Thomas Cobb


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(1854–1932) married Emily Moon (d. 1931). The son of a tailor, he left school at 12 and went into his father's business, where he worked for twenty years. When more than thirty he began a second career as a prolific hack writer: he was to publish seventy-eight novels between 1889 and 1932, and claimed also to have written 300 short stories. He was one of those interviewed in the Bookman (Jan. 1909) about Hall Caine's complaint in his autobiography that he had struggled in his early days as a writer on £300 a year. Cobb, without declaring that it was his own experience, but with an undercurrent of bitterness, said that there were novelists, known to thousands through the circulating library system, who had never earned as much as £300 a year. His own novels range from society romance in The Friendships of Veronica (1905) and Lady Gwendoline: A Novel (1902) to a straighforward school story about a boy in disgrace for stealing who vindicates himself, Masterman's Mistake (1913). In The Chichester Intrigue (1908) the mystery is whether a girl or her aunt is being blackmailed for having had an affair with an actor. According to his obituary in the Times (16 Jan. 1932) Cobb had lately adapted to ‘the growing vogue of detective fiction’ by writing a series about an Inspector Bedison.

From The Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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