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The Study Of Literature
English Literature Of The 19th Century:
 James Matthew Barrie

 Ian Maclaren

 Mrs. Humphry Ward

 George Du Maurier

 Rudyard Kipling

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George Du Maurier

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

The most suddenly successful novel of recent times was "Trilby," first published in "Harper's Monthly" in 1894. It was written by George du Maurier (1834-1896), who had long been a special artist of "Punch," and had published "Peter Ibbetson" in 1891. His father was a Frenchman, who wished his son to be a chemist, while the latter had stronger propensity for art. Severe study so injured his sight that he had to give up painting. After two years of idleness he began to draw for periodicals, and soon had permanent engagement on "Punch." No attempt was made at broad fun or political satire. Certain phases of London society occupied his attention, and he was especially successful in the delineation of women. Much care was given to the brief dialogues below the drawings, and in this way Du Maurier was trained to write. The story of "Peter Ibbetson" had often been told to his friends before it was written. When given to the public, its quotations from American poets helped to commend it. "Trilby" was founded partly on the author's experience in Paris studios, while the hypnotism was a recognition of a fashionable fad. The immense popularity of the story was due to its revelation of life-like characters in a singular society. Du Maurier, who had long suffered from ill health, did not live long to enjoy his success. He died before his next novel, "The Martian" (1897), appeared.

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