MORRISON, Arthur

(1863 - 1945)
"letting light and air at last into the subterraneous basements where men and women had swarmed, and bred, and died"

Arthur George Morrison was born into a desperately poor family in Poplar, a deprived area of the East End, and although he denied his background his writing was always at its most successful when set in the slums he knew as a child.  He is generally believed to have been self-educated, finding work as a clerk in his early twenties and then turning to journalism, eventually writing for the National Observer where he came to the attention of William Henley.  With Henley’s encouragement Morrison began to write in a new style of realistic fiction about the sordid slum life he was familiar with.  Tales of Mean Streets, published in 1894, is a collection of short stories describing the appalling conditions that many working people endured.  One of tales, Lizerunt, was condemned for depicting all too clearly the victimization and degradation of women. A Child of the Jago, written a couple of years later is generally considered to be Morrison’s greatest novel and the foremost of all Victorian slum fiction, in which he portrays the squalor and brutality of life in London’s East End, where one could only escape from the Jago by way of ‘gaol, the gallows, and the High Mob’. 

Morrison's most popular books are probably his detective stories, featuring Martin Hewitt, a methodical investigator, who uses his ability to be "thoroughly at home among any and every class of people" to invite confidences in gathering evidence. Although Morrison had cashed in on the enormous success of Sherlock Holmes, it was about his creation that Ellery Queen wrote "Of Doyle's contemporary imitators, the most durable (indeed, the only important one to survive over the ages) is the private investigator, a man of awe-inspiring technical and statistical knowledge, in Martin Hewitt, Investigator."

 In 1909 Morrison wrote Green Ginger, which was to be his last piece of fiction until 1933 when he published a collection of short stories under the title of Fiddle O'DreamsDespite the dwindling of his literary output, he was elected to the council of the Royal Sociey of Literature in 1935 and served there for the last 10 years of his life.

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Arthur MORRISON

Books by this author

Divers Vanities

MORRISON, Arthur

£125.00

To London Town

MORRISON, Arthur

£95.00

Green Ginger

MORRISON, Arthur

£950.00

Fiddle o' Dreams

MORRISON, Arthur

£500.00

Green Ginger

MORRISON, Arthur

£600.00

Cunning Murrell

MORRISON, Arthur

£650.00

The Hole in the Wall

MORRISON, Arthur

£650.00

To London Town

MORRISON, Arthur

£550.00