TRIVIA... Mrs Henry Wood's "East Lynne" has been adapted for the stage by at least nine playwrights. It was first adapted in the UK by W Archer and produced at the Effingham Saloon, Whitechapel in 1864, under the title "The Marriage Bells; or the Cottage on the Cliff"





TRIVIA... On 18th September 1881 the Mayor of Manchester gave a public dinner at the Town Hall in honour of Manchester's most famous literary son, Harrison Ainsworth.





TRIVIA... Howard Sturgis in the Cornhill Magazine following Anne Thackeray Ritchie's death in 1919 hinted that her husband may have "helped her with her own work" despite the fact that her most fruitful period of writing came before she married him.





TRIVIA... The church, St Luke's Chelsea, used by Henry Kingsley in "The Hillyars and The Burtons" is the church that his father was rector of.





TRIVIA... Grant Allen's book "The Woman Who Did" (1895) was banned in Ireland by Messrs Easton & Son, "...[it] is an avowed defence of Free Love, and a direct attack upon the Christian view of marriage...we decline to be made the vehicle for the distribution of attacks upon the most fundamental institution of the Christian state.





TRIVIA... George Eliot on meeting Eliza Lynn Linton found her a "loveable person".





TRIVIA... Mrs Gaskell on Bulwer Lytton's "Paul Clifford" (1830) - "I have been reading Paul Clifford over again and am delighted with it as I believe I am with all Bulwer's works in spite of their alleged immorality."











TRIVIA... Queen Victoria commanded all Marie Corelli's novels to be sent to Balmoral.





TRIVIA... Lord Lytton's novel "Eugene Aram" was adapted for the stage by W G Wills (1828-91) who wrote it for Henry Irving. Lytton himself attempted a stage version but abandoned it after 2 acts.





TRIVIA... Harrison Ainsworth wrote of his novel "The Lord Mayor of London" - "Knowing the municipal authorities to be generally men of sterling character, of high intelligence and capacity, zealous in the discharge of their public duties, and energetic in the maintenance of the rights and privileges of the great city they represent, I have painted them as such." He objected to the way they were normally portrayed as caricatures.





TRIVIA... Henry Kingsley, novelist younger brother of Charles, was a wonderful flyfisher.





TRIVIA... George Eliot on Anne Thackeray Ritchie's book "The Story of Elizabeth" (1863) - "It is not so cheerful as Trollope, but is charmingly written."





TRIVIA... Mrs Gaskell on Douglas Jerrold, author of the novel "The History of St Giles and St James" (1845) - "I never heard anyone so witty as Douglas Jerrold, who is a very little deformed man with grey flowing hair, and very fine eyes."





TRIVIA... Marie Corelli sold about 100,000 copies of her books per year whilst her nearest rival Hall Caine sold around 45,000 and Mrs Humphry Ward 35,000!





TRIVIA... Apparently Marie Corelli's name has passed into Cockney rhyming slang as in to see something "on the Marie", ie "on the Marie Corelli - telly"





TRIVIA... Anne Thackeray Ritchie believed that fiction, in being able to engage women's sympathies and emotions, was able "to cheer one in dull hours, to soothe, to interest, and to distract from weary thoughts from which it is at times a blessing to escape."





TRIVIA... Charles Dickens and Bulwer Lytton co-founded "The Guild of Literature and Art" to help writers in "difficulties" - unfortunately it wasn't a great success...





TRIVIA... Between 1860 and 1916 M E Braddon published 85 books!





TRIVIA... Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu was uncle-in-law to Rhoda Broughton.





TRIVIA... A copy of "The Murder of Delicia" was found abandoned in the Boer trenches after the Battle of Colenso.





TRIVIA... Henry James called Anne Thackeray Ritchie, daughter of William Thackeray, a "woman of genius". As a young novice she had advised him, "Try to be one of those people on whom nothing is lost!"





TRIVIA... Bulwer Lytton at the opening of the Free Library in Manchester in 1852 (Britain's first public library), said that libraries were a "mighty arsenal...for books are weapons, whether for war or defence".





TRIVIA... Harrison Ainsworth's mistress who was a great huntswoman used to "quiz" the Cockney horsemen who came to their home, so Dickens used to mount and dismount out of sight!





TRIVIA... Dickens' house, Gad's Hill, previously belonged to the writer Eliza Lynn Linton.





TRIVIA... In 1889-90 a tiny church was founded in the USA on the doctrines of Marie Corelli's "A Romance of Two Worlds" and plans were drawn up to found a new town in Colorado to be called Corelli City.





TRIVIA... The author J P Muddock used the pseudonym Dick Donovan for a series of crime novels. He got the name from an eighteenth century Bow Street Runner.





TRIVIA... Rosa N Carey had a pet cockateel that walked up and downstairs in answer to her call.





TRIVIA... The author Amelia Edwards helped to found the Egypt Exploration Fund, now the Egypt Exploration Society.





TRIVIA... The author William Sharp created an alter ego, Fiona Macleod, a Celtic bard whom he insisted was a real person, even giving her a separate entry from his own in Who's Who. Not until his death did it emerge that he was Fiona Macleod.





TRIVIA... S Baring-Gould wrote a two volume autobiography in which he makes no reference to himself as a novelist.





TRIVIA... The pseudonym of Charlotte Tucker was ALOE which stood for "A Lady of England".





TRIVIA... "Under Two Flags" by Ouida was made into a film in 1936 starring Ronald Colman as the hero and Claudette Colbert as "Cigarette". It was advertised with the slogan, "Love as burning as Sahara's sands!"





TRIVIA... The famous quotation "Dead! Dead! And never called me mother" was actually from a stage version of Mrs Henry Wood's "East Lynne" and never actually appears in the book.





TRIVIA... Punch published a skit on Ouida's novels by F C Burnand entitled "Strapmore!...by Weeder". Apparently she loved it.





TRIVIA... A cousin of George Moore's who was a Carmelite nun, begged him in the name of holiness to burn all his books.





TRIVIA... Marie Corelli's novel "the Sorrows of Satan" (1895) sold more copies than any English novel had ever done before.





TRIVIA... E Nesbit was a founder member of the Fabian Society.





TRIVIA... Florence Marryat wrote her first novel "Love's Conflict" whilst most of her servants having fled, she nursed her children through scarlet fever.





TRIVIA... Mrs Lovett Cameron, author of "Juliet's Guardian" and "In a Grass Country" amongst others was a descendant of Sir Edmund Verney who lost his life fighting for King Charles I at the Battle of Edghill.





TRIVIA... Marie Corelli who lived for many years in Stratford on Avon employed a Gondolier from Vienna especially to punt her up the river Avon





TRIVIA... Apart from his novels Sabine Baring-Gould wrote, strangely enough, a book entitled "The Book of Werewolves" which gathers together legends and incidents from all over the world.





TRIVIA... Believe it or not there was a novel published in 1842 by Samuel Lover called "Handy Andy"...!





TRIVIA... Matilda Betham Edwards, the Suffolk novelist was a cousin of the Egyptologist and novelist Amelia Edwards.





TRIVIA... According to W H Smith, by the mid-1850s Bulwer Lytton was the most popular of all British novelists with the travelling public. 43. Queen Victoria was an avid reader of Captain Meadows Taylor's book about the Indian Thug assassins' cult, "The Confessions of a Thug" (1839). 44. Bram Stoker's mother on seeing a robber's hand reaching through a skylight severed it with one blow of an axe! 45. Sheridan Le Fanu was nicknamed "The Invisible Prince" after he became a virtual recluse following his wife's death. 46. In George Meredith's novel "Diana of the Crossways" (1885) the heroine is based in part on Caroline Norton whose husband sued Lord Melbourne in 1836 for "alienating his wife's affections". 47. The feminist author, Sarah Grand (real name Frances McFall) was mayor of Bath on six occasions. 48. Both "The Rose and the Key" by Sheridan Le Fanu and "Hard Cash" by Charles Reade feature that restraining device of 19th century lunatic asylums, the shower bath. 49. William Allison who was very much in to hunting and horses wrote under the pseudonym "Blinkhoolie"! 50. Arthur Machen's real name was the more banal sounding Arthur Jones. 51. "A Prison Matron" was the pseudonym used by the author and former classmate of Henry Irving, Fred Crick Robinson for 3 semi-fictional studies of prison conditions that inspired reform. 52. George Gissing's less famous younger brother Algernon was also a novelist with such titles as "A Moorland Idyll" (1891) and "The Scholar of Bygate" (1897). 53. Albert Smith, author of "The Adventures of Mr Ledbury" and "Christopher Tadpole" was a surgeon and apothecary. However, he only practiced for three years before working professionally as a writer on "Punch" among other magazines. 54. Marie Corelli was the only writer to be invited to Edward VII's Coronation, at the express wish of the King. 55. Henry Baskerville's house in "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (1902) was apparently based on S Baring-Gould's family mansion on Dartmoor. 56. Sheridan Le Fanu wrote much of his fiction in bed on various scraps of paper that lay to hand. 57. Arthur Machen, author of "The Great God Pan" brought out a translation of "Casanova's Memoirs" in 1894. 58. Miss Emily Symonds, who, as George Paston, wrote such novels as "A Bread and Butter Miss" (1894) and "A Fair Deceiver" (1897) was a cousin of John Addington Symonds who co-wrote "Sexual Inversion" with Havelock Ellis. 59. "Corisande" was the pseudonym of Alice Smith who was the daughter of the man of letters, William Blanchard Jerrold. 60. The prolific historical novelist GPR James was notorious for his "two horsemen" openings. 61. The novelist George Gissing makes a guest appearance in Peter Ackroyd's novel "Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem" (1994). 62. Charles Kingsley's novel "Hypatia" was adapted for the stage by Stuart Ogilvie and a production was mounted in 1892 with Julia Neilson as Hypatia, Fred Terry as Philammon and Lewis Waller as Orestes. 63. In 1843 Edward Bulwer Lytton forced through the Act which dissolved "Patent Theatres" - only these theatres up until then had been allowed to present full length classic drama without songs or musical divertissements. After this time theatres could produce whatever they wished. 64. George Sala, a contributor to both "Temple Bar" and "Household Words" and a writer of several mainstream popular novels also wrote much of a more dubious work entitled, "The Mysteries of Verbena House; or Miss Bellasis Birched for Thieving" (1882). 65. Elinor Glyn who wrote her first novel, "The Visits of Elizabeth" in 1900, declared that she considered it to be "quite normal in society circles for a married woman to have a succession of illicit love affairs, during the intervals of which, if not simultaneously, intimate relations with hr husband were resumed." 66. Mrs Humphry Ward was sitting in a train at Waterloo station after the publication of "Robert Elsmere" when a woman entering her compartment clutching a copy of it in its distinctive "Mudie" binding leaned out of the window and delightedly told her friend, "They told me no chance for weeks - not the slightest! Then - just as I was standing at the counter, who should come up but somebody bringing back the first volume. Of course it was promised...but I was there, I laid hands on it, and here it is!" 67. Charles Kingsley in his "Lectures to Ladies on Practical Subjects" (1855) declared that a woman's first duties [were] to her own family, her own servants." 68. Mudie's circulating library felt that they had certain standards to uphold and so were selective about what they chose - the criterion being "Would you or would you not give that book to your daughter of sixteen to read?" 69. Apparently Harrison Ainsworth's boyhood hero was Dick Turpin - presumably this was the reason he included him as a character in his first solo novel "Rookwood" (1834). 70. Marie Corelli's novel "Temporal Power" (1902), dedicated to Edward VII was to all intents and purposes a manual for him to see how he should rule... 71. When Charles Reade's novel, "The Wandering Heir" was first produced in London in 1874 the lead was played by the young Ellen Terry - the critics loved her but hated the play, "It would be almost wearying to sit it out, even if every actor in it were equal to Miss Terry." 72. George Meredith's novel, "The Ordeal of Richard Feverel" (1859) was withdrawn from Mudie's circulating library because of its frank treatment of sexual attitudes. He wrote to a friend, "I find I have offended Mudie and the British Matron...because of immoralities I depict! O canting age...Meantime I am tabooed from all drawing-room tables." 73. Charles Kingsley in a letter to Thomas Hughes, the author of "Tom Brown's Schooldays" gave him some advice on fishing, "never fish with the sun in your back." 74. Anne Thackeray, daughter of William, published her first novel, "The Story of Elizabeth" (1863) anonymously. 75. It took Harrison Ainsworth three years to write and publish his first really successful novel, "Rookwood". 76. In AEW Mason's novel, "Miranda of the Balcony" (1899) a character is caught reading Disraeli's novel "Henrietta Temple" and so is labelled a profound sentimentalist! 77. S Baring Gould's novel, "Red Spider" (1887) was in part inspired by something that happened to him as an infant. His "trusty nurse" had been carrying him across a brook on a plank bridge, when the plank broke and she, making no attempt to save herself held him over her head with both arms as she fell on the stones into the water. 78. Paper duty was abolished in 1861 allowing the subsequent massive growth in publications - books, periodicals etc - in the latter half of the 19th century. 79. Wordsworth, in 1849, was concerned that authors of "frantic novels" in particular were failing in their responsibility to society by feeding the average citizen's "craving for extraordinary incident" and "degrading thirst for outrageous simulation." 80. In the early 1860s Margaret Oliphant wrote of the rise in female authors that "stains of ink linger on the prettiest of fingers", and in response to the disparagement of their work wrote "though we laugh at it, patronize it, we continue to read, or somebody does." 81. Dinah Craik, writer of "John Halifax, Gentleman" took issue with George Eliot on Maggie Tulliver's death at the end of "The Mill on the Floss", asking what "is to become of the hundreds of clever girls" like Maggie who read the novel? 82. Mrs Eliza Grey seems to have been a great Bulwer Lytton fan. In her novel "Mary Seaham" (1852) she not only has one of her characters reading Lytton's "Eugene Aram" but she also quotes a complete description of one of his heroines to describe her heroine! 83. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch said of Charles Kingsley's "Westward Ho!" - "I can never read a dozen pages of [it] without wishing to put the book in the fire." 84. Ainsworth's first successful novel, "Rookwood" was adapted for the stage in 1840 by the prolific George Dibdin Pitt (1799-1855). 85. Lady Isabel, the errant wife in "East Lynne" was played by amongst other actresses Caroline Heath, the wife of Wilson Barrett who had written a novelisation of his own "The Sign of the Cross". 86. Anne Thackeray became her own father William's "secretary amanuensis" at the age of 15. 87. Maurice Kingsley, son of Charles, wrote that at home Charles' younger brother Henry was considered "undoubtedly the novelist of the family; the elder being more of the poet, the historian, and prophet". 88. WT Stead, editor of "The Review of Reviews" chose Grant Allen's "The Woman Who Did" (1895) as his "book of the month", in order to demonstrate that it gave the reader exactly the opposite opinion of life to that the author wishes to portray - "From the point of view of the fervent apostle of Free Love, this is a Boomerang of a Book" 89. ME Braddon, at the age of 26 went to live with the publisher John Maxwell who already had 5 children and a wife in a lunatic asylum. She bore him 6 children and married him 13 years later when is wife died. 90. George Eliot said of Disraeli's "Tancred" (1847) that it was more detestable than anything that "ever came from a French pen". 91. Eliza Lynn Linton's novel, "Realities" (1851) about the lower depths of the London theatre was deemed by Mrs Chapman as going too far beyond respectability for her husband to publish - despite the fact that she, herself, tolerated her husband's mistress in her home. 92. Bulwer Lytton's "Pelham" sold 46,000 copies between 1853 and 1858. 93. Mrs Humphry Ward following the success of "Robert Elsmere" (1888) and subsequent novels was able to live with her husband on a Hertfordshire estate, hosting tennis, shooting and golfing parties and employ 8 general servants, plus a driver who doubled as a gardener. 94. On offering to help the 22 year old Dinah Mulock, author of "John Halifax, Genetleman" by introducing her to some of her friends, Elizaeth Gaskell was repulsed by the reply that she was too busy writing. 95. Ella Hepworth Dixon, daughter of the editor of the "Athenaeum" remembered Geraldine Jewsbury, the author of "Zoe" (1845) - "her mass of red-brown hair, her spectacles and endless supply of cigaritos, her clothes made by a modish dressmaker and her earrings like immature parrots which swayed as she talked." 96. Mrs Alexander, author of amongst others, "Look Before You Leap" (1865) on being introduced to Marie Corelli curtseyed to her and said, "I have the honour of meting a genius". 97. When Marie Corelli heard that the novelist Ouida was living in poverty in Italy and had had to put her furniture up for sale, tried to help her by writing an article in the "Belgravia" magazine drawing attention to the neglects from which Ouida suffered and praising her achievements. 98. The author John Strange Winter took a stall at the Ice Carnival in the Albert Hall in March 1889 to sell her own novels and autographs. 99. The first words of the very first issue of the Girl's Own Paper were, "Zara, or, My Granddaughter's Money" - the title of the first story. 100. At one time Marie Corelli lived next door to George Meredith.
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