Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Strawberry Acres by Grace S. Richmond 1911 Women's Novel

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Title: Strawberry Acres

Author: Grace S. Richmond

Storyline: Spunky Sally Lane and her down-on-their-luck genteel family inherits a country estate from Uncle Max the banker.  What mysteries does the rambling house hold for our dear Sally?

Copyright: 1911

Publisher: A. L. Burt Company, New York

Format: Cloth-bound hardcover

Page Count: 366

Author Biography:

Richmond, Grace S. (b.1866–d.1959)  If you are the daughter of a clergyman, what does one do at the turn of the last century? Write! Grace sure did! Grace was a prolific commercial romance author, best known as the creator of the Dr. R.P. ("Red Pepper") Burns country doctor series.

Works include: The Indifference of Juliet (1902); The Second Violin (1907); With Juliet in England (1907); On Christmas Day in the Morning (1908); Round the Corner in Gay Street (1908); A Court of Inquiry (1909); On Christmas Day In The Evening (1910); Red Pepper Burns (1910); Strawberry Acres (1911); Brotherly House (1912); Mrs. Red Pepper (1913); Under the Christmas stars (1913); The Twenty-Fourth of June: Midsummer's Day (1914); Under the Country Sky (1916); The Brown Study (1917); Red Pepper's Patients (1917); The Enlisting Wife (1918); The Whistling Mother (1918); Red and Black (1919); The Bells of St. John's (1920); Rufus (1921); Foursquare (1922); Red of the Redfields (1924); Cherry Square (1926); Light's Up (1928); At the South Gate (1928); The Listening Post (1929); High Fences (1931); Red Pepper Returns (1931); Bachelor's Bounty (1932); Midsummer's Day (1934)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dr. Rumsey's Patient: A Very Strange Story by L. T. Meade and Dr. Halifax

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Title:  Dr. Rumsey's Patient (A Very Strange Story)

Author:  L. T. Meade (Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith) and Dr. Halifax
Storyline:  Definitely a story of its time! Old Norman English aristocracy marries West Indian creole with money (paging Mr. Rochester!), but this time the insanity gene from the swarthy Caribbean branch of the family is in the males of the country squire's line. Fast forward to the turn of the 19th century. Young beautiful ward of local village innkeepers, Miss Hetty, pines for potentially nutty aristocratic young squire, Mr Awdry, and jilts nouveau riche student vacationer, Mr. Frere, in the blink of an eye. Mr. Awdry rescues Miss Hetty from the inappropriate advances of erstwhile suitor, Mr. Frere. Quite a set-up for class tensions and romantic clashes. Miss Hetty should be careful what she wishes for! 

Copyright: 1896 

Publisher:  Hurst & Company 

Format:  Cloth-bound hardcover 

Page Count:  305

Author Biography:

Meade, L. T. (b.1854–d.1914) was the pen name of prolific Irish women's novel author Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith.  Daughter of a protestant clergyman, she moved to London and married Alfred Toulmin Smith in September 1879.  Author of more than 300 books, Meade's most popular best seller was A World of Girls (1886). Meade also edited the popular girls' magazine, Atalanta. Her work also appeared in magazines such as The Strand Magazine and Lady's Pictorial. Meade did some interesting work outside the romance novel genre. She collaborated with Robert Eustace on a number of mystery novels like The Brotherhood of the Seven Kings, which depicted gangsters with a female criminal mastermind as a boss, Madame Koluchy. Eustace and Meade wrote also The Sorceress of the Strand, about female criminal Madame Sara. Meade collaborated with an MD, Clifford Halifax, on Stories from the Diary of a Doctor. Although most well known for stories about girls at school, Meade in addition to mysteries, wrote "sentimental" fiction, religious stories, historical novels, adventure, romances, "sensational" stories. A feminist, Meade was a member of the  activist Pioneer Club. (Refs: Wiki, TomFolio.com)

Works Include: Ashton Morton (1866), David’s Little Lad (1877), A Knight of Today (1877), Bel Marjory: A Story of Conquest (1878), Water Lilies and Other Tales (1878), The Children’s Kingdom: The Story of a Great Endeavor (1878), Great St. Benedict’s: A Tale (1879), Laddie (1879), Dot and Her Treasures (1879), Andrew Harvey's Wife (1880), A Dweller in Tents (1880), The Floating Light of Ringfinnan, and Guardian Angels (1880), A Band of Three, Seaside Library (1882), How It All Came About (1883), The Children’s Pilgrimage (1883), Scarlet Anemone (1884), The Autocrat of the Nursery (1884), The Angel of Love (1885), A Little Silver Trumpet (1885), Beforehand (1887), Letters to Our Working-Party (1887), Deb and the Duchess: A Story for Boys and Girls (1888), The Golden Lady (1889), Frances Kane's Fortune, What Gold Cannot Buy (1890), The Heart of Gold (1890), Dickory Dock (1890), Hepsy Gipsy (1891), A Sweet Girl Graduate (1891), The Children of Wilton Chase (1891), Bashful Fifteen (1892), Jill, A Flower Girl (1892), Beyond the Blue Mountains (1893), Betty, A School Girl (1894), In an Iron Grip, 2 vols. (1894), Lettie’s Last Home (1895), Girls, New And Old (1895), Dr. Rumsey's Patient: A Very Strange Story (1896), The House of Surprises (1896), A Girl in Ten Thousand (1896), Bad Little Hannah (1897), Cave Perilous (1898), The Cleverest Woman in England (1898), All Sorts (1899), The Beresford Prize (1890), Catalina: Art Student (1897), A Bunch of Cherries: A Story of Cherry Court School (1898), The Desire of Men: An Impossibility (1899), A Brave Poor Things (1899), Daddy’s Girl (1900), The Girls of True Blue: A School Story (1901), The Blue Diamond (1901), The Cosey Corner, Or How They Kept A Farm (1901), The Girls of the Forest (1902), A Double Revenge (1902), Drift (1902), The Burden of Her Youth (1903), A Gay Charmer: A Story for Girls (1903), By Mutual Consent (1903), The Adventures of Miranda (1904), The Beauforts (1904), Castle Poverty (1904), At The Back of the World (1904), Bride of Tomorrow (1904), His Mascot (1905), A Bevy of Girls (1905), Bess of Delaney's (1905), Dumps: A Plain Girl (1905), The Colonel and the Boy (1906), A Golden Shadow (1906), The Face of Juliet (1906), The Girl and Her Fortune (1906), The Colonel’s Conquest (1907), The Chateau of Mystery (1907), A Girl from America (1907), The Curse of the Feverals (1907), The Court Harman Girls (1908), The Courtship of Sybil (1908), The Aim of Her Life (1908), Blue of the Sea (1909), Brother or Husband (1909), Alwyn’s Friends (1909), The Fountain of Beauty (1909), Belinda Treherne (1910), A Girl of Today (1910), The A. B. C. Girl (1910), Desborough’s Wife (1911), The Doctor’s Children (1911), The Girl from Spain (1911), A Bunch of Cousins and the Barn Boys (1911), Corporal Violet (1912), The Chesterton Girl Graduates: A Story for Girls (1913), Elizabeth’s Prisoner (1914), A Band of Mirth (1914), The Darling of the School (1915), The Daughter of a Soldier: A Colleen of South Ireland (1915), Better Than Riches (1917), Daughters of Today (1917), The Fairy Godmother (1917), and many more

Thursday, March 10, 2011

David the King by Gladys Schmitt Best-Seller Old Testament Novel

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Title:  David the King

Author:  Gladys Schmitt

Illustrator:  Cathal O'Toole (engravings)

Storyline:  The novelization of Old Testament great King David's life was kind of a big deal back in 1946, when already successful first time novelist, Gladys Schmitt, released her second book. Her version of David's story was translated into ten languages, and became a million seller as the main selection of the month for the Literary Guild and the Religious Book Club that year.

As was typical of early 20th Century American commercial literature that might be favored by, or marketed to women, the book was damned with faint praise or outright panned by the critics, but pleased readers with its dramatic and romantic retelling of Biblical events. It is pretty amusing to see Time Magazine's reviewer accuse her (or any author) of being middle brow.

Bad reviews from the literary establishment are not a problem for womens' books fans. David the King passed the word-of-mouth test between readers. Critics didn't cotton to the book's descriptions of maidens with heaving breasts and men clad in nothing but loin cloths, but Gladys Schmitt's audience loved the re-working of this well-known story; one of the tales that made the Bible a best seller!    

Copyright: 1946

Publisher: Dial Press

Format: Cloth-bound hardcover

Page Count: 631SKU: G11-29

Author Biography:

Schmitt, Gladys. (b.1909-d.1972) was a lifelong native of Pittsburgh, PA.  She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1932 and went on to work as an editor of Scholastic Magazine in both New York and Pittsburgh before taking an academic position at Carnegie Mellon Institute.  At Carnegie Mellon, she distinguished herself by founding the creative writing there. (Ref: Wiki, Time, Commentary)

Works Include: The Gates of Aulis (1942), David the King (1946, reprinted, 1973), Alexandra (1947), Confessors of the Name (1952), The Persistent Image (1955), A Small Fire (1957), Rembrandt (1961), The Heroic Deeds of Beowulf, Retold (juvenile) (1962), Electra (1965), Boris, the Lopsided Bear (juvenile) (1966), The Godforgotten (1972), Sonnets for an Analyst (1973)