Author

F. Marion Crawford

F. Marion Crawford books and biography

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A Roman Singer


By F. Marion Crawford
Novel

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A Tale Of A Lonely Parish


By F. Marion Crawford
Novels

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An American Politician


By F. Marion Crawford
Novel

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Don Orsino


By F. Marion Crawford
Novel

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Griefenstein


By F. Marion Crawford
Novel

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In The Palace Of The King


By F. Marion Crawford
Romance

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Minnie's Sacrifice


By F. Marion Crawford
Novel

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Mr. Issacs


By F. Marion Crawford
Novels

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Sant' Ilario


By F. Marion Crawford
Novels

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Saracinesca


By F. Marion Crawford
Novels

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Taquisara


By F. Marion Crawford
Novels

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The Heart Of Rome


By F. Marion Crawford
Novels

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The Little City Of Hope


By F. Marion Crawford
Novels

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The Primadonna


By F. Marion Crawford
Novel

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The Witch Of Prague


By F. Marion Crawford
Novel

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Via Crucis


By F. Marion Crawford
Romance

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Whosoever Shall Offend


By F. Marion Crawford
Novel

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Francis Marion Crawford

Francis Crawford
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Francis Crawford

Francis Marion Crawford (August 2, 1854 - April 9, 1909) was an American writer noted for his many novels.

He was born at Bagni di Lucca, Italy, the son of the American sculptor Thomas Crawford and Louisa Cutler Ward, and the nephew of Julia Ward Howe, the American poet. He studied successively at St Pauls school, Concord, New Hampshire; Cambridge University; University of Heidelberg; and Rome.

In 1879 he went to India, where he studied Sanskrit and edited the Allahabad Indian Herald. Returning to America he continued to study Sanskrit at Harvard University for a year, contributed to various periodicals, and in 1882 produced his first novel, Mr Isaacs, a brilliant sketch of modern Anglo-Indian life mingled with a touch of Oriental mystery. This book had an immediate success, and its author's promise was confirmed by the publication of Dr Claudius (1883). After a brief residence in New York and Boston, in 1883 he returned to Italy, where he made his permanent home. This accounts perhaps for the fact that, in spite of his nationality, Marion Crawford's books stand apart from any distinctively American current in literature.

Year by year he published a number of successful novels:

  • A Roman Singer (1884)
  • An American Politician (1884)
  • To Leeward (1884)
  • Zoroaster (1885)
  • A Tale of a Lonely Parish (1886)
  • Marzio's Crucifix (1887)
  • Saracinesca (1887)
  • Paul Patoff (1887)
  • With the Immortals (1888)
  • Greifenstein (1889)
  • Sant Ilario (1889)
  • A Cigarette-makers Romance (1890)
  • Khaled (1891)
  • The Witch of Prague (1891)
  • The Three Fates (1892)
  • The Children of the King (1892)
  • Don Orsino (1892)
  • Marion Darche (1893)
  • Pietro Ghisleri (1893)
  • Katharine Lauderdale (1894)
  • Love in Idleness (1894)
  • The Ralstons (1894)
  • Casa Braccio (1895)
  • Adam Johnstons Son (1895)
  • Taquisara (1896)
  • A Rose of Yesterday (1897)
  • Corleone (1897)
  • Via Crucis (1899)
  • In the Palace of the King (1900)
  • Marietta (1901)
  • Cecilia (1902)
  • Whosoever Shall Offend (1904)
  • Soprano (1905)
  • A Lady of Rome (1906)
  • The White Sister (1909)

Crawford also published the historical works, Ave Roma Immortalis (1898), Rulers of the South (1900) renamed Sicily, Calabria and Malta in 1904, and Gleanings from Venetian History (1905). In these his intimate knowledge of local Italian history combines with the romancists imaginative faculty to excellent effect.

After most of his fictional works had been published, most came to think he was a gifted narrator, and his books of fiction, full of historic vitality and dramatic characterization, became widely popular among readers to whom the realism of problems or the eccentricities of subjective analysis were repellent. In The Novel: What It Is (1893), he defended his literary approach, self-conceived as a combination of romanticism and realism, defining the art form in terms of its marketplace and audience. The novel, he wrote, is "a marketable commodity" and "intellectual artistic luxury" (8, 9) that "must amuse, indeed, but should amuse reasonably, from an intellectual point of view. . . . Its intention is to amuse and please, and certainly not to teach and preach; but in order to amuse well it must be a finely-balanced creation. . . ." (82).

The Saracinesca series is perhaps known to be his best work, with the third in the series, Don Orsino, set against the background of a real estate bubble, told with effective concision. A fourth book in the series, Corleone, was the first major treatment of the Mafia in literature, and used the now-familiar but then-original device of a priest unable to testify to a crime because of the Seal of the Confessional; the novel nevertheless failed to live up to the standard set by the books earlier in the series.

Crawford himself was fondest of Khaled: A Tale of Arabia, a story of a genie (genius is Crawford's word) who becomes human, which was reprinted in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series of the early 1970s. A Cigarettemaker's Romance was dramatized, and had considerable popularity on the stage as well as in its novel form; and in 1902 an original play from his pen, Francesca da Rimini, was produced in Paris by Sarah Bernhardt. Several of his short stories, such as "The Upper Berth" (1894), "For the Blood Is the Life" (1911, a vampire tale) and "The Screaming Skull" (1911), are often-anthologized classics of the horror genre. An essay on Crawford's weird tales can be found in S. T. Joshi's The Evolution of the Weird Tale (2004).

Three distinct editions of his collected works -- each printing only his fiction -- appeared during his lifetime. Crawford died at Sorrento in 1909 of a heart attack.

Reference

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopędia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

John Pilkington, Jr. (1964): Francis Marion Crawford, Twayne Publishers Inc. (Library of Congress Catalog Number: 64-20717)

Maud Howe Elliott (1934): My Cousin, F. Marion Crawford, The Macmillan Company

John C. Moran (1981): An F. Marion Crawford Companion, Greenwood Press (LC Catalog Num.: 80-1707)



This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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