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Frances Winwar

Frances Winwar (née Francesca Vinciguerra; 3 May 1900 – 24 July 1985), was a Sicilian-born American biographer, translator, and fiction writer.



Winwar was born Francesca Vinciguerra in Taormina, Sicily and came to the United States through Ellis Island in June 1907.[1] Her pseudonym Winwar is an Anglicization of her birth name; she was required to change her name as a condition of publishing her first book.[2]

She is best known for her series of romanticized biographies of nineteenth century English writers. She was also a frequent translator of classic Italian works into English and published several romantic novels set during historical events.[1]

In the 1930s and 1940s, Winwar was an outspoken opponent of Italian Fascism.[1]

Selected published worksEdit

  • 1927: The Ardent Flame, New York: Century; OCLC 335475032
  • 1928: The Golden Round, New York: Century; OCLC 3039718
  • 1929: Pagan Interval, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill
  • 1930: (translation) The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, New York: Limited Editions Club
  • 1931: (translation) Simon Boccanegra, New York: Fred Rullman
  • 1933: Poor Splendid Wings: The Rossettis and Their Circle, Boston: Little, Brown
  • 1935: The Romantic Rebels, Boston: Little, Brown
  • 1937: Gallows Hill, New York: Holt
  • 1938: Farewell the Banner, ..."Three Persons and One Soul"...: Coleridge, Wordsworth and Dorothy, New York: Doubleday, Doran
  • 1938: Puritan City: The Story of Salem, New York: Robert M. McBride
  • 1940: Oscar Wilde and the Yellow Nineties, New York: Harper
  • 1941: American Giant: Walt Whitman and His Times, New York: Harper
  • 1943: The Sentimentalist: A Novel, New York: Harper
  • 1947: George Sand and Her Times: The Life of the Heart—A Biography, Garden City: Garden City Publishing
  • 1948: The Saint and the Devil: Joan of Arc and Gilles de Rais—A Biographical Study in Good and Evil, New York: Harper
  • 1949: (edited) Ruotolo, Man and Artist, New York: Liveright
  • 1950: (translation) Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle, Don Carlo (opera in four acts), New York: Fred Rullman; OCLC 421454687
  • 1951: The Immortal Lovers: Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning—A Biography, New York: Harper
  • 1952: The Land of the Italian People: Illustrated from Photos, Philadelphia: Lippincott
  • 1953: The Eagle and the Rock, New York: Harper
  • 1953: Napoleon and the Battle of Waterloo, [reprinted in 1967 as All about Napoleon], New York: Random House
  • 1954: The Last Love of Camille: A Novel, New York: Harper
  • 1954: Queen Elizabeth and the Spanish Armada, New York: Random House
  • 1956: Wingless Victory: A Dual Biography of Gabriele d'Annunzio and Eleanore Duse, [reprinted in 1957 as Wings of Fire: A Biography of Gabriele d'Annunzio and Eleonore Duse], New York: Harper
  • 1959: The Haunted Palace: A Life of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: Harper
  • 1959: Cupid, the God of Love, New York: Random House
  • 1961: Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Conscience of an Era, New York: Random House
  • 1948: Joan of Arc; OCLC 300010555
  • 1957: Elizabeth: The Romantic Story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, World Publishing OCLC 993216534
  • Elizabeth: A Biography
  • In the Shadow of a Saint


Her husbands were:

  1. V.J. Jerome (né Jerome Isaac Romaine; 1896–1965), writer, communist propagandist (married 1919);
  2. Bernard David N. Brebanier (1903–1977), educator (married 1925; divorced 1942);
  3. Richard Wilson Webb (1901–1966), mystery novelist[3] (married 1943);
  4. Francis Dupond Lazenby, PhD (1916–2003) (married 1949; divorced 1953); after divorcing; Lazenby, in 1955, joined the faculty at the University of Notre Dame; in 1971, after 25 years at Notre Dame, while Associate Professor of Modern and Classical Languages; Notre Dame named him Professor Emeritus.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Wepman, Dennis (2010). "Winwar, Frances". American National Biography Online:. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  2. ^ Barolini, Helen (1985). The Dream Book: An Anthology of Writings by Italian American Women. Schocken Books. p. 6. ISBN 0-8052-3972-3.
  3. ^ "Frances Winwar Wed To Richard W. Webb; Novelist and Mystery Writer Married in Rahway, N. J.". New York Times. 22 May 1943.
  4. ^ "Frances Winwar". LibraryThing. 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012.

Further readingEdit