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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Alice & Claude Askew

Claude Arthur Cary Askew was born in Holland Park, Kensington, on 27 November 1865, the second son of Reverend John Askew, M.A. Educated at Eton and on the continent, Askew married Alice Jane de Courcey Leake (born St. Pancras, London, on 18 June 1874, the daughter of Colonel Henry Leake) in Paddington on 10 July 1900 and the pair became industrious writers of stories and serials.

"It was because our tastes were so identical that we decided to take up literary work together," said Mrs. Askew, "and the idea came to us about a year after our marriage. Our first venture was a serial in The Evening News and this was so successful that we were soon writing serials for other papers.

"Later on we wrote our first book -- The Shulamite. Its genesis was curious. One Sunday morning, quite unexpectedly, we began talking over the plot. We got so enthusiastic about it that we determined to begin it at once and by nightfall we had completed several chapters. The beginning of this novel is a fair example of the way in which we work. If we feel keen about a story we do it very quickly and we find that the work we do at fever heat is always our best." The Shulamite was dramatised in 1906 by Claude Askew and Edward Knoblauch for production by Lena Ashwell at the Savoy Theatre. Between them, they produced 89 novels and one non-fiction book in the space of twelve years.

"A curious fact in connection with our work is that people sometimes assume that we are brother and sister," recalled Alice Askew. "I remember on one occasion our secretary overheard in a railway carriage a man telling a fellow passenger that he knew 'the Askews' quite well. 'Brother and sister, you know,' he said, 'and most passionately fond of each other, and neither of them ever intend to marry!'"

During the war with Germany, the Askews were in Serbia where Major Askew was attached to the Serbian Army – the experience used as background for their book The Stricken Land (1916) – and were involved the retreat of the Serbians from Prishtina to Alessio. On October 5, 1917, they were aboard a ship in the Mediterranean which was attacked by an enemy submarine. Both were recorded as having drowned at sea.

The couple were survived by a son and a daughter. In more peaceful times they had lived in Wivelsfield Green, near Burgess Hill in Sussex.

Novels by Alice & Claude Askew
The Shulamite. London, Chapman & Hall, 1904.
Eve – and the Law. London, Chapman & Hall, 1905.
The Premier’s Daughter. London, F. V. White & Co., 1905.
Anna of the Plains. London, F. V. White & Co., 1906 [1905].
The Etonian. London, F. V. White & Co., 1906.
Jennifer Pontefract. London, Hurst & Blackett, 1906.
The Baxter Family. London, F. V. White & Co., 1907 [1906].
The Love-Stone. London, Sisley’s, 1907.
Lucy Gort. A study in temperament. London, F. V. White & Co., 1907.
Out of the Running. London, Everett & Co., 1907.
The Plains of Silence
. London, Cassell & Co., 1907.

The Sword of Peace. The story of a secret society
. London, Everett & Co., 1907.
Not Proven
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1908.
The Orchard Close
. London, Hurst & Blackett, 1908.

The Path of Lies
. London, F. V. White & Co., 1908.
The Tempting of Paul Chester
. London, T. Fisher Unwin, 1908.
The Blue Diamond
. London, C. H. White, 1909.
The Devil and the Crusader
. London, F. V. White, 1909.
Felix Stone
. London, Everett & Co., 1909.
John Heriot’s Wife
. London, F. V. White & Co., 1909.
Testimony
. London, Chapman & Hall, 1909; abridged, London, George Newnes (Sevenpenny Novels 24), 1921.
Behind Shuttered Windows
. London. C. H. White, 1910.
Fate – and Drusilla
. London, Everett & Co., 1910.
The Quest of El Dorado
. London, Cassell & Co., 1910.
The Rod of Justice
. London, T. Fisher Unwin, 1910.
Scarlet Town
. London, C. H. White, 1910.
The Sporting Chance
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1910.
Destiny
. London, Hurst & Blackett, 1911.
Helen of the Moor
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1911.
The House Next Door
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1911.
Kitty Shafton – Swindler
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1911.
The Pearl of Great Price
. London, F. V. White & Co., 1911.
A Society Marriage
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1911.
The Stolen Lady
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1911.

The Woman Deborah
. London, Eveleigh Nash, 1911.
The Apache
. London, Everett & Co., 1912.
Barbara
. London, T. Fisher Unwin, 1912.
Bess of Bentley’s. A true shop-girl story
. London, F. V. White & Co., 1912.
The Dream Daughter
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1912.
The Englishwoman
. London, Cassell & Co., 1912.
In Lovers’ Lane
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1912.
The King’s Signature
. London, Chapman & Hall, 1912.
The Lily and the Devil
. London, Everett & Co., 1912.
Outlaw Jess
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1912.
The Actor Manager
. London, George Newnes, 1913.
God’s Clay
. London, T. Fisher Unwin, 1913.
The Golden Girl
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1913.
Milly the Actress
. London, Aldine Publishing Co. (Mascot Novels 2), 1913.
The Mystery of Helmsley Grange
. London, C. A. Pearson, 1913.

Poison
. London, Everleigh Nash, 1913.
A Preacher of the Lord
. London, Cassell & Co., 1913.
A Scarlet Sin
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1913.

Souls Adrift
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1913.
Araby’s Husband
. London, Hurst & Blackett, 1914.
By Order of the King
. London, Aldine Publishing Co. (Goodship Sixpennies), 1914.
Freedom
. London, Hurst & Blackett, 1914.
Gilded London
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1914.
In Strange Shoes
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1914.
The Legacy
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1914.

Love the Jester
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1914.
Through Folly’s Mill
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1914.
The Golden Quest
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1915; abridged, London, Aldine (Novels 8), 1924.
Her Mother’s Child
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1915.
The Lurking Shadow
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1915.
Master and Man
. London, Aldine Publishing Co. (Mascot Novels 22), 1915

The Missing Million
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1915.
The Tocsin. A romance of the Great War
. London, John Long, 1915.
Trespass
. London, Chapman & Hall, 1915.

The Weavers
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1915.
Wild Sheba
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1915.
The Footlight Glare
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1916.
Her Father’s Daughter
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1916.
Nurse
. London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1916.
The Garment of Immortality
. London, John Long, 1917.
The Inscrutable Miss Stone
. London, John Long, 1917.
The Lost Idol
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1917.
The Paignton Honour
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1917.
Salvation
. London, Chapman & Hall, 1917.
The Bride in Black
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1918.
Lady Borradale’s Ordeal
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1918.
The Ordeal of Ann Curtis
. London, Jarrolds, 1918.

The Telephone Girl
. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1918.
The Work of Herr Hands
. London, Chapman & Hall, 1918.
The Secret Pathway
. London & Glasgow, Collins, 1919.

The Yellow Yoke
. London, Aldine Publishing Co. (Goodship Sixpennies), 1919.
The Grip of Sin
. London, Lloyds, 1920.

Lavender’s Inheritance
. London, United Press, 1922.
Evelyn
. London, John Long, 1923.
Her Empty Triumph
. London, J. Leng & Co. (People’s Friend Library 162), 1926.
A Woman’s World
. London, J. Leng & Co. (People’s Friend Library 170), 1926.
A Deadly Revenge
. London & Dublin, Mellifont Press, 1934.

Non-fiction
The Stricken Land. Serbia as we saw it. London, Everleigh Nash Co., 1916.

4 comments:

erik schreiber said...

Dear Bear,
my name is Erik Schreiber and I am from germany. i like herabooks and titania medien published in this time Alice and Claude Askew - Aylmer Vance Abenteuer eines Geistersehers. I dont know the rigth titel in englich. my questin is, because I found your blog, if you can help me for one projekt. I am the publisher of one young publishinghouse calles Saphir im Stahl (www.saphir-im-stahl.de) And I think it was a good idea, to publisch some phantastik storys , translated in german. I see the list of the Askews and would ask you, if you can help me and send the storys to me?
its nice to hear from you
thank you
Erik
erikschreiber at saphi-im-stahl dot de

Steve said...

Erik,

This is simply a list of stories compiled from information available in various library listings. I don't actually have the books themselves.

Unknown said...

Hello Steve,

I was looking for the exact birth dates for the Askew's and ran across a family genealogy page, http://www.halhed.com/t4r/familygroup.php?familyID=F1368&tree=tree1. Dates differ a bit from your article, and strangely enough Claude's death is given exactly, while Alice's is listed with a day's uncertainty.

Regards,

-Ron Kihara

Steve said...

Hi Ron,

Thanks for the link. The mismatch with dates is that Claude's birth was registered in 1866 (legally you had - and maybe still have - six weeks to register a birth). I've now made a correction.