Charlotte Dacre (1782 - 1841) was a English author.
Most references to her today are under the name Charlotte Dacre, but she usually wrote under the pseudonym "Rosa Matilda." To confuse things even further, her maiden name was King. Born into an affluent London family, Charlotte Dacre married Nicholas Byrne, with whom she had three children. He was an editor and future partner of London's The Morning Post newspaper where the author Mary Darby-Robinson was the poetry editor and an influence on a young Charlotte Dacre who began her writing career by contributing poems to the Morning Post under the pseudonym "Rosa Matilda."
As a romance novelist, Dacre cast heroines in a way quite different from the norm of the early 1800s that called for ladies of decorum and good taste. Her style was more like that of the male authors of her era, creating aggressive and often physically violent female characters who demonstrate powerful sexual desires and ambition. Dacre usually constructed this behavior in a way that can be at least in part justified by the actions of others.
Of her four major novels, Zofloya is the most well known today, but sold well on its release in 1806 and was translated into both German and French. In this story, a female character stalks, brutally attacks, and then murders a girl whom she sees as a sexual rival. Yet, despite the brutality, the story has its underlying moral messages in that young women are warned against the dangers of lust.
In the literary world, Charlotte Dacre has remained in virtual obscurity for nearly two centuries. However, her work was admired by some of the literary giants of her day and her novels influenced Percy Shelley who thought highly of her style and creative skills.
Hours of Solitude (Poems) (1805)
Confessions of the Nun of St. Omer (1805)
The Libertine (1807)
The Passions (1811)