Friday, June 4, 2010

Spotlight On Anya Seton

Anya Seton was born Ann Seton in 1904 (some sources mention 1906 or 1916), the daughter of Ernest Thompson Seton, a known naturalist and anthropologist and his wife Grace. Her parents were both writers and travelers and it's not difficult to imagine that they had great influence in their daughter's choice of work. Not only did Anya Seton become an accomplished writer but she also travelled frequently and for long periods of time to the places she was writing about.

She was already in her thirties when she published her first book - My Theodosia - in the following years she would write 11 more novels, 10 of them historical, that quickly became best sellers. Two of them were adapted to the screen - Dragonwyck and Foxfire - and another two have stand the test of time to become classics - Katherine and Green Drakness. These last two are usually the ones mentioned when we talk about Seton. Her whole backlist was out of print for a while but they have recently been reprinted by Chicago Review Press making them available to a whole new generation of readers.

Although her books are usually considered historical romances she preferred to call them biographical novels. Anya Seton died in 1990 at the age of 86.

My Theodosia (1941)
Dragonwyck (1944)
The Turquoise (1946)
The Hearth and the Eagle (1948)
Foxfire (1950)
Katherine (1954)
The Mistletoe and the Sword (1956)
The Winthrop Woman (1958)
Devil Water (1962)
Avalon (1965)
Green Darkness (1972)
Smouldering Fires (1975)


  1. My mother often says that many of her favorite authors, such as Anya Seton, were serialized in magazines such as Ladies Home Journal. In fact, Katherine was serialized the year she graduated from high school in 1955. When she got an unexpected gift of a trip to Europe, she immediately realized she would be away for a key segment of Katherine and worried that her mother might not keep the issue until her return, causing her to have to wait months for the book to come out!

  2. I didn't know that! Your mother must have been a true bookworm to have been worried about missing an instalment! Thanks CLM.

  3. Oh I can imagine her anxiety... what happened, did her mother keep the issue? I hope so!