Arthur Morrison

Arthur Morrison books and biography


Arthur Morrison

Arthur Morrison was a famous author during 19th century England
Arthur Morrison was a famous author during 19th century England

Arthur George Morrison (November 1, 1863 London - December 4, 1945) was an English author and journalist, known for his realistic novels about London's East End and for his detective stories.

Morrison was born in the East End of London, on November 1, 1863. His childhood and education is unknown, though he was probably educated in the East End. By 1886 he was working as a clerk at the People's Palace, in Mile End. In 1890 he left this job and joined the editorial staff of the Evening Globe newspaper. The following year he published a story entitled A Street which was subsequently published in book form in Tales of Mean Streets. The volume was a critical success, but a number of reviewers objected to the violence portrayed in one story - Lizerunt.

Around this time Morrison was also producing detective short stories which emulated those of Conan Doyle about Sherlock Holmes. Morrison's Martin Hewitt was a poor counterfeit, but some of these stories hold up today. Three volumes of Hewitt stories were published before the publication of the novel for which Morrison is most famous: A Child of the Jago (1896). The novel described in graphic detail living conditions in the East End including the permeation of violence into everyday life (it was a barely fictionalised account of life in the Old Nichol Street Rookery). Other less well-received novels and stories followed, until Morrison effectively retired from writing fiction around 1913. Between then and his death, he seems to have concentrated on building his collection of Japanese prints and paintings.

He lived at Loughton (Blue Plaque), and High Beech, where he is buried in the churchyard.

Literary Works

The cover of Martin Hewitt Investigator
The cover of Martin Hewitt Investigator
  • Tales of Mean Streets (1894)
  • Martin Hewitt, Investigator (1894)
  • The Chronicles of Martin Hewitt (1895)
  • The Adventures of Martin Hewitt (1896)
  • A Child of the Jago (1896)
  • The Dorrington Deed Box (1897)
  • To London Town (1899)
  • Cunning Murrell (1900)
  • The Hole in the Wall (1902)
  • The Red Triangle (1903)
  • The Green Eye of Goona /aka The Green Diamond (US) (1904)

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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