September 16th, 2011

Writers, be humbled by this

A short time back, my bookstore acquired an astonishing collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century autographs. These were contained in a large album (labeled, astonishingly, "Volume 3") and included around 300 signatures, most from authors who were popular at the time.

There were a few stand-outs - seeing Knut Hamsun, for example, was kind of awe-inspiring - but it took me the better part of a week to identify these signatures and the authors.

I've worked in bookstores since I was 14, and I've never heard of about half of these authors.

Amazingly (who DOES these things?!), many of them have pages at Wikipedia. I read phrases like "the most popular author of his day" over and over. And we are, a century later, and these writers, most of whom I'll bet - like most of us - hoped for some small measure of immortality via their work are already forgotten, consigned to the limbo of obscurity. It's a sobering thought, and I take it the way I take most things: As a sign to continually improve or die.

Here's the list. How many of these writers have you heard of?

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Page 1

Stanley J. Weyman - "The Prince of Romance" (The Hour of the Wolf)
John Townsend Trowbridge (Darius Green and His Flying Machine)
Kate Douglas Wiggin (Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm)
Marion Harland (Common Sense in the Household: A Manual of Practical Housewifery)
Edgar Saltus (The Paliser Case)
Mary Hollock Foote (journalist)
Mary J. Holmes (The English Orphan)
Adeline Sergeant (Women Novelists of Queen Victoria's Reign)
M. E. Braddon (Lady Audley's Secret)
Robert Grant - judge and novelist, reviewed the Sacco and Vanzetti case
Cyrus Townsend Brady (Indian Fights and Fighters)

Page 2

John Habberton (Romance of California Life)
Gertrude Atherton (The Doomswoman)
Margaret Deland (John Ward, Preacher)
Pearl Mary Teresa Craigie - aka John Oliver Hobbes (Tales About Temperament)
Lew Wallace (Ben-Hur)
B. L. Farjeon - journalist
? (Margaret Reid?)
George Meredith - poet and novelist (The Egoist)
Ian Maclaren (Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush)
Sarah Orne Jewett (The Queen's Twin and Other Tales)
Mary E. Wilkins - aka Mary Wilkins-Freeman (Collected Ghost Stories)
Beatrice Harraden - writer and suffragette
Rebecca Harding Davis - "pioneer of realism in American literature" (Life in the Iron Mills)

Page 3

? (possibly Henry L. Stimson, American statesman)
Amelia Edwards - travel writer
Adeline Whitney - children's writer and suffragette
Ernest Thompson Seton (Wild Animals I Have Known)
Joris-Karl Huysmans (La Bas)
Robert W. Chambers (The King in Yellow)
Henry B. Fuller (The Cliff-Dwellers)

Page 4

David Christie Murray (The Penniless Millionaire)
Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess)
Mrs. Burton Harrison - aka Constance Cary Harrison, aka "Refugitta" (The Well-bred Girl in Society)
F. Marion Crawford (Wandering Ghosts)
G. W. Cable (Old Creole Days)
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
Paul Bourget (Le Fantome)
Amelia E. Barr (The Measure of a Man)
Amelie Rives (The Quick or the Dead?)
Thomas Nelson Page (The Old South)
Hjalmar H. Boyesen (Norse Tales)

Page 5

Octave Thanet - aka Alice French (Expiation)
Egerton Castle (Our Sentimental Garden)
Rosa Campbell Praed (The Soul of Nyria)
Irving Bacheller - founded first modern newspaper syndicate (The Light in the Clearing)
Robert Barr (The Measure of the Rule)
? (possibly Martin Martin, 18th century Scottish writer)
Maxwell Gray - aka Mary Gleed Tuttiett (The Silence of Dean Maitland)
Benito Pérez Galdós - leading Spanish realist novelist (Novelas españolas contemporáneas
Octave Thanet - see above
Agnes Egerton Castle - wife and co-author of Egerton Castle (see above)
Booth Tarkington (The Magnificent Ambersons)
Julian Hawthorne - author and son of Nathaniel Hawthorne

Page 6

Paul Leicester Ford (The Honorable Peter Stirling)
Thomas Hughes (Tom Brown's School Days)
Florence M. Kingsley (Titus: A Comrade of the Cross)
Stewart Edward White (Blazed Trail Stories)
Robert Herrick (Web of Life)
Charles W. Gordon - aka Ralph Connor (The Sky Pilot)
Richard Whiteing (No. 5 John Street)
James Payn (The Heir of the Ages)
Rose Terry Cooke (Somebody's Neighbors)
Anne de Selincourt - aka Anne Douglas Sedgwick (The Little French Girl)
Arthur Morrison - creator of Martin Hewitt detective series

Page 7

Owen Wister (The Virginian)
? (looks like Arnold Tenney, but there is no author by that name)
Emmuska Orczy - aka Baroness Orczy (The Scarlet Pimpernel)
? (looks like Henry Sydney Harrison, but no author by that name)
Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach - one of the most important German-language writers of the latter portion of the 19th century.
Romain Rolland (Jean-Christophe)
Joseph Lauff - German poet and dramatist
Paul Adam - French historical novelist
Charles Sheldon (In His Steps)
Hall Caine
Peter Rosegger - Austrian poet
Basil King (The Inner Shrine)
Salvatore Farina - Italian novelist similar to Dickens
Lucy Clifford - wife of famed mathematician and philosopher William K. Clifford

Page 8

Fredrika Bremer - Swedish author and activist
Ouida - aka Maria Louise Rame (Under Two Flags)
Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (Two Years Before the Mast)
? (looks like Helen Hunt, but is not Helen Hunt Jackson)
Ellen Glasgow (The Descendant)
? (looks like Weir Mitchell, but no author found with that name)
? (looks like Richard B. Kimball, but no author with that name)
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
George MacDonald (At the Back of the North Wind)
Sara J. Lippincott (Treasures from Fairyland)
Leonard Merrick (The Position of Peggy Harper)
Julia Magruder (Across the Chasm)

Page 9

Edgar Fawcett (Solarion)
Ruth McEnery Stuart (The Story of Babette)
Henry Harland (The Cardinal's Snuff-box)
Amelie Rives (see page 4)
Mary Hartwell Catherwood (Old Caravan Days)
Sylvanus Cobb, Jr. (Fernando: or, the Moor of Castile)
John Luther Long ("Madame Butterfly")

Page 10

Thomas A. Janvier (In Old New York)
John Fox, Jr. (The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come)
Betty de la Pasture (Peter's Mother)
Florence Marryat (The Spirit World)
Gilbert Parker (Pierre and His People)
James Lane Allen (A Kentucky Cardinal)
W. Harrison Ainsworth (Rookwood)
E. L. Bulwer - aka Edward Bulwer-Lytton (The Last Days of Pompeii)
Rex Beach (The Spoilers)
Eden Phillpotts (Sons of the Morning)
Charles Norris Williamson (It Happened in Egypt)
Alice Williamson - co-writer with Charles Norris Williamson
Robert Smythe Hichens (The Garden of Allah)

Page 11

Richard Harding Davis (Notes of a War Correspondent)
E. D. E. N. Southworth (The Hidden Hand)
H. Rider Haggard (She)
Edward E. Hale ("The Man Without a Country")
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward - author and suffragette (Beyond the Gates)
Harriet Prescott Spofford (The Amber Gods and Other Stories)
Hamlin Garland (A Daughter of the Middle Border)
J. M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
F. A. Steel (English Fairy Tales)
Augusta Evans Wilson (St. Elmo)
William Clark Russell (The Phantom Death)
Charles King (Daughter of the Sioux)

Page 12

W. D. Howells (The Rise of Silas Lapham)
Sir Francis Hopkinson Smith (The Fortunes of Oliver Horn)
E. W. Hornung (Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman)
Harold Frederic (The Market Place)
Anthony Hope Hawkins - aka Anthony Hope (The Prisoner of Zenda)
John Strange Winter - aka Henrietta E. V. Stannard (The Christmas Fairy and Other Stories)
Charles Dudley Warner (The Gilded Age, co-authored with Mark Twain)
Francis Hopkinson Smith - see above
H. B. Marriott Watson (The Stone Chamber)

Page 13

Emilia Pardo Bazan (Vampiro)
W. W. Jacobs ("The Monkey's Paw")
R. D. Blackmore (Lorna Doone)

(Loose behind page 13)

Rhoda Broughton (The Game and the Candle)
A. W. Tourgee (A Fool's Errand, by One of the Fools)
Israel Zangwill (Children of the Ghetto: A Study of a Peculiar People)

Will N Harben (The Cottage of Delight)
Marcel Prevost (Le Scorpion)

Page 14

Charles Major (When Knighthood was in Flower)
Armando Palacio Valdes (El señorito Octavio)
Bettina von Hutten (The Halo)
Maurice Barres (Le Voyage de Sparte)
William De Morgan (Joseph Vance)
Matilda Betham-Edwards (The White House By the Sea)
Friedrich Spielhagen (Sturmflut)
Lloyd Osbourne (The Wrecker, co-authored with Robert Louis Stevenson)
Winston Churchill - American novelist, NOT the British statesman (The Celebrity)
Olive Logan (Get Thee Behind Me Satan!)
Matilda Betham-Edwards - see above
Rene Bazin (Une tache d'encre)
Anna Katherine Green (Rohlfs) (The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow)

Page 15

Ada Ellen Bayly - aka Edna Lyall (To Right the Wrong)
Algernon Blackwood (The Centaur)
Horace Annesley Vachell (Bunch Grass)
Sarah Grand (The Winged Victory)
George du Maurier (Trilby)
Louis Tracy (The Stowmarket Mystery)
Florence Warden (The House on the Marsh)
J. D. Beresford (The Hampdenshire Wonder)

Page 16

George Moore (A Story-Teller's Holiday)
Victor Margueritte (La Garçonne)
St. John G. Ervine (George Bernard Shaw)
Henry Bordeaux (La Peur de vivre)
Edward Eggleston (The Faith Doctor)
J.-H. Rosny aîné - considered one of the founding fathers of modern science fiction (La Force Mystérieuse)
Georges Ohnet (La Grande Marnière)
Paul Margueritte - brother and co-writer to Victor (see above)
Jeffery Farnol - one of the originators of the Regency romance novel (The Amateur Gentleman)
W. L. George (A Bed of Roses)

Page 17

? (looks like Octave O'Reilly, but no matches to that name)
John Blackwood - famous Scottish publisher
Constance Fletcher - aka Constance Spry (Flowers in House and Garden)
Selma Lagerlof - first female author to win Nobel Prize in Literature (The Wonderful Adventures of Nils)
Leonid Andreyev (He Who Gets Slapped)
Edward Payson Roe (The Home Acre)
Richard Henry Savage - served as inspiration for character of Doc Savage (My Official Wife)
? (envelope)
Edmondo De Amicis (Heart)
Jessie Fothergill (The First Violin)
Archibald C. Gunter - American playwright and journalist
Joseph Henry Shorthouse (John Inglesant)
George Fleming (The Practical Horse Keeper)
William Le Queux (The Great War in England in 1897)
Henry Greville - aka Mrs. Alice Durand (Dosia)

Page 18

Alfred Ollivant (Bob, Son of Battle)
? (looks like Albert Cameron, but there is no author by that name)
Harold Bindloss (In the Niger Country)
Mary A. Ward (Robert Elsmere)
Walter Besant (The Monks of Thelema)
Olive Schreiner (The Story of an African Farm)
Arnold Bennett (The Grand Babylon Hotel)
May Sinclair (The Allinghams)
William McFee (Letters from an Ocean Tramp)

Page 19

Harold Bell Wright (The Devil's Highway)
Alice Hegan Rice (Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch)
Henry M. Blossom Jr. - American lyricist
Rupert Hughes (The Biographical Dictionary of Musicians)
Charles M. Sheldon (see page 7)
Alice Brown ("The Golden Baby")
Mary Roberts Rinehart (The Bat)
Ernest Poole (His Family)

Page 20

Octave Uzanne (Le bric-à-brac de l'amour)
Rene Doumic (De Scribe à Ibsen)
Georges Duhamel (Confession de Minuit)
Antonio Fogazzaro (Piccolo Mondo Antico)
Berthold Auerbach (Black Forest Village Stories)
Emile Bergerat (Contes de Caliban)
Henri Barbusse (Le Feu)

Page 21

Meredith Nicholson (The Port of Missing Men)
Zona Gale - first woman to win Pulitzer Prize for Drama
James Branch Cabell (Jurgen)
Harry Leon Wilson (Ruggles of Red Gap)
Emerson Hough (Story of the Cowboy)
Mary Stanbery Watts (The Rise of Jennie Cushing)
George Barr McCutcheon (Brewster's Millions)
Joseph C. Lincoln (Cape Cod Ballads and Other Verses)
Ellen Olney Kirk (Marcia)

Page 22

Florence L. Barclay (The Rosary)
W. B. Maxwell (The Ragged Messenger)
Anatole Le Braz (The Songs of Brittany)
E. V. Lucas (Highways and Byways in Sussex)
Stephen McKenna (The Reluctant Lover)
Marcelle Tinayre (Madame de Pompadour)
Sara Jeannette Cotes - aka Sara Jeannette Duncan (The Imperialist)
Fergus Hume (The Mystery of a Hansom Cab)
Knut Hamsun (Hunger)

Page 23

Owen Johnson ("The Lawrenceville Stories")
Mary Austin (The Land of Little Rain)
Gene Stratton-Porter (A Girl of the Limberlost)
Edward Lucas White (Lukundoo and Other Stories)
Bertha Runkle (The Helmet of Navarre)
Dorothy Canfield Fisher (A Montessori Mother)

Page 24

Arthur Stuart-Menteth Hutchinson (This Freedom)
Sheila Kaye-Smith (The End of the House of Alard)
Oliver Onions - aka George Oliver (The Beckoning Fair One)
Rafael Sabatini (Scaramouche)
Henry De Vere Stacpoole (The Blue Lagoon)
E. Temple Thurston (The City of Beautiful Nonsense)

Page 25

Floyd Dell (Little Accident)
Kathleen Norris (My Best Girl)
James Oliver Curwood (The Grizzly King)
Charles G. Norris (Salt)
Willa Cather (My Antonia)
Homer Croy (They Had to See Paris)
Louis Joseph Vance ("The Lone Wolf" series)

Page 26

Gustav Frenssen (Jörn Uhl)
Grazia Deledda - won Nobel Prize for Literature
Felix Salten (Bambi)
J. Alvarez Quintero (Los Galeotes)
Lion Feuchtwanger (The Life of Edward II of England, co-authored with Bertolt Brecht)
Jakob Wassermann (Melusine)
Serafin Alvarez Quintero - brother to J. Alvarez Quintero

Page 27

(probably) Rose Hawthorne Lathrop - known as a social worker, wrote a few poems
Myrtle Reed (Lavender and Old Lace)
John Dos Passos (U.S.A.)
Thornton Wilder (Our Town)
George Parsons Lathrop (Rose and Rose-tree)
James R. Gilmore (Personal Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln)
? (possibly John C. Hamilton, author of History of the Republic of the United States of America0
Julia Peterkin - Pulitzer Prize winner (Scarlet Sister Mary)
Thomas Dixon Jr. (The Clansman)
Marie Van Vorst (Amanda of the Mill)
George Barr McCutcheon (see page 21)
Temple Bailey (The Dim Lantern)

Page 28

William Black (A Daughter of Heth)
? (probably Bertram Mitford, Through the Zululand)
A. E. W. Mason (The Four Feathers)
Silas K. Hocking (Alec Green)
Anthony Trollope (Chronicles of Barsetshire)
Seamus MacManus (Ballads of a Country Boy)
Elinor Glyn (It)
Harold Brighouse (Hobson's Choice)
Joseph Hocking - brother to Silas Hocking (The Birthright)

Page 29

Louis Madelin (Le Rome de Napoleon)
Andre Maurois (Lelia, or the Life of George Sand)
Pierre Loti (My Brother Yves)
Alphonse Daudet (Jack)
Jules Romains (Men of Good Will)
Edouard Estounie (The Call of the Road)
Rene Boylesve (Elise)
Maurice Leblanc - creator of Arsene Lupin

Page 30

Lloyd Osbourne - see page 14
Robert Herrick - see page 6
Owen Wister - see page 7

Page 31

J. B. Priestley (An Inspector Calls)
Gilbert Frankan (Peter Jackson, Cigar Merchant)
Leonard Merrick (The Passion of Peggy Harper)
Rose Macaulay (The World My Wilderness)
Storm Jameson (The Pot Boils)
Compton Mackenzie (Whisky Galore)
J. S. Fletcher (The Middle Temple Murder)

Loose in rear

Marguerite Audoux (The Studio of Marie-Claire)
Roark Bradford (The Three-Headed Angel)
Louis Bromfield - won Pulizer Prize (A Modern Hero)
Gertrude Atherton (The Californians)
Helen R. Martin (Tillie, a Mennonite Maid)