November 09, 2010
7.16 X 9.81 X 0.33 inches | 0.01 pounds
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About the Author
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was the outstanding English novelist of the Victorian era as well as a vigorous social campaigner. His most famous works include Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, Bleak House, Hard Times, Dombey and Son and The Pickwick Papers.
Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) studied medicine at Edinburgh University, but ultimately gave up medicine to pursue a career in writing both fiction and non-fiction. His iconic sleuths, Holmes and Watson, have entertained generations of readers.
Clement C. Moore was born in 1779. His famous poem was written on Christmas Eve in 1822.
O. Henry (1862-1910) was an American short story writer. Born and raised in North Carolina, O. Henry--whose real name was William Sydney Porter--moved to Texas in 1882 in search of work. He met and married Athol Estes in Austin, where he became well known as a musician and socialite. In 1888, Athol gave birth to a son who died soon after, and in 1889 a daughter named Margaret was born. Porter began working as a teller and bookkeeper at the First National Bank of Austin in 1890 and was fired four years later and accused of embezzlement. Afterward, he began publishing a satirical weekly called The Rolling Stone, but in 1895 he was arrested in Houston following an audit of his former employer. While waiting to stand trial, Henry fled to Honduras, where he lived for six months before returning to Texas to surrender himself upon hearing of Athol's declining health. She died in July of 1897 from tuberculosis, and Porter served three years at the Ohio Penitentiary before moving to Pittsburgh to care for his daughter. While in prison, he began publishing stories under the pseudonym "O. Henry," finding some success and launching a career that would blossom upon his release with such short stories as "The Gift of the Magi" (1905) and "The Ransom of Red Chief" (1907). He is recognized as one of America's leading writers of short fiction, and the annual O. Henry Award--which has been won by such writers as William Faulkner, John Updike, and Eudora Welty--remains one of America's most prestigious literary prizes.
Fitz James O'Brien (also spelled Fitz-James, 1826 - 1862) was an Irish-American Civil War soldier, writer and poet often cited as an early writer of science fiction. His earliest writings in the United States were contributed to the Lantern, which was then edited by John Brougham. Subsequently, he wrote for the Home Journal, the New York Times and the American Whig Review. His first important literary connection was with Harper's Magazine and beginning in February 1853, with The Two Skulls, he contributed more than sixty articles in prose and verse to that periodical. He likewise wrote for the New York Saturday Press, Putnam's Magazine, Vanity Fair and the Atlantic Monthly. To the latter he sent "The Diamond Lens" (1858) and "The Wonder Smith" (1859). "The Diamond Lens" is probably his most famous short story and tells the story of a scientist who invents a powerful microscope and discovers a beautiful female in a microscopic world inside a drop of water. It was one of the favorite stories of H.P. Lovecraft. "The Wonder Smith" is an early predecessor of robot rebellion, where toys possessed by evil spirits are transformed into living automata who turn against their creators. His 1858 short story "From Hand to Mouth" has been referred to as "the single most striking example of surrealistic fiction to pre-date Alice in Wonderland" (Sam Moskowitz, 1971). "What Was It? A Mystery" (1859) is one of the earliest known examples of invisibility in fiction.