Florence King

1936 -

Florence King, a little known author and misanthrope was born on January 5, 1936, in Washington D.C., to Herbert Frederick and Louise Ruding King. King was raised in Tidewater, Virginia, by her grandmother. She  is an active Episcopalian, member of Phi Alpha Theta, and her political preference is Royalist. Her interests include Gay Nineties and turn-of-the-century popular songs (Wiloch). Florence King describes herself as being a "conservative lesbian feminist" (Wittman).

    College was a time of new experiences for King. She slept with both sexes, including her male professor. She joined a sorority only to be thrown out because she professed she was a lesbian (Wittman). She graduated from American University in 1957 with a Bachelor of Art degree (Wilcoch). After college she trained at the Woman Officer Candidate School in Quantico to become a marine but never completed the training (Wittman). She then began graduate studies at the University of Mississippi, in Oxford, Mississippi (Wilcoch). There she fell in love with a young woman, who was later killed in a car accident. After this tragic event, King began to put more interest in writing (Wittman).

    King had several occupations before she began writing as a career. In the mid 1950’s, she  was a history teacher in Suitland, Maryland. Later in the decade, she was a file clerk at the National Association of Realtors. From 1964 to 1967, King was a feature writer for the Raleigh News and Observer. While at the Raleigh News and Observer , King received the North Carolina Press Woman Award for reporting.  Her last job was the assistant editor of Uncensored Confessions from 1967 to 1968.

    During Florence King’s career, she has written under several pseudonyms including Cynthia, Veronica King, Emmett X. Reed, Niko Stavros, and Mike Winston. King’s novel, The Barbarian Princess, was published under the pseudonym Laura Buchanan. Before King started writing novels, she wrote mainly in magazines, many times under a pseudonym. Florence King has written for Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s and National Review, and she currently writes for National Review (Wiloch).

    Florence King's first novel, Southern Ladies and Gentlemen, was published in 1975. King wrote several novels until she wrote her most popular book to date, Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady. Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady is King's autobiography. The book ends with King in her twenties (Webb). Her next two novels, Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye and Lump It or Leave It, are collections of  essays (Wittman). Her most current book is The Florence King Reader.

    For the last several years Florence King has kept to herself in her home in Fredericksburg, Virginia (Wilcoch).


Major Works

·            Southern Ladies and Gentlemen (1975)

·            WASP, Where Is Thy Sting? (1976)

·            The Barbarian Princess (1977) (under pseudonym Laura Buchanan)

·            He, An Irreverent Look at the American Male (1978)

·            When Sisterhood Was in Flower (1982)

·            Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady (1985)

·            Reflections In a Jaundiced Eye (1989)

·            Lump It Or Leave It (1991)

·            With Charity Toward None: A Fond Look at Misanthropy (1992)

·             Satan's Child: A Survivor Tells Her Story to Help Others (1994) (under pseudonym Laura Buchanan)

·            The Florence King Reader (1995)