Richard Pryce

Richard Pryce
Born(1864-05-14)14 May 1864
Died30 May 1942(1942-05-30) (aged 78)
NationalityEnglish
OccupationNovelist and playwright
Years active1887 – 1918
Notable work
David Penstephen

Richard Pryce (14 May 1864 – 30 May 1942)[1][2][3][4] was an English novelist, author of Christopher, David Penstephen and other works of fiction.[note 1] He was also a playwright and wrote a number of one act and three-act plays. Disappointed with his cold reception by the public in Britain, despite glowing reviews, he wrote very little after the outbreak of the First World War.[6]

Early life[]

Pryce was born in Boulogne, France on 14 May 1864.[1] He was the second son of Colonel Price and Sarah Beatrice Hamilton (30 June 1834 – 7 April 1911).[4][2] He was educated at Leamington in Warwickshire. He started life as a junior clerk in the Bank of England, before his first novel, An Evil Spirit was published in 1887.[7]

Novels[]

Jisc Library Hub Discover[note 2] lists 18 novels by Pryce. This list is not necessarily exhaustive.

Novels by Pryce
Ser. Year Title Publisher Pages Notes
1 1887 An Evil Spirit T. Fisher Unwin, London 2 v., 8º [note 3]
2 1889 The Ugly Story of Miss Wetherby Walter Scott, London 198 p. [note 4]
3 1890 Just impediment Ward & Downey, London 2 v., 8º [note 5]
4 1891 Deck-chair Stories Ward & Downey, London 245 p., 8º [note 6]
5 1891 The Quiet Mrs. Fleming Methuen, London 258 p., 8º [note 7]
6 1892 Miss Maxwell's affections : a novel Chatto & Windus, London 2 v., 8º [note 8]
7 1892 Time and the woman Methuen, London 2 v., 8º [note 9]
8 1894 Winifred Mount : a novel Methuen, London 2 v., 8º [note 10]
9 1895 The burden of a woman A. D. Innes, London 315 p., 8º [note 11]
10 1897 Elementary Jane Hutchinson, London [iv], 331 p., 8º [note 12]
11 1900 Jezebel Hutchinson, London 352 p., 8º [note 13]
12 1904 The Successor Hutchinson, London 332 p., 8º [note 14]
13 1907 Towing-Path Bess, and other stories Chapman & Hall, London 249 p., 8º [note 15]
14 1911 Christopher Hutchinson & Co, London 343 p., 8º [note 16]
15 1916 David Penstephen Methuen & Co, London 364 p., 8º [note 17]
16 1918 The Statue in the Wood W. Collins Sons & Co, London 305 p., 8º [note 18]
17 1924 Romance and Jane Weston W. Collins, London 291 p., 8º [note 19]
18 1932 Morgan's yard W. Collins, London 288 p., 8º [note 20]

Plays[]

Jisc Library Hub Discover list ten plays by Pryce, or collections of plays. to which he contributed. Kemp notes that most of his plays were adaptations of the works of other authors.[7] The following list is not exhaustive as at least one play by Pryce was found which was not listed in the catalogues collated by Jisc, and press references have been found to other plays.

Plays by Pryce, and collections of plays to which he contributed`.
Serial Year Title Publisher Pages Notes
1 1904 'Op-o'-me-thumb : a play in one act Samuel French, London 25 p., 8º [note 21]
2 1904 Saturday to Monday : an irresponsible comedy in three acts [note 22]
3 1906 A privy council : a comedy in one act Samuel French, London 34, 6 p., musical score, 8º [note 23]
4 1907 The dumb-cake. A play in one act Samuel French, London 12º [note 24]
4 1910 Little Mrs. Cummin : a comedy in three acts Samuel French, London 97, 1 p., 8º [note 25]
6 1910 The visit : a play in one act Samuel French, London 24 p., 8º [note 26]
7 1914 Helen with the high hand : a play in three acts Samuel French, London 103, 5 p., 8º [note 27]
8 1920 The Old House [note 28]
9 1924 One-act plays of to-day Harrap, London [note 29]
10 1925 One-act plays of to-day : second series Harrap, London [note 30]
11 1935 Frolic Wind. A play in three acts. Victor Gollancz, London 127 p., 8º [note 31]
12 1935 Famous plays of 1934-5 Victor Gollancz, London 695 p., 8º [note 32]

Later life[]

Pryce lived most of his life in the West End of London. He lived in one of the most quaint and miniature houses in London, fashioned out of a garage and two rooms which had been converted into five rooms and a bathroom.[44] This was The Cottage, 4 Groom Place, Belgrave Square, London, where Pryce was still living at his death in 1928.[3] His house was filled with finds from the Caledonian Market, to which Pryce made a visit every Friday morning.[44]

Pryce died in the Royal Avenue Nursing Home in Chelsea, London, on 30 May 1942. His estate was valued at £2,500 14s. 1d.[3]

Assessment[]

Sadlier stated that, despite praise from reviewers, Pryce never had the success in Britain that he deserved. David Penstephen was widely read in the United States, but Pryce's self-assurance was shaken by the neglect he suffered at the hands of the British public.[34]. He was much more popular in the United States and got many letters from readers there.[44] Kemp says that Discouraged by the lack of public interest in his work, though reviews were warm, Pryce had more or less given up writing fiction by the outbreak of the First World War.[7] However, the British Library catalogue contains works after this date. The Pall Mall Gazette said that Mr. Pryce's work is always highly finished, and very interesting on its technical side. He might almost be called "a writers’ writer."[30]

Notes[]

  1. ^ In 1913, the San Francisco Call announced: Four Books by the author of "Christopher" Are Published Simultaneously In This Country. The United States has been invaded by Richard Pryce through the medium of his novels, no less than four of which have been published simultaneously in this country. Up to the present time Mr. Pryce's reputation as far as America was concerned has rested upon a single moderately successful story, "Christopher." The best of the four novels recently issued may be expected to receive the same sort of limited recognition.[5]
  2. ^ The Jisc Library Hub Discover brings together the catalogues of 165 Major UK and Irish libraries. Additional libraries are being added all the time, and the catalogue collates national, university, and research libraries.[8][9]
  3. ^ Has a frontispiece by Henry Stephen Hal Ludlow (29 January 1859 – 19 August 1940),[10][11] whom Houfe describes as a very competent all round magazine illustrator, his subjects ranging from theatrical sketches to Parliamentary reporting, stories and cattle shows[12]
  4. ^ The Pall Mall Gazette said that the book is . . . a bright tale of a clever imposture, which loses little by being quite impossible. The interest is well sustained, and the reader is kept in the dark for a very reasonable time.[13] There is an online copy at the British Library.[14]
  5. ^ There is an online copy at the British Library.[15]
  6. ^ There is an online copy at the British Library.[16]
  7. ^ There is an online copy at the British Library.[17]
  8. ^ There are online copies of both volumes at the British Library.[18][19]. The British Library catalogue refers to an 1892 single volume ion by Chatto with a frontispiece by Henry Stephen Hal Ludlow.
  9. ^ There are an online copies of both volumes at the British Library.[20][21]
  10. ^ The British Library has online copies of both the 1894 two volume ion by Methuen,[22][23] and the 1895 single ion by Innes & Co.[24] The Athenæum said We should like to tell the plot of Mr. Pryce's delightful story, if only to show how skilfully it is put together.[25]
  11. ^ There is an online copy at the British Library.[26]
  12. ^ There is an online copy at the British Library.[27]
  13. ^ The Westminster Gazette said that: . . . there is a good deal of pleasant writing in it . . . but that the book is . . . a trifle long drawn out, and is inclined to tediousness in consequence. and that the book as a whole does not live up to the promise of graphic and dramatic writing in the first chapter.[28]
  14. ^ This was the third ion
  15. ^ The Manchester Courier described this book as a collection of fifteen tales imbued with all the author's delightful qualities of dramatic characterisation and human sympathy.[29] Most of the stories had already appeared in magazines.[30] One of the stories The girl from Lambeth wad first appeared in ' Chapman's Magazine in 1896[31] and was subsequently dramatised by Pryce and Frederick Fenn as My Child.[32]
  16. ^ The novel follows the hero, Christopher Herrick from his birth aboard an ocean steamer on which his widowed mother is returning from India. The novel continues until early manhood, when Christopher's hopes of marrying an unsuitable wife are crushed.[33]
  17. ^ Sadlier says that this was widely read in the United States.[34]
  18. ^ The Exeter and Plymouth Gazette said it was . . . a well told and thoroughly interesting story. [35]
  19. ^ Mr. Richard Pryce's sensitive art is not without a certain kinship with that of Miss Austen. His personages usually live in comfortable circumstances; their love attain and marriages are of the first importance. He excels in describing a charming drawing-room.[36]
  20. ^ The Western Mail said I do not think that Mr. Richard Pryce has hurried over this story. He seems to linger lovingly over every word he has written. . . Mr. Pryce possesses a style which enfolds his subject with beauty and the thought which fills that beauty with light.[37]
  21. ^ French's acting ion 2267. Written together with Frederick Fenn. The Bystander said that: In its realism and combination of comedy and tragedy "Op o' me Thumb" stands almost unrivalled.[38] Served as a curtain raiser for Saturday to Monday at the St. James's Theatre[39]
  22. ^ Written together with Frederick Fenn. Opened at the St. James Theatre on 14 April 1904. 'Op 'o me Thumb served as a curtain raiser. [39]. The play was still more than two months later when The Bystander did a six page photo-story on the play.[40]
  23. ^ Written with playwright William Price Drury. French's acting ion no. 2302
  24. ^ Adapted from a story in Arthur Morrison's "Divers vanities." French's acting ion no. 2318
  25. ^ This was adapted by Pryce from the novel The Eglamore Portraits (Methuen, London, 1906) by Mary E. Mann.[41] French's acting ion 2359. The play was first performed on 1 December 1909 at the Playhouse. The London Evening Standard consider that while the play was distinctly jolly, it was not that funny. The plot centred on a mother-in-law secretly working against her son's wife.[42]
  26. ^ This was an adaptation by Pryce of a story by Mary E. Mann called Freddy's Ship.[41] French's acting ion no. 2356. The play was first performed on 1 December 1909 at the Playhouse, as a curtain raiser for Little Mrs Cummin. The London Evening Standard called the play a serious little play and was complimentary about the play and the actors. The one act-play concerned a woman trying to keep the news of the death of someone from his mother.[42]
  27. ^ This was an adaptation of the novel by Arnold Bennett. French's acting ion no. 2526. It was performed at the Vaudeville Theatre, London in 1914, with Mary Clare in the lead role.[43]
  28. ^ The play was not found in the Jisc catalogue (which includes the British Library catalogue). Adapted from the novel Candlelight by Alice Dudeney (Hurst and Blackett, London, 1918). Performed at the Royal Court Theatre, London in 1920.[43]
  29. ^ Selected by J. W. Marriott. It is not clear which of Pryce's one-act plays featured in this volume. This volume was obviously a success as Marriott ed the fourth series in 1928.
  30. ^ Selected by J. W. Marriott. It is not clear which of Pryce's one-act plays featured in this volume.
  31. ^ Adapted from the novel by Richard Oke. Produced at the Royalty Theatre in 1935.[43]
  32. ^ This omnibus volume contained the following plays: Viceroy Sarah by N. Ginsbury' The Dominant Sex by M. Egan, Frolic Wind by Pryce, The Old Ladies by R. Ackland, Flowers of the Forest by J. van Druten, and Lovers' Leap by P. Johnson.

References[]

  1. ^ a b National Archives (1939-09-29). 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/6331: E.D. AYNY. Kew: National Archives.
  2. ^ a b A. & C. Black Ltd. (1967). Who Was Who: Volume IV 1941-1950: A Companion to Who's Who Containing the Biographies of Those Who Died During the Period 1941-1950. Vol. 4 1941-1950 (4th ed.). London: Adam and Charles Black. p. 942. Retrieved 2020-08-10 – via The Internet Archive.
  3. ^ a b c "Wills and Probates 1858-1996: Pages for Pryce and the year of death 1942". Find a Will Service. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  4. ^ a b "Richard Pryce". Find a Grave. 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  5. ^ "A Group of Novels by Richard Pryce". San Francisco Call. 113 (86). 1913-02-24.
  6. ^ Sutherland, John (1905-06-11). The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. p. 513. ISBN 0-8047-1528-9. Retrieved 2020-08-05 – via The Internet Archive.
  7. ^ a b c Kemp, Sandra; Mitchell, Charlotte; Trotter, David (1905-06-19). Edwardian Fiction: An Oxford Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 323. Retrieved 2020-06-26 – via The Internet Archive.
  8. ^ "Libraries on Discover: Contributing libraries list". Library Hub Discover. 2020-07-25.
  9. ^ "About Library Hub Discover". Library Hub Discover. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  10. ^ National Archives (1939-09-29). 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/2128H: E.D. DWAN. Kew: National Archives.
  11. ^ "Wills and Probates 1858-1996: Pages for Lucking and the year of death 1940". Find a Will Service. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  12. ^ Houfe, Simon (1905-05-31). Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists, 1800-1914. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club. p. 375. Retrieved 2020-07-14 – via The Internet Archive.
  13. ^ "A Batch of Shilling Impossibilities". Pall Mall Gazette (Monday 11 March 1889): 3. 1889-03-11. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  14. ^ Pryce, Richard (1892). An Evil Spirit (Rev. ed.). London: Griffith & Farran. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Library.
  15. ^ Pryce, Richard (1892). Just Impediment. London: Griffith & Farran. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Library.
  16. ^ Pryce, Richard (1891). Deck-chair Stories,. London: Ward & Downey. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Library.
  17. ^ Pryce, Richard (1891). The Quiet Mrs. Fleming. London: Methuen & Co. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Library.
  18. ^ Pryce, Richard (1891). Miss Maxwell's Affections. Vol. 1. London: Chatto & Windus. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Library.
  19. ^ Pryce, Richard (1891). Miss Maxwell's Affections. Vol. 2. London: Chatto & Windus. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Library.
  20. ^ Pryce, Richard (1892). Time and the Woman. Vol. 1. London: Methuen & Co. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Library.
  21. ^ Pryce, Richard (1892). Time and the Woman. Vol. 2. London: Methuen & Co. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Library.
  22. ^ Pryce, Richard (1894). Winifred Mount. Vol. 1. London: Methuen & Co. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Library.
  23. ^ Pryce, Richard (1894). Winifred Mount. Vol. 2. London: Methuen & Co. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Library.
  24. ^ Pryce, Richard (1895). Winifred Mount (New ed.). London: Innes & Co. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Library.
  25. ^ "Winifred Mount by Richard Pryce". The Athenæum. 1913-02-24.
  26. ^ Pryce, Richard (1895). The Burden of a Woman. London: Innes & Co. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Library.
  27. ^ Pryce, Richard (1897). Elementary Jane. London: Hutchinson & Co. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Library.
  28. ^ "Eight Story Books". St James's Gazette (Friday 14 September 1900): 5. 1900-09-14. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  29. ^ "New Novels". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser (Friday 08 March 1907): 10. 1907-03-08. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  30. ^ a b "Books in Brief: Fiction". Pall Mall Gazette (Saturday 09 March 1907): 4. 1907-03-09. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  31. ^ "Advertisement for Chapman's Magazine". Pall Mall Gazette (Wednesday 29 January 1896): 3. 1896-01-29. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  32. ^ "Advertisement by Chapman and Hall". Pall Mall Gazette (Monday 18 March 1907): 3. 1907-03-18. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  33. ^ "C. D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World's Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917. H. R. Keller. The Reader's Digest of Books: Christopher: Richard Pryce (1864–1942)". Bartleby.Com Great Books online. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  34. ^ a b Sadleir, Michael (1969). XIX Century Fiction : a Bibliographical Record Based on His Own Collection. Vol. 1. New York: Cooper Square Publishers inc. p. 298. Retrieved 2020-08-10 – via The Internet Archive.
  35. ^ "The Statue in the Wood". Exeter and Plymouth Gazette (Tuesday 17 December 1918): 5. 1918-12-17. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  36. ^ "Books of the Day: Realism and Romance". Westminster Gazette (Wednesday 31 December 1924): 6. 1924-12-31. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  37. ^ M., F. J. (1932-03-24). "When the Scales Fell Off". Western Mail (Wales) (Thursday 24 March 1932): 9. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  38. ^ "Op O' Me Thumb at the St. James's Theatre". The Bystander (Wednesday 04 May 1904): 51. 1904-05-04. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  39. ^ a b "Advertisement for St. James's Theatre". Daily Mirror (Tuesday 12 April 1904): 5. 1904-04-12. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  40. ^ """Saturday to Monday"" at the St. James's Theatre". The Bystander (Wednesday 18 May 1904): 32–37(694–699). 1904-05-18. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  41. ^ a b "Untitled". Sporting Life (Thursday 11 November 1909): 2. 1909-11-11. Retrieved 2020-08-10 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  42. ^ a b "The Playhouse". London Evening Standard (Thursday 02 December 1909): 10. 1909-12-02. Retrieved 2020-08-10 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  43. ^ a b c "Chit Chat: Richar Pryce". The Stage (Thursday 04 June 1942): 4. 1942-06-04. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  44. ^ a b c "The Round of the Day". Westminster Gazette (Saturday 31 July 1926): 6. 1926-07-31. Retrieved 2020-08-11 – via The British Newspaper Archive.

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