(1840–1906). The daughter of an Irish Catholic bank manager with a keen interest in chemistry, Clerke was born in Ireland but travelled much in Italy. She lived with her sister Agnes Mary Clerke (1842–1907), a well-known astronomer. Ellen Clerke contributed many articles on Italian and German literature to English periodicals. She also published verse and one novel, Flowers of Fire (1902). Esme Zaroiska is the daughter of a patriotic Polish nobleman. A sinister prince, long ago spurned by her mother, gets the father imprisoned in order to trick the daughter into marrying him. Esme, about to sacrifice herself, discovers his perfidy, flings herself at the Czarina's feet, wins her father's freedom, and marries her Italian lover. There is a memoir (1907) of the Clerke sisters by Lady Huggins.
From The Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction in Oxford Reference.