Isobel Violet Hunt, known as Violet, was born in Durham, England, the daughter of William Albert Hunt, a landscape painter, and his wife Margaret Raine Hunt, a writer. The family moved to London when she was a small child. She grew up among the Pre-Raphaelite artists and writers, including the Rossettis, John Ruskin, and William Morris, and studied art. She became a feminist and campaigned for women's suffrage. She was a prolific writer of fiction and nonfiction. Her best-known work was probably The Wife of Rossetti (1932), a biography of Elizabeth Siddal, based on her own memories. Her first published novel was The Maiden's Progress (1894), a work of the "New Woman" genre that represented her ideals as feminist. It was followed by 16 more, including Sooner or Later (1904), The White Rose of Weary Leaf (1908), and The Tiger Skin (1924). She also wrote the supernatural short stories Tales of the Uneasy (1911). She presided over a renowned literary salon at South Lodge, her home in Campden Hill that included D.H. Lawrence, Rebecca West, Ezra Pound, Joseph Conrad, Henry James, and H.G. Wells. She lived with Ford Madox Ford (the pen name of Ford Hermann Hueffer) for about 8 years and collaborated with him in writing Zeppelin Nights (1915), a book of historical sketches. She is said to have been the model for Florence Dowell in Ford's novel The Good Soldier (1915) and Sylvia Tietjens in his 4-volume novel Parade's End (1924-1928). Her autobiography was entitled The Flurried Years (1926), published in the USA as I Have This To Say.