Vincent O’Sullivan (1868-1940) was born into a prosperous Irish American family in New York and moved to London as a child.
Vincent spent much of his life in the demi-monde world that is the setting of The Good Girl. While in Paris he was friends with Oscar Wilde, Leonard Smithers, Aubrey Beardsley and other fin-de-siècle personalities.
The Good Girl was first published in 1912 to a mixed reception. Some newspapers described it as “revolting”, “unclean” and “ugly and depressing”. Many authors of the time thought it distinctive and a work of genius.
The writer Robert Aickman wrote of O’Sullivan that: “The curious should try to find a copy of his novel, The Good Girl. The quest is difficult, but the product distinctive … having lived a longish life as a more or less well-to-do rentier, in latish middle age found himself ruined, wrote his last book under terrible conditions, and, dying in Paris, ended anonymously in the common pit for the cadavers of paupers.”
A contemporary review of the book by the New York Times is included for historical interest.
Reviews for The Good Girl:
"It is not too much to say that The Good Girl is one of the top twenty best books by living American novelists"—New York Evening Post
"Its exceptional interest and quality are hereby commended to lovers of good fiction"—Life
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