The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

February 7, 2012

February 7, 1863

The Puritan, (a British periodical) published a short story, called "Juliana's Day", in 1899. The author was J. S. Fletcher ( (February 7, 1863 to January 30, 1935) who would in 15 years, become a major contributor to the detective story genre. Here is an excerpt:

JULIANA was nearly thirty, and she had begun to believe that she was destined to be an old maid after all. The thought disgusted her. ...Juliana had been the victim of spinster fostering circumstances which even her high spirited rebelliousness and romantic disposition toward adventure had not been able to overcome.
You may wonder why Juliana did not skip off ...anyhow. She was too much in awe of her godmother's ponderous wrath for one thing, and she did not know any of the boys well enough to hazard their uncertain welcome. For, in spite of her longing for freedom and joy, she had been so kept from all association with creatures of her own age and instincts that she was as awkward and frightened with them as a cat in a dog kennel.
....she was too old to make friends with the boys and girls who were then in the very thick of life and love making. She would have felt like a donkey playing lap dog, she told herself, as she caught glimpses of that other side of existence, and blushed, shying away from the strangeness of it. Sometimes she tried to enter into conversation with the little crowd waiting about the post office window. But her laughter was alien even to her own ears, her witty remarks had not that dear familiarity of friendship's nonsense which makes all words wise....

Fletcher wrote over 200 books in all, fiction and some books about Yorkshire history. His wife was
Rosamond Langbridge, an Irish writer. His detective novels featured a hero named Ronald Camberwell. His family included a son and cats. All forgotten today although the excerpt shows real talent.

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