Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/339

This page needs to be proofread.


12 S.X.APRIL s, 1922.] NOTES AND QUERIES. 277 C. Green ; those to ' False Steps ' and * Molly Moyne ' are unsigned. It was at this period (1865) that J. F. Smith rejoined The London Journal, the proprietor of which periodical purchased the copyrights of the stories which had been running through CasseWs Illustrated Paper for 1,000. I have not been able to trace any of these serials as published in book form, but most i of those that appeared in The London Jour- nal were published by Messrs. Bradley and Co. at various times and can be picked up occasionally at second-hand bookshops. |

  • The Will and the Way ' appeared again as |

a serial in No. 1 of The Seven Days Journal, Sept. 6, 1862, and was continued in No. 1 of The London Reader, May 18, 1863, when the former became incorporated with the latter. ' Minnigrey ' also appeared in No. 1 of The Guide, Aug. 3, 1 86 1 . This work is considered and accepted as the highest achievement of the author and became very popular, and I believe is so at the present time. That J. F. Smith was a popular man in his day goes without saying, for with vol. viii. (N.S.) of The London Journal, No. 363 (Nov. 25, 1890), was presented a large sheet pic- torial almanac containing the portraits of a bevy of society and actress beauties, in- cluding Miss Winifred Emery, Lady Brooke, Miss Mary Anderson, Madame Albani, Ellen Terry, Nikita (?), Adelina Patti, Lady Dunlo, the Countess of Zetland and Lady Randolph Churchill ; and right in the centre of these is a portrait of John Frederick Smith. Most of Smith's tales were re-issued as serials in The London Journal from time to time, and he does not appear to have written many, if any, tales other than those already enumerated by MR. RALPH THOMAS and those that appeared in Cassettes Illustrated Family Paper. ' Rochester, or The Merry Days of Merry England,' which was published in 29 penny weekly numbers by E. Lloyd, 1852, appeared as a serial in The Halfpenny Gazette, No. 46 (Jan. 16, 1864), with illustra- tions by C. Bonner, but only ran to 38 chapters instead of the original 49. I am wondering whether J. F. Smith had anything to do with those " Penny Dreadful " tales which are the subject of my query under ' Early Victorian Literature ' (see ante, pp. 210 and 273). ' The Jesuit,' by Smith, in three vols., published by Saunders and Otley, Conduit Street, in *1832, is not illus- trated ; * Amy Lawrence, the Freemason's Daughter,' in 35 numbers, published by H. Lea, Warwick Lane, 1860, is illustrated ; ' The Prelate,' published by Ward and Lock in a yellow -back edition in 1860, is not illustrated ; but ' The Chronicles of Stans- field Hall,' in 50 numbers, published by E. Lloyd, 1851, is illustrated in the usual style of " Penny Dreadfuls." Smith ended his days in New York, where he published some of his old tales and some new ones, the titles of which I cannot find. The actual date of his death I have failed to discover, although I wrote to a firm of publishers in New York on the subject. I did, however, gather that the once popular idol and writer had died in obscurity and want, some time during March, 1890. Only one English newspaper, the London Star, chronicled the fact, and said : There has just died in New York J. F. Smith^ a once popular author, who wrote a large number of serials in the fifties for The London Journal. His methods of production were peculiar, nothing- would irduce him to write more than the weekly instalment, which ws done in a room at the office of The Journal. Here he was shut up with a bottle of port and a cigar, or pipe, glance at the last week's instalment (and the office boy had strict instructions not to let him out withci.it the necessary copy), and he would write off a week's- instalment for the next number and take it to the cashier and draw his pay, and sending out the boy to see if the court was clear of dunning or ob- jectionable characters, would leave the office and not return until the following week. In this way were his long romances produced, and it is marvellous how he could keep his connexion of the plot and characters under such conditions. Smith was a pure Bohemian, and it is related of him that whilst in the height of his popularity and enjoying the income of an Under- Secretary of State, he lived -in seclusion in a boarding-house in Bloomsbury and would not associate himself with his fellow-writers, one reason for this exclusive- ness being his deafness, which prevented him from entering into profitable con- versation with others. FRANK JAY. COL. MONTBESOB OF BELMONT (12 S. X. 170, 214). F. M. M. would be glad of my references to The Kentish Gazette, and I have pleasure in giving the following as quoted by my correspondent : Kentish Gazette, June 21, 1799. Maidstone. It is with the utmost regret that we have to announce the death of John Montresor, Esq., late of Belmont in this county. Kentish Gazette, June 25, 1799. The remains of John Montresor, Esq., whose death was mentioned in our Friday's paper, were conveyed from the jail at Maidstone on Wednesday last and interred in the most private manner in the Parish Church of that place. The