W. W. Jacobs

W. W. Jacobs books and biography

W. W. Jacobs

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Born: September 8, 1863
Wapping, London, England
Died: September 1, 1943
Hornsley Lane, Islington, London, England
Occupation(s): Short story writer & novelist
Nationality: English
Writing period: 1885 -
Genre(s): Horror
Influenced: Stephen King
The Monkey's Paw

William Wymark Jacobs (September 8, 1863–September 1, 1943), was an English author of short stories and novels. He is now best remembered for his macabre tales "The Monkey's Paw" (published 1901) and "The Toll House" (in the collection of short stories The Lady of the Barge). However the majority of his output was humorous in tone. His favourite subjects were marine life: "men who go down to the sea in ships of moderate tonnage" said Punch, reviewing his first collection of stories, Many Cargoes, which achieved great popular success on its publication in 1896.

Many Cargoes was followed by the novel The Skipper's Wooing in 1897, and another collection of short stories, Sea Urchins (1898) set the seal on his popularity. Among his other titles are Captains All, Sailors' Knots, and Night Watches. The title of the last reflects the popularity of perhaps his most enduring character: the night-watchman on the wharf in Wapping, recounting the preposterous adventures of his acquaintances Ginger Dick, Sam Small, and Peter Russett. These three characters, pockets full after a long voyage, would take lodgings together determined to enjoy a long spell ashore; but the crafty inhabitants of dockland London would soon relieve them of their funds, assisted by the sailors' own fecklessness and credulity. Jacobs showed a delicacy of touch in his sex of the coarse vernacular of the East End of London, which attracted the respect of such writers as P. G. Wodehouse, who mentions Jacobs in his autobiographical work Bring on the Girls (written with Guy Bolton, published 1954).

The stories which made up Many Cargoes had a varied previous serial publication, while those in Sea Urchins were, for the most part, published in Jerome K. Jerome's Idler. From October 1898 Jacobs' stories were being published in the The Strand an arrangement which lasted almost to his death, and provided him with financial security.

Jacobs was born in Wapping in London; his father worked in the London docks. He attended private school in London and later at Birkbeck College (then called Birkbeck Literary and Scientific Institution, now part of the University of London). In 1879 he commenced work as a clerk in the civil service, in the Post Office Savings Bank, and by 1885 he had had his first short story published. His road to success was relatively slow: Arnold Bennett writing in 1898 was astonished that Jacobs turned down the massive sum of 500 for six short stories. Jacobs was financially secure enough to be able to leave the Post Office in 1899 and to marry in the following year. Jacobs set up home in Loughton, Essex, where he had two houses, the Outlook, in Park Hill, and Feltham House, in Goldings Hill. On the site of the latter is a blue plaque to him. Loughton is the "Claybury" of some of the short stories, and Jacobs' love for the forest scenery in the area features in his "Land Of Cockaigne". Jacobs' wife was a militant suffragette.

Jacobs' short story output declined somewhat around the first world war, and his literary efforts between then and his death were predominantly adaptations of his own short stories for the stage. His first work for the stage, "The Ghost of Jerry Bundler" was performed in London in 1899, revived in 1902 and eventually published in 1908.

Jacobs died at Hornsley Lane, Islington, London.

Literary Works

  • Many Cargoes (1896)
  • The Skipper's Wooing (1897)
  • Sea Urchins (1898) /aka More Cargoes (US) (1898)
  • A Master of Craft (1900)
  • The Monkey's Paw" (1901)
  • Light Freights (1901)
  • At Sunwich Port (1902)
  • The Lady of the Barge (1902)
  • Odd Craft (1903)
  • Dialstone Lane (1902)
  • Captain's All (1905)
  • Short Cruises (1907)
  • Salthaven (1908)
  • Sailor's Knots (1909)
  • Ship's Company (1911)
  • Night Watches (1914)
  • The Castaways (1916)
  • Deep Waters (1919)
  • Sea Whispers (1926)
  • Prison Cell Butt Rape(1927)

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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A Golden Venture, The Lady Of The Barge And Others

A Mixed Proposal, The Lady Of The Barge, Par, 9

A Spirit Of Avarice, Odd Craft, Part 11

A Tiger's Skin, The Lady Of The Barge Part 8

Admiral Peters, Odd Craft, Part 14

An Aulteration Act, The Lady Of The Barge Part 10

At Sunwich Port, Part 1 , Chapters 1-5

At Sunwich Port, Part 2, Chapters 1-5

At Sunwich Port, Part 3, Chapters 11-15

At Sunwich Port, Part 4, Chapters 16-20

At Sunwich Port, Part 5, Chapters 21-25

Back To Back, Night Watches, Part 1

Bedridden And The Winter Offensive, Part 8

Bill's Lapse, Odd Craft, Part 4

Bill's Paper Chase, Lady Of The Barge Part 3

Blundell's Improvement, Odd Craft, Part 3

Bob's Redemption, Captains All Book 5

Breaking A Spell, Odd Craft, Part 6

Breaking A Spell, Odd Craft, Part 6

Captain Rogers, The Lady Of The Barge Part 7

Captains All And Others

Captains All, Captains All Part 1

Cupboard Love, The Lady Of The Barge Part 5

Deep Waters, The Entire Collection

Deserted, Sailor's Knots Part 1

Dialstone Lane, Complete

Dialstone Lane, Part 1

Dialstone Lane, Part 2

Dialstone Lane, Part 3

Dialstone Lane, Part 4

Dialstone Lane, Part 5

Dirty Work, Deep Waters, Part 11

Double Dealing, Sailor's Knots Part 11

Dual Control Ship's Company Part 8

Easy Money, Night Watches, Part 9

Fairy Gold Ship's Company Part 4

Family Cares, Deep Waters, Part 7

Fine Feathers Ship's Company Part 1

For Better Or Worse Ship's Company Part 10

Four Pigeons, Captains All Book 7

Friends In Need Ship's Company Part 2

Good Intentions Ship's Company Part 3

His Other Self, Night Watches, Part 10

Homeward Bound, Sailor's Knots Part 2

Husbandry, Deep Waters, Part 6

In The Library, The Lady Of The Barge Part 6

Keeping Up Appearances, Sailor's Knots Part 12

Keeping Watch, Night Watches, Part 2

Lady Of The Barge And Others, Entire Collection

Lady Of The Barge, Lady Of The Barge, Part 1

Made To Measure 3

Manners Makyth Man Ship's Company Part 12

Matrimonial Openings, Sailor's Knots Part 5

Night Watches, Complete Series

Over The Side, Captains All Book 6

Paying Off, Deep Waters, Part 2

Peter's Pence, Sailor's Knots Part 8

Prize Money, Sailor's Knots Part 10

Sailor's Knots, Entire Collection

Sailord`s Knots, Part 5

Sam's Ghost, Deep Waters, Part 4

Self Help, Sailor's Knots Part 4

Sentence Deferred, Sailor's Knots Part 4

Shareholders, Deep Waters, Part 1

Ship's Company The Entire Collection

Skilled Assistance Ship's Company Part 9

Stepping Backwards, Night Watches, Part 5

Striking Hard, Deep Waters, Part 10

T Sunwich Port, Complete

The Bequest Ship's Company Part 6

The Boatswain's Mate, Captains All Book 2

The Constable's Move, Captains All Book 4

The Convert, Deep Waters, Part 5

The Guardian Angel Ship's Company Part 7

The Head Of The Family, Sailor's Knots Part 9

The Madness Of Mr. Lister, Captains All Book 9

The Monkey's Paw, The Lady Of The Barge Part 2

The Nest Egg, Captains All Book3

The Old Man Of The Sea Ship's Company Part 11

The Old Man Of The Sea Ship's Company Part 11

The Substitute, Deep Waters, Part 9

The Temptation Of Samuel Burge, Captains All Book

The Three Sisters, Night Watches, Part 6

The Toll House, Sailor's Knots Part 7

The Uknown, Night Watches, Part 7

The Understudy--night Watches, Part 3

The Vigil, Night Watches, Part 8

The Weaker Vessel, Night Watches, Part 4

The Well

The Welll, The Lady Of The Barge , Part 4

The White Cat, Captains All Book 10

Three At The Table, The Lady Of The Barge Part 12

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