George Manville Fenn

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George Manville Fenn (January 3, 1831, Pimlico - August 26, 1909, Isleworth) was an English novelist, journalist, editor and educationalist.[1]

Life and works[edit]

Fenn, the third child and eldest son of a butler, Charles Fenn, was largely self-educated, teaching himself French, German and Italian. After studying at Battersea Training College for Teachers (1851-4), he became the master of a national school at Alford, Lincolnshire. He later became a printer, editor and publisher of short-lived periodicals, before attracting the attention of Charles Dickens and others with a sketch for All the Year Round in 1864. He contributed to Chambers's Journal and Once a Week. In 1866, he wrote a series of articles on working-class life for the newspaper The Star. These were collected and republished in four volumes. They were followed by a similar series in the Weekly Times.

Meanwhile he was married in 1855 to Susanna Leak, daughter of John Leak of Alford. They had two sons and six daughters.

Fenn's first story for boys, Hollowdell Grange, appeared in 1867. It was followed by a long list of other novels for juveniles and adults. Having become editor of Cassell's Magazine in 1870, he purchased Once a Week and edited it until it closed in 1879. He also wrote for the theatre.

Fenn and his family lived at Syon Lodge, Isleworth, Middlesex, where he built up a library of 25,000 volumes and took up telescope making. His last book was a biography of a great fellow writer of boys' stories, George Alfred Henty. He died at home on 26 August 1909.[2]

Family[edit]

In 1855, he married Susanna Leake; they had two sons and six daughters.[3]

Fenn's works[edit]

Novels[edit]

  1. 'Cabby' (1864)
  2. Hollowdell Grange (1866)
  3. Webs In the Way (1867)
  4. Bent, Not Broken (3v., 1867)
  5. Mad (1868)
  6. By Birth a Lady (1871)
  7. The Sapphire Cross (1871)
  8. Thereby Hangs a Tale (1876)
  9. A Little World (1877, repr 1882 as Poverty Corner: A City Story)
  10. Pretty Polly (3v., 1878)
  11. The Parson O' Dumford (1879)
  12. The Clerk of Portwick (1880)
  13. Bunyip Land (1880)
  14. Off to the Wilds (1880)
  15. Devon Boys (1880)
  16. The Vicar's People (1881)
  17. Eli's Children (1882)
  18. Dutch the Diver (1883)
  19. Middy and Ensign (1883)
  20. Nat the Naturalist (1883)
  21. Son Philip (1883)
  22. The Silver Cañon (1884)
  23. The Golden Magnet (1884)
  24. Sweet Mace (1884)
  25. The Rosery Folk (1884)
  26. Through Forest and Stream: The Quest of the Quetzal (1884)
  27. The Dark House (1885)
  28. Morgan's Horror (1885)
  29. Eve At the Wheel (1885)
  30. Menhardoc (1885)
  31. Dick o' the Fens (1885)
  32. A Terrible Coward (1885)
  33. The New Forest Spy: a Tale of a Lost Cause (1885)
  34. Patience Wins (1886)
  35. Brownsmith's Boy (1886)
  36. The Master of the Ceremonies (1886)
  37. The Chaplain's Craze (1886)
  38. Double Cunning (1886)
  39. The Bag of Diamonds (1887)
  40. One Maid's Mischief (1887)
  41. This Man's Wife (1887)
  42. Yussuf the Guide (1887)
  43. Quicksilver (1888)
  44. Mother Carey's Chicken (1888)
  45. The Man With a Shadow (1888)
  46. The Story of Antony Grace, Or, Some Stained Pages (1887)
  47. Commodore Junk (1888)
  48. Of High Descent (1889)
  49. The Lass That Loved a Soldier (1889)
  50. Three People's Secret (1889)
  51. Crown and Sceptre: A West Country Story (c. 1889)
  52. Three Boys, the Chiefs of the Clan Machai (1889)
  53. In the King's Name (1890)
  54. Cormorant Crag (1890)
  55. Will of the Mill (1890)
  56. The Adventures of Don Lavington (1890)
  57. Cutlass and Cudgel (1890)
  58. Mass' George (1890)
  59. Charge! (1890)
  60. Lady Maude's Mania (1890)
  61. The Mynns' Mystery (1890)
  62. A Double Knot (1890)
  63. A Fluttered Dovecote (1890)
  64. The New Mistress (1891)
  65. Mahme Nousie (1891)
  66. The Crystal Hunters (1891)
  67. Burr Junior (1891)
  68. The Rajah of Dah (1891)
  69. To the West (1891)
  70. Syd Belton (1891)
  71. The Weathercock (1892)
  72. The Dingo Boys (1892)
  73. Gil the Gunner (1892)
  74. King of the Castle (1892)
  75. The Grand Chaco (1892)
  76. Witness to the Deed (1893)
  77. A Sylvan Courtship (1893)
  78. Nurse Elisia (1893)
  79. Sail-Ho! (1893)
  80. Steve Young (1893)
  81. The Black Bar (1893)
  82. Blue Jackets: The Log of the Teaser (1893)
  83. A Life's Eclipse (1894)
  84. First In the Field (1894)
  85. Fire Island (1894)
  86. The Star-Gazers (1894)
  87. The White Virgin (1894)
  88. Real Gold (1894)
  89. The Vast Abyss (1894)
  90. The Tiger Lily (1894)
  91. In an Alpine Valley (1894)
  92. An Electric Spark (1895)
  93. The Queen's Scarlet (1895)
  94. Planter Jack (1895)
  95. In Honour's Cause (1896)
  96. The Black Tor (1896)
  97. Sappers and Miners (1896)
  98. Jack At Sea; or All Work and No Play Made Him a Dull Boy (1896)
  99. Cursed By a Fortune (1896)
  100. The Case of Ailsa Gray (1896)
  101. Smith's Weakness (1896)
  102. Captain Jack (1896)
  103. Roy Royland (1896)
  104. Frank and Saxon (1897)
  105. The Little Skipper (1897)
  106. Vince the Rebel (1897)
  107. The Silver Salvors (1898)
  108. A Woman Worth Winning (1898)
  109. Draw Swords! (1898)
  110. Our Soldier Boy (1898)
  111. Jungle and Stream (1898)
  112. Nic Revel (1898)
  113. In the Mahdi's Grasp (1899)
  114. King O' the Beach (1899)
  115. The Vibart Affair (1899)
  116. A Crimson Crime (1899)
  117. Ned Ledger (1899)
  118. Fix Bay'nets! (1899)
  119. Young Robin Hood (1899)
  120. King Robert's Page (1900)
  121. Uncle Bart (1900)
  122. The Ocean Waif (1900)
  123. A Young Hero (1900)
  124. Old Gold (1900)
  125. The King's Sons (1900)
  126. The Lost Middy (1900)
  127. The Powder Monkey (1900)
  128. A Dash From Diamond City (1901)
  129. The Kopje Garrison (1901)
  130. The Cankerworm (1901)
  131. Pulabad (1901)
  132. Something Like a Snake (1901)
  133. Running Amok (1901)
  134. Ching, the Chinaman, and His Middy Friends (1901)
  135. Coastguard Jack (1902)
  136. The Peril Finders (1902)
  137. Black Shadows (1902)
  138. Stan Lynn (1902)
  139. The King's Esquires (1903)
  140. Walsh the Wonder-Worker (1903)
  141. It Came to Pass (1903)
  142. Fitz the Filibuster (1903)
  143. Coming Home to Roost (1904)
  144. Blind Policy (1904)
  145. The Ocean Cat's Paw (1904)
  146. Rob Harlow's Adventures (1904)
  147. Glyn Severn's School-days (1904)
  148. Marcus, the Young Centurion (1904)
  149. To Win or to Die (1904)
  150. Trapper Dan (1905)
  151. Nephew Jack (1905)
  152. So Like a Woman (1905)
  153. Shoulder Arms! (1905)
  154. Hunting the Skipper (1906)
  155. Dead Man's Land (1906)
  156. Aynsley's Case (1906)
  157. Happy Playmates (1906)
  158. 'Tention! (1906)
  159. Trapped By Malays (1907)
  160. The Country Squire (1907)

Collections of short stories

  1. Begumbagh (1879)
  2. Adventures of Working Men (1881)
  3. In Jeopardy (1889)
  4. Sawed Off (1891)
  5. Princess Fedor's Pledge (1891)
  6. Tales of Peril and Heroism (1898)
  7. Two Rough Stones, and A Bad Day's Fishing (1902)
  8. A Meeting Of Greeks and the Tug Of War (1902)
  9. Brave and True, and Other Stories (1902)
  10. The Traitor's Gait [sic] (1906)

Plays (written w/James Henry Darnley)

  1. The Balloon (1899)
  2. The Barrister (1899)

Biographies

  1. Memoir of B. F. Stevens (1903)
  2. George Alfred Henty (1907)

Anthologies edited (as by G M F)

  1. The World of Wit and Humour (1871)
  2. A Book of Fair Women (1872)

Other works

  1. Featherland (1866)
  2. Original Penny Readings (1866)
  3. Christmas Penny Readings (1867)
  4. Midnight Webs (1872)
  5. The Blue Dragoons (1875)
  6. Friends I Have Made (1881)
  7. My Patients (1883)
  8. In the Wilds of New Mexico (1888)
  9. High Play (1897)
  10. The Khedive's Country (1904)
  11. Little People's Book of Wild Animals (1905)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wilman, George (1882), "George Manville Fenn", Sketches of living celebrities, London: Griffith and Farran, pp. 81–84 
  2. ^ G. S. Boulger; rev. Guy Arnold. "Fenn, George Manville (1831–1909)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33105.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^  Boulger, George Simonds (1912). "Fenn, George Manville". In Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

External links[edit]