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Frank Richard Stockton

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

Among American writers of fiction Frank Richard Stockton holds a unique place. He was born in Philadelphia in 1834 and learned wood-engraving. He began his literary career by writing for children "Round-about Rambles" and "Tales out of School." But his peculiar position was established by his "Rudder Grange" (1879), a picturesque humorous exposition of American life. His peculiarity consists in treating odd, and even impossible, events as if they were perfectly natural. Over the improbabilities of character and incident there is shed a pleasant humor, which beguiles and reconciles the reader. "The Casting Away of Mrs. Lecks and Mrs. Aleshine," and its sequel "The Dusantes," are full of amusing impossibilities, yet told in such a straightforward manner as to enchain the attention. "The Lady or the Tiger?" is a short story which ends like a riddle, leaving the reader to give his own answer. "The Adventures of Captain Horn" (1895) and its sequel, "Mrs. Cliff's Yacht" (1897), are full of absurdly romantic incidents, related in a clear and charming style.

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