having any children. When Annie was pregnant in 1902 this was an ‘awful catastrophe’ for Vernon Lee. A daughter was born in 1903, but the little girl died in 1904. In 1907 her husband died as well.

In 1909 she published “Lady Letton Brandon”. After her death in 1917 she was buried next to her husband in Florence.


Joanna Traill, Spinster (1894) William Heinemann, London
The Years That the Locust Hath Eaten (1895) William Heinemann, London
Spindles and Oars (1896) Ward, Locke & Co., Ltd., London
The Gods Arrive (1898) William Heinemann, London
Forest Notes (in collaboration with her husband)
The Valley of the Great Shadow (1899) William Heinemann, London
Great Lowlands (1901)
Michael Ross, Minister (1902) Dodd, Mead & Company, New York
A New Paolo and Francesca (1904) John Lane, London
The Iron Gates (1906)
Lady Letty Brandon (1909) John Long, London
“Peace” and “In the Shadow of His Hand Hath He Hid Me” (1880) in The Christian Miscellany, and Family Visitor, Wesleyan Conference Office, London
“A Study in Oak” (1886) in Belgravia, Vol. 60, An illustrated magazine, Chatto & Windus, London
“When the Gorse is in Flower” (1897) in The English illustrated magazine, Volume 16, The Illustrated London News, Ltd., London

The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction states that “after her husbands death with a young daughter and two invalid sisters to support….” so there is still some research to do!

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