Morley, Christopher

Tagged: Author

(1890-1957) US author and man of letters, brother of Felix Morley, who remains best known for mildly fantasticated (but not fantasy) tales like Parnassus on Wheels (1917) and The Haunted Bookshop (1919), and for Kitty Foyle (1939), a sentimental romance. He was a founding member of the Book-of-the-Month club, serving as a selector from 1928 to 1956; and co-founded the Baker Street Irregulars in 1934 (see Arthur Conan Doyle). Where the Blue Begins (1922), a Beast Fable [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], mildly satirizes human life in New York by substituting dogs for people, deadpan. Thunder on the Left (1925), though also essentially a fantasy, uses its Time-Travel theme to transport its child protagonist into a taxing future. Pleased to Meet You (1927) and Rudolph and Amina; Or, the Black Crook (1930) are Ruritanian spoofs, the first set in Illyria after World War One, the second featuring a mysterious scientist who makes a deal with the Devil. The narrator of The Swiss Family Manhattan (1932), victim of a Zeppelin crash which deposits his family atop a New York skyscraper under construction, at first thinks Americans are "anthropoids" (see Apes as Human), but the text soon becomes a mundane Satire; the similarities between this tale and H G Wells's Mr Blettsworthy on Rampole Island (1928) are marked but may be coincidental. The Trojan Horse (1937) employs the Homeric tale to satirize modern life. The Man Who Made Friends With Himself (1949) is a Doppelganger fantasy. [JC]

Christopher Darlington Morley

born Haverford, Pennsylvania: 5 May 1890

died Roslyn Heights, Long Island, New York: 28 March 1957

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