Eden Phillpotts (4 November 1862 – 29 December 1960) was an English author, poet and dramatist. He was born in Mount Abu, British India, educated in Plymouth, Devon, and worked as an insurance officer for 10 years before studying for the stage and eventually becoming a writer. He co-wrote two plays with his daughter Adelaide Phillpotts.
He was the author of many novels, plays and poems about Dartmoor. His Dartmoor cycle of 18 novels and two volumes of short stories still have many avid readers despite the fact that many titles are out of print.
Phillpotts also wrote many other books with a Dartmoor setting. He was for many years the President of the Dartmoor Preservation Association and cared passionately about the conservation of Dartmoor.
One of his novels, Widecombe Fair, inspired by an annual fair at the village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor, provided the scenario for his comic play The Farmer's Wife. It went on to become a silent movie of the same name, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and filmed in 1927. The cast included: Jameson Thomas, Lillian Hall-Davis, Gordon Harker and Gibb McLaughlin.
Some of his novels about Dartmoor include:
|“||A high wind laden with occasional showers flogged the Moor, hummed against the granite and set the dying herbage shivering with waves of colourless light.||”|
—The Mother (1908).
- Children of the Mist (1898)
- Sons of the Morning (1900)
- The River (1902)
- The American Prisoner (1904)
- The Whirlwind (1907)
- The Mother (1908)
- The Virgin in Judgment (1908)
- The Three Brothers (1909)
- The Thief of Virtue (1910)
- The Beacon (1911)
- The Forest on the Hill (1912)
- Orphan Dinah (1920)
- The Red Redmaynes (1922)
He also wrote a series of novels each set against the background of a different trade or industry. Titles include: Brunel's Tower (a pottery), Storm in a Teacup (hand-papermaking).
Among his other works is The Grey Room, the plot of which is centered on a haunted room in an English manor house. He also wrote a number of other mystery novels, both under his own name and the pseudonym Harrington Hext. Titles include: The Thing at Their Heels, The Red Redmaynes, The Monster, The Clue from the Stars and The Captain's Curio.
Although mainly a novelist, he also wrote several plays, the most famous being Yellow Sands.
Late in his long writing career he wrote a few books of interest to science fiction and fantasy readers, the most noteworthy being Saurus, which involves an alien reptilian observing human life. It is recognised as the first example of a writer using science-fiction to present penetrating observations on human life.
Phillpotts died in Broadclyst.
- "PHILLPOTTS, Eden". Who's Who, 59: p. 1396. 1907.
- Head, Dominic (ed.) (2006). The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English. Cambridge University Press. p. 868. ISBN 978-0-521-83179-6.
- Jorge Luis Borges: Conversations. University Press of Mississippi, 1998. Page 218.
- Phillpotts, Eden (1900). Sons of the Morning. Putnam. pp. 492 pages. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
- Philpotts, Eden; The Human Boy; Pub: Harper & Brothers 1899
- "...among the honorary associates of the [Rationalist Press] Association, past and present, are distinguished names such as...Eden Phillpotts." Quoted in Lord Snell, Men, Movements And Myself, J.M. Dent and Sons, 1936 (pg. 156).
- Day, Kenneth F. (1981). Eden Phillpotts on Dartmoor. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8118-0.
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- Works by or about Eden Phillpotts at Internet Archive (scanned books original editions color illustrated)
- Works by Eden Phillpotts at Project Gutenberg (plain text and HTML)
- Eden Phillpotts at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database