Stories that End Well

Sep 14, 2013 by

storiesI love the title of this book originally published in 1911.

The stories in this book STORIES THAT END WELL were originally printed in Harper’s Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, The Century Magazine, McClure’s Magazine, Scribner’s Magazine and The Woman’s Home Companion. Classic stories set in the rural villages of Arkansas from the author of “The Man of the Hour,” “The Lion’s Share,” and “By Inheritanceā€¯ CONTENTS I AN ADVENTURE IN ALTRURIA II THROUGH THE TERRORS OF THE LAW III THE REAL THING IV THE OLD PARTISAN V MAX–OR HIS PICTURE VI THE STOUT MISS HOPKINS’ BICYCLE VII THE SPELLBINDER VIII THE OBJECT OF THE FEDERATION IX THE LITTLE LONELY GIRL X THE HERO OF COMPANY G XI A MIRACLE PLAY Octave Thanet (1850-1934) is a pseudonym of American novelist and short story writer Alice French.

Alice French was born in Andover, Massachusetts, the daughter of the Hon. George Henry French, a manufacturer of farm machinery who had held some political offices, and Frances (Morton) French, daughter of a governor of Massachusetts. Before the Civil War, the family moved to Arkansas and, although she was educated at Abbott Academy, in Andover, all of her adult years were spent in the South and West. From 1882 her winters were spent in Arkansas, her summers in Davenport, Iowa. She never married, and her chief interest, aside from her writing, was club work; she was president of the Iowa Society of Colonial Dames, and an active member of half a dozen other patriotic and cultural organizations.

She started writing for the literary magazines of the East in the early 1880s, and continued to publish books and stories until she was nearly seventy. In 1911, the State University of Iowa conferred an honorary Litt. D. on her. All of her novels and stories were published under the pseudonym of “Octave Thanet.” She received very little publicity during her career and, although her novels were popular, her readers knew nothing of her, many of them not even knowing that she was a woman. Most of her novels are set in the rural villages of Arkansas. Only one novel, The Lion’s Share (1907), set in San Francisco, California, features a mystery (and, incidentally, the great earthquake and fire of April 1906).


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