Christopher Morley


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(1890–1957), New York author and journalist, was born in Pennsylvania, and educated at Haverford College and as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford (1913). His more than 50 books are widely diverse in nature, and all mainly integrated by the author's personality. His interest in bookselling is indicated in his novels Parnassus on Wheels (1917), concerned with an itinerant bookseller, and The Haunted Bookshop (1919). Other novels include Where the Blue Begins (1922) and another fantasy, Thunder on the Left (1925); The Swiss Family Manhattan (1932); Human Being (1932); The Trojan Horse (1937), a modernized version of the story of Troilus and Cressida; Kitty Foyle (1939), a story of a lower-middle-class girl; Thorofare (1942), about an English boy who becomes an American citizen; and The Man Who Made Friends with Himself (1949), dealing with the conflict of reality and imagination in a serious fantasy. Morley's poetry, sentimental and derivative from the many dissimilar authors he liked, includes The Rocking Horse (1919), Chimneysmoke (1921), Parson's Pleasure (1923), and such books of humorous verse as Mandarin in Manhattan (1933), The Middle Kingdom (1944), and Gentlemen's Relish (1955). He wrote many books of essays and sketches, combining gossip and travel notes, which reflect his enthusiasms and crotchets: among them are Shandygaff (1918), Tales from a Rolltop Desk (1921), John Mistletoe (1931), Hasta la Vista (1935), History of an Autumn (1938), and The Ironing Board (1949). Besides one-act plays, he revised and revived melodramas for a Hoboken theater he helped manage (1928–30).

From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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