Walter D. Edmonds

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Walter "Walt" Dumaux Edmonds (July 15, 1903 – January 24, 1998) was an American writer best known for historical novels. One of them, Drums Along the Mohawk (1936), was successfully adapted as a Technicolor feature film in 1939, directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert.

Life[edit]

Edmonds was born in Boonville, New York. In 1919 he entered The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall) in Wallingford, Connecticut. Originally intending to study chemical engineering, he became more interested in writing and worked as managing editor of the Choate Literary Magazine. He graduated in 1926 from Harvard, where he edited The Harvard Advocate, and where he studied with Charles Townsend Copeland.[1]

In 1929, he published his first novel, Rome Haul, a work about the Erie Canal. The novel was adapted for the 1934 play The Farmer Takes a Wife and the 1935 film of the same name. He married Eleanor Stetson in 1930.

Drums Along the Mohawk was on the bestseller list for two years, second only to Margaret Mitchell's famous 1936 novel Gone with the Wind for part of that time. Bert Breen's Barn was a winner of the 1976 National Book Award in category Children's Books.[2]

Edmonds eventually published 34 books, many for children, as well as a number of magazine stories. He won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1960 and the Newbery Medal in 1942, for The Matchlock Gun, and the National Book Award for Children's Literature in 1976, for Bert Breen's Barn.

When Eleanor died in 1956, Walter married Katherine Howe Baker Carr, who died in 1989. Walter Edmonds died in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1998.[3]

Novels[edit]

  • Rome Haul (1929, novel)
  • The Big Barn (1930, novel)
  • Erie Water (1933, novel)
  • Drums Along the Mohawk (1936, novel)
  • Chad Hanna (1940, novel)
  • The Matchlock Gun (1941, novel)
  • Young Ames (1942, novel)
  • The Wedding Journey (1947, novel)
  • In the Hands of the Senecas (1947, novel)
  • The Boyds of Black River (1953, novel)
  • Bert Breen's Barn (1975, juvenile novel)
  • The South African Quirt (1985, novel)[4]

Non-Ficton[edit]

  • They Fought With What They Had: The Story of the Army Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific, 1941-1942 (1951)
  • The Musket and the Cross: The Struggle of France and England for North America (1968)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Newbery Medal Books: 1922–1955, eds. Bertha Mahony Miller, Elinor Whitney Field, Horn Book, 1955, LOC 55-13968, p. 210.
  2. ^ "National Book Awards – 1976". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  3. ^ Boxer, Sarah (January 28, 1998). "W. D. Edmonds Dies at 94 – Author of Historical Novels – Obituary; Biography". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  4. ^ "Walter D. Edmonds". Nndb.com. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 

External links[edit]