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Stockton, Francis Richard

STOCKTON, FRANCIS RICHARD (1834-1902), American novelist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the 5th of April 1834. lie had a high school education; became a skilled wood engraver; wrote for the Philadelphia Morning Post, the New York Hearth and Home, Scribner's Monthly and St Nicholas, of which he became assistant editor in 1873; and about 1880 he gave up editorial work for independent authorship. Thereafter he lived in Nutley, New Jersey, in Convent, New Jersey, and after 1899 in the Shenandoah Valley, near Charles Town, West Virginia. He died in Washington, D.C. on the 20th of April 1902. His fanciful stories for children made him very popular; among them are The Ting-a-Ling Stories (1870), Roundabout Rambles in Lands of Fact and Fancy (1872), What Might Have Been Expected (1874), Tales Out of School (1875), A Jolly Fellowship (1880), The Floating Prince and Other Fairy Tales (1881), The Story of Viteau (1884), Personally Conducted (1889), and Captain Chap (1897). His amusing and original Rudder Grange (1879), a series of sketches rather than a novel, established his reputation with older readers and is his best long work. His peculiar talent was for the short story; and the best examples are the title stories of the volumes The Lady or the Tiger? (1884), one of the most popular of American stories, The Christmas Wreck (1886), The Bee Man ofOrn (1887), (also in the latter volume " A Tale of Negative Gravity "and" The Remarkable Wreck of the Thomas Hyke "), and the novelette The Casting Away of Mrs Leeks and Mrs Aleshine (1886), with its sequel The Dusantes (1888).

Among his other works of fiction are The Late Mrs Null (1886), The Hundredth Man (1887), Amos Kilbright: his Adscititious Experiences, with Other Stories (1888), The Great War Syndicate (1889), The Merry Chanter (1890), Ardis Claverden (1890), The Rudder Grangers Abroad, and Other Stories (1891), The House of Martha (1891), The Squirrel Inn (1891), The Watchmaker's Wife and Other Stories (1893), Pomona's Travels (1894), The Adventures of Captain Horn (1895), with its sequel, Mrs Cliff's Yacht (1896), The Great Stone of Sardis (1898), Kate Bonnet (1902), and The Captain's TollGate (with a memoir by Mrs Stockton, and a bibliography, 1903).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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