Victoria Manthorpe


Since 2004 Victoria Manthorpe has been Administrator of the Norwich Society, a role once performed by R.H. Mottram, author of The Spanish Trilogy.

Victoria prefers to work with new or unexplored material and her numerous articles reflect her interest in English regional writing, Norfolk history, British Imperial history, New Women, the Aesthetic Movement, Edwardian mysticism, and art history.

Educated at Branksome Hall School, Toronto and Sherborne School for Girls, she graduated from the University of Toronto in 1976 with a four-year Honours degree in History.  She majored in 19th-century English History and was awarded a Victoria University scholarship for excellence in History, but also studied English Literature and Art History. She worked as a theatre technician at the Shaw Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake and at Bill Glassco’s Tarragon Theatre which championed new writing in Toronto. Returning to England, Victoria started work in ITV as a promotion writer moving on to corporate scriptwriting and research.

Her first foray into publishing was researching and editing hitherto unknown manuscripts: The Japan Diaries of Richard Gordon Smith (Viking/Rainbird 1986). Returning to television she wrote and co-produced King Romance, a one-hour drama/documentary on the life and filmed novels of Sir Henry Rider Haggard (Seventh House Films 1993). Later she wrote about his nine siblings in Children of the Empire: The Victorian Haggards (Gollancz, 1996).

In 2004 she graduated from the University of East Anglia with an MA (Distinction) in Life Writing and winning the UEA prize for best Dissertation. Biography With Intent focused on Professor Ernest Weekley (husband of Frieda) and was short-listed for the PFD biography prize. An essay based on her dissertation was published by the Journal of the DH Lawrence Studies Volume 2, Number 2 (2010).

Victoria is also a fiction writer and has had several stories published under a pseudonym. She is currently writing a comic romance.

She devised a rural dérive at Holkham and created Sous Les Pavés: The Beach. Psychogeography at Holkham Hall – a Power Point presentation at the Norwich Arts Centre (2006).  The London Magazine published her article “The Old Straight Track of the Artist’s Mind” on an exhibition of paintings by the  Norwich School of Painters in 2008.

In 2009 she gave a paper on biographical approaches to C.J. Jung (Did You Myth Me?)  at the ‘History, Mystery and Myth’ conference at UEA and has contributed a biography of H. Rider Haggard KBE (1856-1925) to The Literary Encyclopedia:

Victoria was a founding member and chair of the Norfolk County Council committee for the Development of Literature in Norfolk (1998-2001) and was Chairman of East Anglian Writers (2006-2011).

She is writing a biography of the countrywoman and author, Lilias Rider Haggard.