Christopher Morley (5 May 1890 – 28 March 1957) was an American journalist, novelist, essayist and poet. He also produced stage productions for a few years and gave college lectures.
Morley began writing while still in college. He edited The Haverfordian and contributed articles to that college publication. He provided scripts for and acted in the college's drama program. He played on the cricket and soccer teams.
In Oxford a volume of his poems, The Eighth Sin (1912), was published. After graduating from Oxford, Morley began his literary career at Doubleday, working as publicist and publisher's reader. In 1917 he got his start as an editor for Ladies' Home Journal (1917–1918), then as a newspaper reporter and newspaper columnist in Philadelphia for the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger.
Morley's first novel, Parnassus on Wheels, appeared in 1917. The protagonist, traveling bookseller Roger Mifflin, appeared again in his second novel, The Haunted Bookshop in 1919.
He was one of the founders and a longtime contributing editor of the Saturday Review of Literature. A highly gregarious man, he was the mainstay of what he dubbed the "Three Hours for Lunch Club". Out of enthusiasm for the Sherlock Holmes stories, he helped found The Baker Street Irregulars and wrote the introduction to the standard omnibus edition of The Complete Sherlock Holmes. He also wrote an introduction to the standard omnibus edition of The Complete Works of Shakespeare in 1936, although Morley called it an "Introduction to Yourself as a Reader of Shakespeare". That year, he was appointed to revise and enlarge Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (11th edition in 1937 and 12th edition in 1948). He was one of the first judges for the Book of the Month Club, serving in that position until the early 1950s.
Author of more than 100 novels, books of essays, and volumes of poetry, Morley is probably best known for his 1939 novel Kitty Foyle, which was made into an Academy Award-winning movie. Another well-known work is Thunder on the Left (1925).
For most of his life, he lived in Roslyn Estates, Nassau County, Long Island, commuting to the city on the Long Island Rail Road, about which he wrote affectionately. In 1961, the 98-acre (40-hectare) Christopher Morley Park on Searingtown Road in Nassau County was named in his honor. This park preserves as a publicly available point of interest his studio, the "Knothole" (which was moved to the site after his death), along with his furniture and bookcases. (wikipedia.org)
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