Saturday, May 3, 2008

Philip Richards (1842-1890 ?)

“Jack Harkaway”

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper December 27, 1873 >

"Bracebridge Hemyng Esq., Barrister of the Inner Temple, London, is the author of the celebrated “Jack Harkaway” stories. Mr. Frank Leslie has for some time been negotiating with him to make his residence in this country, in order to continue his popular series for FRANK LESLIE’S BOYS’ AND GIRL’S WEEKLY, and to write exclusively for him. Mr. Hemyng finally accepted his tempting offer, and arrived by the steamer City of Brussels a few days since. It having been announced in the BOYS’ AND GIRL’S WEEKLY that Mr. Hemyng was expected to arrive, he received a very enthusiastic reception from his young admirers on his landing. About Mr. Hemyng we will have more to say in a future number. He is so well known through his stories that young people are anxious to hear from him."

Edwin Brett, London proprietor of the Boys’ of England, home to the original Jack Harkaway stories, was furious at the defection but continued the series under an author unknown to history. Unknown that is until copies of “Jack Harkaway Among the Brigands” and “Jack Harkaway and Son's Adventures Round the World” turned up at a booksellers with the written notation “by Philip Richards.”

Steve Holland has told that story in “Who wrote Jack Harkaway?” with another interesting snippet of information which I quote >

“Henry Richards, his father, was a printer. The family were living at 1 Exeter Change in 1851 at which time Henry's elder brothers Henry and Mark were also printers (the latter an apprentice). But what I find most interesting is in the 1861 census: Philip is then an 18-year-old clerk living at 33 Cranbourne Street with his widowed mother and, at the same address is another clerk, a 26-year-old named Charles H. Ross.”

Armed with this snippet of information I can add a little further bit to the biographical material hunted out by Steve.

Philip Richards (1842-1890 ?) was a contributor to the annual Christmas issues of "Bow Bells Annual" published by John Dicks. On Dec 13, 1868 he contributed a short tale called “Christmas in France.” Other contributors were Charles H. Ross, George Augustus Sala, and J. Redding Ware. Ware has been suggested as one of the authors connected to the penny dreadful side of the Newsagents Publishing Company although none of his titles are known. On Dec. 12 1869 Richards again contributed a short story to Bow Bells Annual.

A. Lynes and Sons of Holywell-lane, Shoreditch, were well known tailors who published an attractive 112 page illustrated magazine consisting of short stories and fashion plates promoting their wares. The first I know of was from October 2 1870 published under the title "Smiles and Styles." This had stories by cartoonist Matt Morgan, Lascalles, Marston, Bracebridge Hemyng, Paul Bedford Junior, A. De Vere, Arthur Lynes, Linnaeus Banks, and Philip Richards ("Tum Tum’s Story”.) Artwork was contributed by Matt Morgan, Marie Duval and J. Buckley.

On February 25 1871 the Surrey theatre staged a sensational drama called “Ruth; or, a Poor Girl’s Life in London,” a joint composition between Charles Henry Ross and Philip Richards. The stage manager was E. T. Smith, and “Miss Marie Duval well enacts the role of Lord Fernfield. She makes a strikingly dapper and elegant young gentleman. Her assumption of the bearing of a lord of the creation, and her affectation of aristocratic ease and frigidity, are accomplished with great cleverness.” The play, like Ross’s previous drama “Clam” was received with ‘rapturous applause,’ and great reviews. The two authors had a decided hit on their hands.

I found a few more tit-bits, all from ads for Lynes “bi-yearly” magazines. On May 30, 1874 Richards supplied a story for “Folios and Fashions.” Sept 10, 1875 it was A. Lynes and Sons “Winter Book.” Richards offered a tale titled “Beaux and Arrows.” Finally, on November 10 ,1877 came “Attire and Attraction,” with original stories by E. L. Blanchard, Robert Reece, J. Redding Ware, Arthur Lynes and Philip Richards. A. Lynes and Sons had a new address at this time, 192, and 193 Shoreditch. All the writing talent was drawn from contributors to John Dick’s "Bow Bells" weekly story paper.

"Jack Harkaway and his Son's Adventures in Greece"was a continuation of the serial "Jack Harkaway among the Brigands" and can also probably be credited to Philip Richards.

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