Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Romance of Two Worlds by Marie Corelli vintage Women's Novel

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Title: A Romance of Two Worlds

Author: Marie Corelli

Storyline: Corelli's first novel is a fantastic allegory which encompasses the author's (rumored) fictionalized autobiographical search for proto-new age religious and philosophical enlightenment. Of course, the critics hated it, but everyone else ate it up! Bored fin de siecle actresses flirt with the devil and then write about it. Shirley MacLaine has nothing on Marie Corelli!

Copyright: unstated, 1886

Publication: unstated, c.1909

Publisher: A. L. Burt Company, New York (Home Library Edition)

Format: Burgundy red cloth-bound hardcover with gilt lettering to spine

Page Count: 324

Author Biography:

Corelli, Marie  (b.1855–d.1924)  Born Mary Mackay in London, she was the illegitimate daughter of a well known Scottish poet and songwriter, Dr. Charles Mackay, and his servant, Elizabeth Mills. In 1866, the 11 year old Mary Mackay was sent to a Parisian convent to further her education (Wiki).  Already, her life was like the plot of a cheap novel! Later became a mid-19th Century publishing superstar who was loved by her readers (including the royal family and the Churchills). Like a mid-Victorian Danielle Steel, this bestselling author's works were judged to be over-the-top melodrama entirely without any literary merit by the critical establishment of the time. The name Marie Corelli dates from her early career on the musical stage (can't make this stuff up).

Works include: A Romance of Two Worlds (1886); Vendetta!; or, The Story of One Forgotten (1886); Thelma (1887); Ardath (1889); Wormwood: A Drama of Paris (1890); The Soul of Lilith (1892); Barabbas, A Dream of the Word's Tragedy (1893); The Sorrows of Satan (1895); The Mighty Atom (1896); The Murder of Delicia (1896); Ziska (1897); Boy (1900); Jane (1900); The Master-Christian (1900); Temporal Power: a Study in Supremacy (1902); God's Good Man (1904); The Strange Visitation of Josiah McNasson: A Ghost Story (1904); Treasure of Heaven (1906); Holy Orders, The Tragedy of a Quiet Life (1908); Life Everlasting (1911); Innocent, Her Fancy and His Fact (1914); The Young Diana (1918); The Secret Power (1921); Love and the Philosopher (1923)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Three Lives of Elizabeth by Shirley Seifert Pre-Civil War Romance

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Title: Three Lives of Elizabeth

Author: Shirley Seifert

Storyline: If you liked Gone With The Wind and other novels about women in the American Civil War period, you are sure to enjoy Shirley Seifert's Three Lives of Elizabeth. This technically accurate story is based on the life of Elizabeth Moss, a young Missouri widow who, through marriage, climbed up into antebellum Washington, DC and Kentucky high society. Elizabeth married once for love, once for money, and once again for position. The author leads the reader through a full gamut of action and excitement to the fulfillment of a long and extraordinary life.

Copyright: 1952

Publisher: J. B. Lippincott (Book Club Ed.)

Format: Cloth-bound hardcover

Page Count: 287

Author Biography:

Seifert, Shirley. Born 1888 in St. Peters, Missouri, west of St. Louis, author  Shirley Seifert lived and worked all her life in the region.  Like the Brontes, Shirley and her sisters, Adele Seifert and Elizabeth Seifert Gasparotti, all wrote fiction.

Shirley studied journalism at the University of Wisconsin. While completing her graduate studies, she became interested in writing fiction.  She sold her first short stories to American Magazine and The Saturday Evening Post. After her success with mass marketed periodicals, in the mid-1930s, Shirley focused her work full time to writing historical novel genre fiction, a number of which were well known and well reviewed.

Besides becoming a successful author, Shirley was also instrumental in founding the St. Louis Writer's Guild in 1920.  This support group of six accomplished writers in the area is still operating today.  (Ref: Goodreads, St. Louis Writer's Guild, Danya Shaikh)

Works Include: Land of Tomorrow: A Legend of Kentucky (1937), The Wayfarer (1938), Death Stops at the Old Stone Inn (1938), River out of Eden (1940), Waters of the Wilderness (1941), Those Who Go Against the Current (1943), Captain Grant (1946), Proud Way (1948), Turquoise Trail (1950), Three Lives of Elizabeth (1952), Farewell My General (1955), Let My Name Stand Fair (1956), Destiny in Dallas (1958), Grace Church, Kirkwood, Missouri: Its Story (1959), Look to the Rose (1960), By the King's Command (1962), Key to St. Louis (1963), The Senator's Lady (1967), The Medicine Man (1971), Never No More (1976)  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Peking Picnic by Ann Bridge 1932 First Edition Women's Novel

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Title: Peking Picnic

Author: Ann Bridge

Storyline: The setting is exotic 1930's China. Laura Leroy is an interesting and complex woman. She thought she left her Oxford life behind when she moved to Peking with her husband. But wait! An attractive professor from Cambridge arrives and draws Laura in, threatening her new world. What will happen at the picnic?

Copyright: 1932

Publication: 1932 First Edition

Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company, Boston

Format: Red cloth-bound hardcover with black lettering

Page Count: 355

Author Biography:

Bridge, Ann (b.1889-d.1974)  Born in the UK as Mary Anne O'Mally. Wrote novels about courtship based on her experiences living in Beijing, China with her diplomat husband. As she developed as a writer, she was noted for bringing to her novels emotional depth and a realistic portrayal of contemporary political environment.

Works include: Peking Picnic (1932); The Ginger Griffin (1934); Illyrian Spring (1935); Enchanter's Nightshade (1937); Four-Part Setting (1938); A Place to Stand (1940); Fontier Passage (1942); Frontier Passage (1942); Singing Waters (1943); And Then You Came (1948); The House At Kilmartin (1951); The Dark Moment (1951); A Family of Two Worlds: A Portrait of Her Mother (1955); The Lighthearted Quest (1956); The Portuguese Escape (1958); The Selective Traveller in Portugal (1958); Julia Involved: Three Julia Probyn Novels (1960); The Tightening String (1962); The Dangerous Islands (1963); Emergency in the Pyrenees (1965); The Episode at Toledo (1966); Facts and Fictions: Some Literary Recollections (1968); The Malady in Madeira (1970); Moments of Knowing (1970); Permission to Resign (1971); Julia in Ireland (1973)

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Flutes of Shanghai by Louise Jordan Miln 1928 Women's Novel

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Title: The Flutes of Shanghai

Author: Louise Jordan Miln

Storyline: Romance and adventure among Europeans and Chinese in Shanghai. A contemporary reviewer from The Pacific Affairs journal (v2#2, Feb 1929) thinks Mrs. Miln did a very realistic, if somewhat unwieldy job of folding historic events in Shanghai into her romance novel set in old China of the 1920s. The reviewer also thinks that her views, favorable to the locals, won't win her any points with the people in the city's foreign colonial settlement.

Copyright: 1928

Publisher: A. L. Burt Company, New York

Format: Cloth-bound hardcover

Page Count: 356

Author Biography:

Miln, Louise Jordan  (b.1864-d.1933).  Early 20th Century American novelist. Wife of traveling Shakespearean actor George Crichton Miln. Husband had little success until he performed in productions outside the US, most notably in Australia.

Works include: Mr. & Mrs. Sen; Mr. Wu (1920); The Purple Mask (1921); It Happened in Peking (1928); By Soochow Waters (1929); In a Shantung Garden (1924); In a Yun-Nan Courtyard (1927); The Green Goddess (1922); The Flutes of Shanghai (1928); The Feast of Lanterns (1934); The Soul of China, Glimpsed in Tales of Today and Yesterday; Peng Wee's Harvest; Rice: A Novel; Ann Zu-Zan, a Chinese Love Story; Ruben and Ivy Sen; Vintage of Yon Yee; Quaint Korea; The Soul of China; It Happened in Peking

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Told in the Hills by Marah Ellis Ryan 1891/1905 Women's Western Novel

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Title: Told in the Hills

Author: Marah Ellis Ryan

Storyline: Will our intrepid and independent heroine from back east, Rachel Hardy, find happiness in Northwestern Montana indian territory?  Will brothers Jack and Charles Stuart quit their blood feuding?  Is this even possible while indigenous Kutenai fight it out with the United States Cavalry?   Order this wonderful vintage copy of Told in the Hills and find out!

Copyrights: 1891/1905

Publication: 1905

Publisher: Rand McNally and Company, Chicago

Format: Blue cloth-bound hardcover

Page Count: 362

Author Biography:

Ryan, Marah Ellis (b.1860 or 1866-d.1934) As Ellis Martin, married Samuel Erwin Ryan (b. 1834), an Irish actor and comedian, in 1883. From the New York Times obituary: "Mrs. Marah Ellis Ryan, writer and authority on Indians, died today at her home in the Silver Lake district from encephalitis (sleeping sickness) at the age of 68. Mrs. Ryan went to live among the Hopi Indians twenty-five years ago and claimed to be the only white woman ever admitted to the secret religious rites. She was noted as an authority on the tribal life of the Indians in the United States and Mexico. Mrs. Ryan was born in Butler County, Pa., a daughter of Graham and Sidney Mechling Martin. As a young woman she wrote a few poems and stories under the pen-name of 'Ellis Martin'..."

Works include: Merze: the Story of an Actress (1888 and 1894); In Loves' Domains: a Trilogy (c.1889); Told in the Hills (1891, 1905); A Pagan of the Alleghanies (1891); Squaw Elouise (1892); A Flower of France: a Story of Old Louisiana (1894, 1972); A Chance Child: Comrades, Hendrex and Margotte, and Persephone: Being Four Tales (1896); The Bondwoman (1899); That Girl Montana (1901); Miss Moccasins (c.1904); My Quaker Maid (1906); Indian Love Letters (1907); The Flute of the Gods (1909); For the Soul of Rafael (1910); The Woman of the Twilight; the story of a story (1913); Pagan Prayers (1913); The House of the Dawn (1914); The Druid Path (1917); The Treasure Trail: a Romance of the Land of Gold and Sunshine (1919); First Americans (1922); The Dancer of Tuluum (1924)