Carolyn Wells (June 18, 1862 – March 26, 1942) was an American writer and poet.
Born in Rahway, New Jersey,she was the daughter of William E. and Anna Wells. She died at the Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital in New York City in 1942.
Wells had been married to Hadwin Houghton, the heir of the Houghton-Mifflin publishing empire founded by Bernard Houghton. Wells also had an impressive collection of volumes of poetry by others. She bequeathed her collection of Walt Whitman poetry, said to be one of the most important of its kind for its completeness and rarity, to the Library of Congress.
After finishing school she worked as a librarian for the Rahway Library Association. Her first book, At the Sign of the Sphinx (1896), was a collection of charades. Her next publications were The Jingle Book and The Story of Betty (1899), followed by a book of verse entitled Idle Idyls (1900). After 1900, Wells wrote numerous novels and collections of poetry.
Carolyn Wells wrote a total 170 books. During the first ten years of her career, she concentrated on poetry, humor, and children's books. According to her autobiography, The Rest of My Life (1937), she heard That Affair Next Door (1897), one of Anna Katharine Green's mystery novels, being read aloud and was immediately captivated by the unraveling of the puzzle. From that point onward she devoted herself to the mystery genre. Among the most famous of her mystery novels were the Fleming Stone Detective Stories which—according to Allen J. Hubin's Crime Fiction IV: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 1749–2000 (2003)—number 61 titles. Wells's The Clue (1909) is on the Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone list of essential mysteries. She was also the first to conduct a (brief, in this case) annual series devoted to the best short crime fiction of the previous year in the U.S., beginning with The Best American Mystery Stories of the Year (1931) (though others had begun a similar British series in 1929).
In addition to books, Wells also wrote for newspapers.Her poetry accompanies the work of some of the leading lights in illustration and cartooning, often in the form of Sunday magazine cover features that formed continuing narratives from week to week. Her first known illustrated newspaper work is a two part series titled Animal Alphabet, illustrated by William F. Marriner, which appeared in the Sunday comics section of the New York World. Many additional series ensued over the years, including the bizarre classic Adventures of Lovely Lilly (New York Herald, 1906–07). The last series she penned was Flossy Frills Helps Out (American Weekly, 1942), which appeared after her death.
First published Lippincott's Magazine, February 1910
Anthologies (as editor)
August William Derleth was an American writer and anthologist. Though best remembered as the first book publisher of the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, and for his own contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos and the Cosmic Horror genre, as well as his founding of the publisher Arkham House, Derleth was a leading American regional writer of his day, as well as prolific in several other genres, including historical fiction, poetry, detective fiction, science fiction, and biography.
Detective fiction is a subgenre of crime fiction and mystery fiction in which an investigator or a detective—either professional, amateur or retired—investigates a crime, often murder. The detective genre began around the same time as speculative fiction and other genre fiction in the mid-nineteenth century and has remained extremely popular, particularly in novels. Some of the most famous heroes of detective fiction include C. Auguste Dupin, Sherlock Holmes, and Hercule Poirot. Juvenile stories featuring The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and The Boxcar Children have also remained in print for several decades.
Walt Whitman was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sensuality. Whitman's own life came under scrutiny for his presumed homosexuality.
Mildred Augustine Wirt Benson was an American journalist and author of children's books. She wrote some of the earliest Nancy Drew mysteries and created the detective's adventurous personality. Benson wrote under the Stratemeyer Syndicate pen name, Carolyn Keene, from 1929 to 1947 and contributed to 23 of the first 30 Nancy Drew mysteries, which were bestsellers.
Rex Todhunter Stout was an American writer noted for his detective fiction. His best-known characters are the detective Nero Wolfe and his assistant Archie Goodwin, who were featured in 33 novels and 39 novellas between 1934 and 1975.
Ellery Queen is a crime fiction pseudonym created in 1929 by Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee, and later used by other authors under the supervision of Dannay and Lee. Their main fictional character, whom they also named Ellery Queen, is a mystery writer in New York City who helps his police inspector father solve baffling murders. Most of the more than thirty novels and several short story collections in which Ellery Queen appeared as a character were written by Dannay and Lee, and were among the most popular American mysteries published between 1929 and 1971. From 1961, Dannay and Lee also commissioned other authors to write crime thrillers under the Ellery Queen authorial name, but not featuring Ellery Queen as a character.
Anna Katharine Green was an American poet and novelist. She was one of the first writers of detective fiction in America and distinguished herself by writing well plotted, legally accurate stories. Green has been called "the mother of the detective novel".
John Dickson Carr was an American author of detective stories, who also published using the pseudonyms Carter Dickson, Carr Dickson and Roger Fairbairn.
The G-String Murders is a 1941 detective novel written by American burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee. There have been claims made that the novel was written by mystery writer Craig Rice, but others have suggested that there is sufficient documented evidence in the form of manuscripts and correspondence to prove Lee wrote at least a large portion, if not the whole, of the novel under the tutelage of editor/friend George Davis with some essential guidance from her good friend Rice. The novel has been published under the titles Lady of Burlesque and The Strip-Tease Murders. Set in a burlesque theater, Lee casts herself as the detective who solves a set of homicides in which strippers in her troupe are found strangled with their own G-strings.
Sue Taylor Grafton was an American author of detective novels. She is best known as the author of the "alphabet series" featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California. The daughter of detective novelist C. W. Grafton, she said the strongest influence on her crime novels was author Ross Macdonald. Before her success with this series, she wrote screenplays for television movies.
Franklin W. Dixon is the pen name used by a variety of different authors who wrote The Hardy Boys novels for the Stratemeyer Syndicate as well as for the Ted Scott Flying Stories series published by Grosset & Dunlap.
John Burroughs was an American naturalist and nature essayist, active in the U.S. conservation movement. The first of his essay collections was Wake-Robin in 1871.
Mary Roberts Rinehart was an American writer, often called the American Agatha Christie, although her first mystery novel was published 14 years before Christie's first novel in 1920.
Otto Penzler is an editor of mystery fiction in the United States, and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, where he lives.
Russell Patterson was an American cartoonist, illustrator and scenic designer. Patterson's art deco magazine illustrations helped develop and promote the idea of the 1920s and 1930s fashion style known as the flapper.
Dora Amy Elles, who wrote as Patricia Wentworth, was a British crime fiction writer.
The Kay Tracey Mysteries were published under the name Frances K. Judd, a house pseudonym of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, a book packager. The series was conceived as a response to the popularity of the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories and likewise features a teenage girl detective. While the original entries in the series lasted only from 1934 to 1942, the books were updated, revised, and have been re-issued numerous times, most recently by Bantam Books in the 1980s, and have been translated into Swedish and French. Many critics see Kay Tracey as markedly inferior to Nancy Drew, but some find the series to be significant as one of a number of series that provided girls with a feminist role model prior to third-wave feminism.
Adrien Stoutenburg was an American poet and a prolific writer of juvenile literature. Her poetry collection Heroes, Advise Us was the 1964 Lamont Poetry Selection.
Lillian de la Torre Bueno McCue, who published under the name Lillian de la Torre, was an American novelist and a prolific writer of historical mysteries.
Girl detective is a genre of detective fiction featuring a young, often teen-aged, female protagonist who solves crimes as a hobby.
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