- Deja Reviews: Florence King All Over Again (selected book reviews and essays) (2006)
- STET, Damnit! (National Review column anthology) (2002)
- The Florence King Reader (1995)
- Satan’s Child: A Survivor Tells Her Story to Help Others (1994) (under pseudonym Laura Buchanan)
- With Charity Toward None: A Fond Look at Misanthropy (1992)
- Lump It Or Leave It (1991)
- Reflections In a Jaundiced Eye (1989)
- Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady (1985)
- When Sisterhood Was in Flower (1982)
- He, An Irreverent Look at the American Male (1978)
- The Barbarian Princess (1977) (under pseudonym Laura Buchanan)
- WASP, Where Is Thy Sting? (1976)
- Southern Ladies and Gentlemen (1975)
by Brittany Forks (SHS) 2002
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. Another 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 book The Barbarian Princess was published under the pseudonym Laura Buchanan. Before King’s books were published, 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 book, Southern Ladies and Gentlemen, was published in 1975. King wrote several others until she wrote her most popular memoir 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 works, 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.
Florence King retired to her home in Fredericksburg, Virginia (Wilcoch).
In 2006, Florence King left retirement and resumed writing for National Review with a monthly column featuring her characteristic wry humor and insightful observations. Originally her column was called “The Misanthrope’s Corner,” but in 2007 the column became “The Bent Pin.”
A Review of The Florence King Reader
by Brittany Forks (SHS)
The Florence King Reader is a book that highlights all of King’s work in the past twenty-five years. It has excerpts from King’s books: Southern Ladies and Gentlemen , WASP, Where Is Thy Sting?, He: An Irreverent Look at the American Male, The Barbarian Princess, When Sisterhood Was in Flower, Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady,Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye, Lump It or Leave It, and With Charity Toward None: A Fond Look at Misanthropy. It also includes book reviews, articles from her column “The Misanthrope’s Corner” in theNational Review, articles from the Raleigh News & Observer, and uncollected articles. King also makes notes throughout the book giving readers her opinions on her work.
King makes several references to her other books without being obvious. All of her books revolve around a world that she has created and filled with southern belles named Kissypoo Carmichael and High Wasp wives such as Mrs. Jonesborough.
My favorite excerpt is from Southern Ladies and Gentlemen, where she recreates the ways of the South. Well…what in her mind are the ways of the South. With tales of the “town fairy” and the two distinct types of families (High WASP and Low WASP), I found The Barbarian Princess to be out of place in the book and set apart from the rest of the content of the book.
The book is hilarious and filled with King’s best work. It gives a new spin on Southern ideals. The articles most often have a most interesting opinion and kept my attention easily. I urge you to read this book.
- Read Miss King’s column “Misanthrope’s Corner” from the National Review.
- A Salute to Florence King, Matthew May in American Thinker (2012)
- King, Florence. The Florence King Reader . New York: St. Martins Press, 1995
- Wiloch, Thomas. “Florence King.” Gale Literary Databases. Starkville High School Lib. Starkville, MS. 6 March 2002.
< http://galenet.galegroup.com >
- Wittman, Kelly. “Florence King hates everyone, while readers love her.” 2001. 25 March 2002.
< http://nhnh.essortment.com/florenceking_rzkm.html >
- Webb, John. “Florence King” Ed. John Webb. 2000. 4 March 2002.
< http://w3.one.net/~muir/fk/ >