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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Hall Caine (1853–1931)
Critical and Biographical Introduction
 
THOMAS HENRY HALL CAINE was born on the Isle of Man, of Manx and Cambrian parentage. He began his career as an architect in Liverpool, and made frequent contributions to the Builder and Building News. Acquiring a taste for literary work, he secured an engagement on the Liverpool Mercury, and shortly afterward formed an intimate friendship with Dante Gabriel Rossetti which was of incalculable benefit to the young writer, then twenty-five years of age. At eighteen he had already published a poem “of the mystical sort” under a pseudonym, and two years later he received £10 for writing the autobiography of some one else.  1
  About 1880 Caine settled in London, living with Rossetti until the poet’s death in 1882. The same year he produced ‘Recollections of Rossetti’ and ‘Sonnets of Three Centuries,’ which were followed by ‘Cobwebs of Criticism’ and a ‘Life of Coleridge.’ In 1885 he published his first novel, ‘The Shadow of a Crime,’ which was successful. Speaking of the pains he took in the writing of this story, the author says: “Shall I ever forget the agonies of the first efforts?… It took me nearly a fortnight to start that novel, sweating drops as of blood at every fresh attempt.” The first half was written at least four times; and when the book was finished, more than half of it was destroyed so that a fresh suggestion might be worked in. This wonderful capacity for taking infinite pains has remained one of the chief characteristics of this novelist. In 1886 Mr. Caine brought out ‘A Son of Hagar,’ and this was followed by ‘The Deemster’ (1887), afterwards dramatized under the title of ‘Ben-Ma’-Chree’; ‘The Bondman’ (1890); ‘The Scapegoat’ (1891); ‘The Last Confession,’ ‘Cap’n Davy’s Honeymoon’ (1892); ‘The Manxman’ (1894); ‘The Christian’ (1897); ‘The Eternal City’ (1901); ‘The Prodigal Son’ (1904); ‘Pete’ (1908); ‘The White Prophet’ (1909); ‘The Woman Thou Gavest Me’ (1913).  2
  Mr. Caine visited Russia in 1892 in behalf of the persecuted Jews, and in 1895 traveled in the United States and Canada, where he represented the Society of Authors, and obtained important international copyright concessions from the Dominion Parliament. He makes his principal home at Greeba Castle on the Isle of Man, where he is greatly endeared to the natives.  3
 
 
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