Tuesday, February 10, 2015
We Got Annie! More News on Golden Age Mystery Writer Annie Haynes
Efforts are now afoot to reprint Annie Haynes' mysteries, recently blogged about here, and I will keep you posted on developments. Additionally, we are close, I think, to nailing down information on Haynes' earlier years. In the meantime here's a bit more about Haynes, after she had come to live in Hyde Park, London.
In November 1907 the publisher Hodder & Stoughton announced in newspapers and journals
We are offering prizes for candid opinions. The authors and publishers of a number of the most popular novels of the day are anxious to know what you think of them. They don't ask you to review the books in the ordinary way. In Mrs. Baillie Reynolds' novel, "BROKEN OFF", for instance, they want you to say "What would have happened if the other man had proposed."
Annie Haynes decided she had some good ideas concerning this proposed hypothetical for Mrs. Baillie Reynolds' novel Broken Off (Reynolds, incidentally, also wrote mysteries and thrillers, one of which is discussed by me here). Unfortunately, her answer to the question, "What would have happened if the other man had proposed," did not win one of the three cash prizes (ranging from about 100 to 200 US dollars in modern worth) offered by the publisher--though Haynes was one of the ten "book prize" winners in 1908. Perhaps inspired by this contest, Haynes no more than five years later was publishing serialized novels in newspapers.
In Broken Off
Thorold Strong, farmer by birth, cultured gentleman by inclination, and enormously rich, falls desperately in love with the Honourable Osmunda Challis, who, under ordinary circumstances, would simply never have looked at him. He is accepted with open arms, however, by Osmunda's people, and it is represented to her that to save her family from the disgrace of bankruptcy, and her profligate brother Egbert from something worse, it is her duty to effect an alliance with a rich man....
How did Annie Haynes see things playing out for Thorold, Osmunda and the profligate Egbert? I'd sure love to know!