Leonard Merrick

(1864—1939) writer

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(1864–1939) who changed his name by deed poll to Merrick and married (1894) Hope Butler-Wilkins (d. 1917). Born in London, of Jewish family, and educated privately, at Brighton College, he travelled in South Africa as a young man and became first an actor and then a playwright and novelist under the name Leonard Merrick. His first novel was Mr Bazalgette's Legacy (1888). Fiction in this period includes When Love Flies Out of the Window (1902), Conrad in Quest of His Youth (1903), and Whispers about Women (1906). The title-story of All the World Wondered and Other Stories (1911) is about knowing true love when you find it; a playwright is jilted by an actress and later marries her niece. The House of Lynch (1907) has a similar theme: a poor English artist who loves the daughter of an unscrupulous American millionaire whose money they refuse to live on; after some upsets and a separation she learns to economize and gives the money away and he becomes famous. A collected edition of his novels with prefaces by other writers, including Maurice Hewlett and H. G. Wells, was published in twelve volumes 1918–19. His wife was the author of the novel When a Girl's Engaged (1905).

From The Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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