de PRATZ, Claire

(d. 1934)

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(d. 1934). Of French family, but born and partly brought up in England, she moved to Paris as a young woman and studied at the Sorbonne. After two or three years teaching adult evening classes, she became for eight years a teacher of English Language and Literature at a lycée for women, then General Inspectress of Public Charities at the Ministry of the Interior. This information is derived from the description of herself in France from Within (1912). Like that book, her novels set out to explore the differences between the two cultures, especially as they affect the education, marriage, and employment of women. Elizabeth Davenay (1909) describes the predicament of a French feminist, a teacher, young, pretty, and educated in England. She interviews a prostitute, deplores the double standard in sexual morality, and helps set up a feminist newspaper. Discussing the emancipation of women with an English suffragist friend, she argues that the English are too mealy-mouthed to recognize the central importance of sex; feminists cannot be expected simply to abstain. But she has to give up her own lover: ‘he is still strongly imbued with all the old ingrained and backward ideas concerning the relations between men and women.’ Eve Norris (1907) is similar in its Paris and London settings, themes, and conclusions. The Education of Jacqueline (1910) and its sequel, Pomm's Daughter (1914), describe the upbringing of girls in France. Pratz was the correspondent of Le Petit Parisien and the Daily News, and contributed to the Woman's World while her friend Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) was its editor; she saw him in Paris shortly before his death.

From The Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.