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Writers, Readers, and ReputationsLiterary Life in Britain 1870-1918$
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Philip Waller

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199541201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541201.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 October 2021

In Cupid’s Chains: Charles Garvice

In Cupid’s Chains: Charles Garvice

(p.681) 19 In Cupid’s Chains: Charles Garvice
Writers, Readers, and Reputations

Philip Waller (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the career of a now forgotten popular story-writer, Charles Garvice, whose romances outsold most others. It shows how his first stories, published in three-volume form, failed to sell; he then turned to producing stories for serialisation in popular light fiction magazines in both Britain and the U.S.A., and began to make a lot of money. His breakthrough in book form came in England after 1900, and it was in cheap sixpenny editions that he reached his largest audience. These stories were formulaic and their simple characterisations and preposterous plots met critical scorn, yet they delighted a huge readership by their reward of virtue and comeuppance for the wicked. They incorporated socially conservative opinions; among his admirers was a Nonconformist religious press which previously had been suspicious of fiction. Other writers were bewildered by Garvice's best-seller fame, though he was much liked personally for his self-deprecating good humour and he became an influential figure in the Authors' Club.

Keywords:   nonconformist religious press, socially conservative opinions, authors' Club, charles Garvice

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