Cory, Adela Florence Nicolson

Cory, Adela Florence Nicolson (1865 - 1904)


Adela Florence Cory was born on April 9, 1865, at Stoke Bishop, Gloucestershire, to Colonel Arthur Cory and Fanny Elizabeth Griffin. She was brought up by relations in England and attended school in Richmond near London while her father, in the Bombay army, was posted in Lahore, India. Once she reached sixteen, she joined him first in Lahore and then in Karachi, where she and her sisters, Isabell and Vivian (a novelist whose pen-name was to be Victoria Cross), helped him edit the Sind Gazette. Colonel Malcolm Hassels Nicolson, a Bombay army veteran, and Adela (at 23, half his age), wed in 1889; and she accompanied him as he served in the northwest. They settled down in Army headquarters in Mhow once he was promoted to General. There, using the pseudonym Laurence Hope, she wrote much of her verse. Between 1900 and her death on Oct. 4, 1904, she and Nicolson lived alternately in England, South Africa, and India. Her first book of poems, The Garden of Kama (1901) -- the Indian god of love -- brought her immediate celebrity and the admiration of writers like Thomas Hardy. Two months after her husband died in an operation, Adela took poison and died, 39 years old, in Madras, leaving a son who was to edit her selected poems in 1922. She left a volume of Last Poems yet unpublished, dedicated to her late husband with a poem that closed:

Small joy was I to thee; before we met
Sorrow had left thee all too sad to save.
Useless my love -- as vain as this regret
That pours my hopeless life across thy grave.

  • Bickley, F. L. “Nicolson , Adela Florence (1865-1904).” Rev. Sayoni Basu. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004.
  • Hope, Laurence. Collected Love Lyrics. 1929.
  • --. The Garden of Kama And othe Love Lyrics from India. 1901; London: William Heinemann, 1917. PR 6027 I37G3 1917 Robarts Library. Also India's Love Lyrics, Including The Garden of Kama. New York: John Lane, 1901.
  • --. Last Poems: Translations from the Book of Indian Love. 1905; New York: John Lane, 1912. PR 6027 I37L3 Robarts Library. Also Indian Love. London: William Heinemann, 1905.
  • --. Selected Poems from The Indian Love Lyrics of Laurence Hope. London: William Heinemann, 1922. PR 6027 I37A6 1922 Robarts Library
  • --. Laurence Hope's Poems. New York: Paul R. Reynolds, 1907.
  • --. Stars of the Desert. 1903; New York: John Lane, 1914. PR 6027 I37S7 1914 Robarts Library
  • Marx, Edward. "Laurence Hope Web Site." Kyoto University, 2001-.
  • --. "Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Cory Nicolson)." Late Nineteenth- And Early Twentieth-Century British Women Poets (Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 240). Ed. William Thesing. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001. 88-93.
  • --. "Violet Nicolson." An Encyclopedia of British Women Writers. Ed. Paul Schlueter and June Schlueter. New York: Garland, 1999.
Given Name
Adela Florence Nicolson
Family Name
Hope, Laurence
Birth Date
April 9, 1865
Death Date
October 4, 1904
Family Relations
father : Arthur Cory
mother : Fanny Elizabeth Cory
sister : Isabell Cory
sister : Vivian Cory
husband : Malcolm Hassels Nicolson
son : Malcolm Josceline Nicolson
  • Journalist

Literary Period
Literary Movement
Cause of Death
First RPO Edition