My First Book cover

My First Book

Various

1. 00 – Introduction
2. 01 – Ready-Money Mortiboy
3. 02 – The Family Scapegrace
4. 03 – The Wreck of the ‘Grosvenor’
5. 04 – Physiological Aesthetics and Philistia
6. 05 – The Shadow of a Crime
7. 06 – The Social Kaleidoscope
8. 07 – Departmental Ditties
9. 08 – Juvenilia
10. 09 – The Trail of the Serpent
11. 10 – The House of Elmore
12. 11 – Dawn
13. 12 – Hudson’s Bay
14. 13 – The Premier and the Painter
15. 14 – The Western Avernus
16. 15 – A Life’s Atonement
17. 16 – A Romance of Two Worlds
18. 17 – On the Stage and Off
19. 18 – Cavalry Life
20. 19 – Californian Verse
21. 20 – Dead Man’s Rock
22. 21 – Undertones and Idyls and Legends of Inverburn
23. 22 – Treasure Island

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Summary

This is not a children’s book, as may be supposed from the title, but a collection of essays first published in The Idler magazine, in which over twenty well-known writers describe with characteristic style and humour their experiences in producing their first book… and getting it published. The book is profusely illustrated, not only with portraits of the authors, but also with scenes and illustrations from the books discussed. Authors include Jerome K. Jerome, R. L. Stevenson, Bret Harte, Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Mary Braddon. Full of charm, humour and pathos, this book is like a fireside chat with authors of the past, as well as being a fascinating insight into the literary scene of the late 19th century.The listener is warned that a few of the chapters contain spoilers, especially in cases where the publisher insisted on the author changing the ending of his book. Links to online texts of the works discussed are provided where available.