Edmund Yates

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Edmund Yates, 1865

Edmund Hodgson Yates (3 July 1831 – 20 May 1894) was a British journalist, novelist and dramatist.

He was born in Edinburgh to the actor and theatre manager Frederick Henry Yates and was educated at Highgate School in London from 1840-1846.[1] His first career was a clerk in the General Post Office, before entering journalism, working on the Court Journal and then Daily News.

In 1854 he published his first book My Haunts and their Frequenters, after which followed a succession of novels, and plays. As a contributor to All The Year Round and Household Words, he gained the high opinion of Charles Dickens.

Yates was perhaps best known as proprietor and editor of The World society newspaper, which he established with Glenville Murray, which he edited under the pen name of "Atlas", and which for a time was edited by Alexander Meyrick Broadley. The World, which was perceived as a newspaper chronicling upper class London Society, was a pioneer in 'personal journalism', such as the interview, which was later adopted by newspapers generally.[2]

In 1884 he was sentenced to four months imprisonment for libelling Lord Lonsdale.,[3] but in later life enjoyed a second career as a county magistrate.[2]

Yates was also the author of and performed in Invitations at Egyptian Hall, London, which ran in 1862–1863. The work was a highly successful comedy in which he and Harold Littledale Power posed as hosts to a variety of singers and actors. Power also performed songs and imitations.

Edmund Yates wrote his autobiography titled Edmund Yates, His Recollections and Experiences, the first edition of which was published by Richard Bentley and Son in 1884. He was a friend of Charles Dickens, and in the 1850s, Yates lived at No. 43 Doughty Street, London, close to Dickens's former home at No. 48, which is now the Charles Dickens Museum.

Marie Corelli wrote of him: "Too hastily judged by some, and maligned by others, he was to those who recognised his real character 'a man among men' – a frank friend, an equally frank foe, and an open hater of all things mean and false and hypocritical."[4]


  • For Better, for Worse (1864)
  • Land at Last (1866)
  • Kissing the Rod (1866)
  • Broken to Harness: A Story of English Domestic Life (1867)
  • Running the Gauntlet (1867)
  • The Forlorn Hope (1867)
  • The Black Sheep (1867)
  • The Rock Ahead (1868)
  • Wrecked in Port (1869)
  • A Righted Wrong (1870)
  • Dr. Wainwright's Patient (1871)
  • The Yellow Flag (1872)
  • A Waiting Race (1872)
  • Castaway (1872)
  • Nobody’s Fortune (1872)
  • The Impending Sword (1874)
  • Two by Tricks (1874)
  • A Silent Witness (1875)


  1. ^ Highgate School Roll 1833-1912 (1st ed.). London. 1913. p. 48. 
  2. ^ a b Mr Edmund Yates, The Atheneum, 26 May 1894, No3474, p679
  3. ^ Mr. Edmund Yates's Libel, Goulburn Evening Penny Post (Australia), Sat 12 Apr 1884, Page 6; http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/98433968
  4. ^ Correlli, Marie The Last Days of Edmund Yates, Temple Bar, Jul 1894 pp378-384

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