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At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: Marie Clothilde Balfour

Author: Marie Clothilde Balfour (1862–1931)

Biography: Marie Clothilde Balfour was born in 1862 in Edinburgh, the daughter of civil engineer James Melville Balfour. Her first cousin was Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894). In her first year, her family moved to New Zealand where her father worked as a civil engineer. When he drowned in 1869, Balfour and her mother returned to Edinburgh, staying for a time with the Stevenson family. In 1885, Balfour married another cousin, the doctor James Craig Balfour. The couple lived in Lincolnshire and Northumberland, where Balfour took an interest in collecting folklore. In addition, she published three novels: White Sand (1896) set in France and Morocco; Maria Stella (1896) in John Lane's Keynotes series; and The Fall of the Sparrow (1897). Her husband died in 1907. Balfour moved to London and continued writing short stories and editing the letters of Stevenson's mother. She died in 1931 in London.

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References: Telling History (

Fiction Titles:

  1. White Sand: The Story of a Dreamer and His Dream.  1 vol.  London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1896.
  2. Maria Stella.  1 vol.  London: John Lane, 1896.
  3. The Fall of the Sparrow.  1 vol.  London: Methuen, 1897.