Ernest Bramah Biography and Criticism
The bulk of this information comes from the writings of William White, through the kindness of the University of Virginia Library, with additional information supplied by Paul Voorhees, Michael Wahl, and Lawrence Person. I would greatly appreciate any additions, corrections and comments.
- Barker, Ernest A.A Guide to the Best Fiction. New edition. London: George Routledge & Sons Ltd., 1913, p. 187. [A brief paragraph on The Wallet of Kai Lung and a sentence on The Mirror of Kong Ho.]
- Barker, Ernest A. and James Packman.A Guide to the Best Fiction. New and enlarged edition. London: George Routledge & Sons Ltd., 1932, p. 71. [Same material as in the 1913 edition, plus listing additional editions, Kai Lung's Golden Hours, Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat, and a short paragraph on A Little Flutter.]
- Belloc, Hillaire. Preface to Kai Lung's Golden Hours. London: Grant Richards Ltd., 1922, pp. 1-6. [One of the best things written about Bramah, reprinted in all editions of this book.]
- Benet, William Rose, editor.The Reader's Encyclopedia. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1948, pp.1042. [Six lines under 'Smith, Ernest Bramah'; nothing under 'Bramah' or 'Kai Lung'.]
- Bennett, Arnold.The Journal of Arnold Bennett, 1896-1928. New York: The Viking Press, 1933, p. 891. [On 16 Augist 1916 Bennett wrote: 'I read several stories in Stories of Crime and Detection. Poe is the best. Austin Freeman next. Conan Doyle is poor. Bramah far-fetched and unimpressive. These people have an idea and seem to be without imagination or the skill to use the idea.']
- Block, Maxine, editor.Current Biography: Who's News and Why, 1942. New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1942, pp. 105. [Five lines under 'Bramah, Ernest' on his death and two obituary references.]
- Carter, John.Books and Book-Collectors. London: Jonathan Cape; Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Company, 1957, p. 85. [In a three-times reprinted essay, 'Collecting Detective Fiction', one sentence: 'Ernest Bramah's Max Carrados, being blind, is to some extent inevitably intuitive, but his methods in general are as ruthlessly logical as the purist could wish.']
- Goldberg, Joshua.What's in a Name? or playfully on a Tangent. Armchair Detective, 7 (1974), 122-24. [Etymology of the name Max Carrados.]
- Haycraft, Howard.Murder for Pleasure: The Life and Times of the Detective Story. New York and London: Appleton-Century Company, Inc., 1941, pp. 77-79. [Two pages on Bramah, mainly on Max Carrados.]
- Haycraft, Howard, editor.The Art of the Mystery Story: A Collection of Critical Essays. With a commentary. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1946, pp. 23, 28, 41, 53, 65, 78, 90, 410, 413, 463, 479, 499. [References to Max Carrados by E. M. Wrong, Willard Huntington Wright, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ellery Queen, John Carter and James Sandoe.]
- Kunitz, Stanley J., and Howard Haycraft. 'Smith, Ernest Bramah ("Ernest Bramah") (1869 ? - June 27, 1942)'; Twentieth Century Authors. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1942, pp. 1304-1305. [The most complete biographical sketch of Bramah available, lists 16 of his books and 5 items about him.]
- Langford, David. 'Ernest Bramah: Crime and Chinoiserie'; Million. 1991. [Review and criticism of both the Kai Lung and Max Carrados books. Complete text.]
- Mais, S. P. B. 'Ernest Bramah' Some Modern Authors. London: Grant Richards; New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1923, pp. 45-51. [One of the few chapters about Bramah in a book, but this is mainly a review of Kai Lung's Golden Hours.]
- Penzler, Otto 'Collecting Mystery Fiction', The Armchair Detective Vol. 16 No. 2, Spring 1983, pp. 199-201.
- Richards, GrantAuthor Hunting by an Old Literary Sportsman: Memories of Years Spent Mainly in Publishing, 1897-1925. London: Hamish Hamilton; New York: Coward-McCann, Inc., 1934, pp. 272-275. [A few pages, but important ones by Bramah's publisher; the English edition contains a full-page portrait.]
- Richards, GrantHousman: 1897-1936. London: Oxford University Press, 1941; New York, 1942, p. 245. [A. E. Housman wrote on 4 July 1928 after Richards had sent Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat: 'Thanks for Bramah's book, which I am reading after dinner with amusement.']
- Richards, Grant Introduction to The Wallet of Kai Lung. London: Grant Richards Ltd., 1923, pp. v-x. [A fuller treatment of Bramah than others by Richards and more valuable; reprinted in all later editions by the Richards Press.]
- Rochette, Edward C. 'Blind Detective Had Real Feel for His Work', Numismatic News 14 January 1997, p. 24. [Long article focusing primarily on numismatics, but interesting in that the author claims Bramah had indeed spent time in China.]
- Squire, J. C. 'The Wallet of Kai Lung', Life and Letters: Essays. London: William Heinemann; New York: George H. Doran Company, 1921, pp 44-51. [A reprint of a review of the 1917 Methuen edition of the Wallet; the article first appeared in Land and Water, a British weekly.]
- Squire, J. C. Preface to The Mirror of Kong Ho. London: Cayme Press, 1929.
- Valentine, Mark 'Ernest Bramah' Book and Magazine Collector. London: Diamond Publishing Group, July 1997, pp. 40-49. [Biographical information, descriptions of the books, U.K. bibliography and book values.]
- White, William. 'Kai Lung in America: The Critical Reception of Ernest Bramah', read before the American Studies Association, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 21 March 1958, to be published. [As of May 1958.]
- Unsigned. Portrait of Ernest Bramah, Bookman (London), LXIII (January 1923), p. 183.
- Unsigned. Obituary notice, New York Herald Tribune 28 June 1942.
- Unsigned. 'Ernest Bramah, 74, A Writer, Is Dead', New York Times 28 June 1942.
- Staniland, C. S.Obituary, 'Mr. Ernest Bramah, Creator of Kai Lung', Times of London 29 June 1942.
- Unsigned. 'Ernest Bramah', Publisher's Weekly CXLII (4 July 1942), p. 37.
- Unsigned. 'Died. Ernest Bramah Smith (pen name: Ernest Bramah)', Time XL (6 July 1942), p. 80.
- Unsigned. Obituary notice, Wilson Library Bulletin XVII (September 1942), p. 8.
- Unsigned. Note and portrait, Penguin Books paperback editions of Kai Lung volumes, back cover. [About 200 words only, but information unavailable elsewhere.]
- Unsigned. Note and book descriptions, in A Pride of Gifts, programme for "An exhibition in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library", University of Toronto, 1994, pp. 45-46. [A single biographical paragraph, with the information that he was at one time secretary to Jerome K. Jerome, and descriptions of two inscribed books from the collection of the late John Seltzer.]
- White, William 'Ernest Bramah in Anthologies 1914-1972', The Armchair Detective Vol. 10 No. 1, January 1977, pp. 30-32. [Mr. White's updated version of 'Ernest Bramah: A First Checklist']
- White, William 'Ernest Bramah on Max Carrados: An Unpublished BBC Talk', The Armchair Detective Vol. 15 No. 1, 1982, pp. 80-83.
- White, WilliamErnest Bramah [Smith] in Periodicals, 1890-1972. Bulletin of Bibliography, 32, no. 1 (1975), 33-34, 44.
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The bulk of this information comes from the writings of William White, through the kindness of the University of Virginia Library. Additional information comes from the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto. Special thanks to Cosma Shalizi, Kathy Li, Michael McKenny, John Webb and Ray Lisle. I would greatly appreciate any additions, corrections and comments about both style and content.
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