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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/455

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12 s.x MAT is, 1922.1 NOTES AND QUERIES. 373 " disreputable," and, secondly, the surviving beads of the thiee most important publishers of that class of fiction, viz., Edward Lloyd, Harrison (of Salisbury Court), and Edwin J. Brett (of Fleet Street), might make some protest. He said if the account-books of the three publishers were made public, readers of fiction would soon be convinced that the writers of the " penny dreadful " class were not such despicable authors as many people fondly imagined. Nearly all Edward Lloyd's authors were dramatists. Their number included George Macfarren (father of two distinguished composers, Sir G. A. Macfarren and Walter Macfarren), whose ' Guy Fawkes ' was performed for many years at the Britannia Theatre, Hoxton, on the fifth of November ; Morris Barnett, William Bayle Bernard, John Kerr (author of ' Bill Jones ; or, The Spectre by Land and Sea,' founded on the legend of ' The Three Ravens '), George Lovell (author of ' Love's Sacrifice,' pro- duced at Covent Garden in 1842), Watts Phillips, and even George Daniel, the ener- getic book-collector and editor of acting editions of plays. Among the women writers were Mrs. Johnston (who con- tributed a serial novel, ' Blanche Delamere,' to Tail's Magazine in 1839), the once- popular Mrs. Gore, Emma Whitehead, Mrs. Bray (authoress of ' White Hoods ' and ' Warleigh ; or, The Fatal Oak,' both published by Colburn), and even the Hon. Mrs. Norton. Some acknowledged that they received more remuneration from the enterprising Shoreditch publisher than from his more fashionable brethren in the West End of London. Mr. Church one day asked Edward Lloyd the question, " Who wrote the ' Bos ' tales you published many years ago ? " Edward Lloyd replied that the parodies and imita- tions of Charles Dickens were written in collaboration by Thomas Peskett Prest, William Bayle Bernard and Morris Barnett. Prest " produced the largest literary output, but Morris Barnett was the most brilliant of the trio." Mr. Church said it was Barnett who afterwards introduced Douglas Jerrold to Edward Lloyd. Barnett' s first great hit as an actor was as Tom Drops in Jerrold' s comedy ' The Schoolfellows.' Mr. Church also said it was Edward Lloyd who first suggested to Prest and his collaborator* the idea of the imitations of Charles Dickens' s early tales, and he intended in the first . instance the use of the pen-name of " Boaz.'" This, however, was pointed out to him a: oo Biblical, and the letter " z " might drag hem into legal proceedings. After some liscussion Bos " was eventually decided ipon, especially as it had practically the same sound as " Boz." There was some orotest from Charles Dickens and his pub- ishers, but this did not prevent Edward Lloyd publishing " Bos " tales as long as jhe demand lasted. The venture was very successful, but not so remunerative as many of the publications of more sensational tales. Prest died of lung troubles in an infirmary lear London during the seventies. In addition to his abilities as a novelist, he had some talent as a musician and writer of verse. He wrote and composed the words and music (under various pen-names) of several songs for George Leybourne, the ' Great " Vance, and other " star " comics of the day. He also contributed to The Hornet and other humorous journals of the period. Prest' s favourite tavern (according bo Mr. Church) was the White Swan in Salisbury Court, where, when " hard up, he used to lie in wait " for his old employer, Edward Lloyd. Mrs. Elizabeth Caroline Grey (nee Duncan), authoress of ' The Ordeal by Touch,' ' The Dream of a Life,' &c., before her tales were accepted for publication by Edward Lloyd, kept a school for girls with her unmarried sister in a side street of the City Road. She was for some years a general secretary and editress of Lloyd's publications, and subse- quently became a contributor to The London Journal and other similar periodicals. She died (Mr. Church said) between 1865-69. Her husband was a reporter on The Morning Chronicle. Mr. Church said he never made any attempt to shine as a novelist, but it was generally understood he greatly assisted his wife in the composition of her tales of the more masculine type. Mrs. Grey's nephew, Mr. Duncan, was a well-known reporter on London newspapers, and his son Walter, a free-lance reporter, who died about 1904, by a curious coincidence lived some time in Duncan's Buildings, Holborn. Mrs. Grey was also the niece of Miss Duncan, a celebrated actress of the early years of the nineteenth century, who was the mother of Duncan Davison, the musical publisher near Hanover Square, and W. J. Davison, editor of The Municipal World and musical critic of The Times. According to most of the biographers of Douglas Jerrold, the author of ' Mrs.