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Old 04-07-2009, 11:10 AM   #1
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McCutcheon, George Barr: The Husbands of Edith. V1. 7 Apr 2009

George Barr McCutcheon (July 26, 1866–1928) was an American popular novelist and playwright. His best known works include the series of novels set in Graustark, a fictional East European country, Brewster's Millions, a play and several films.
Born in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, McCutcheon's father, despite not receiving formal education, stressed the value of literature and encouraged his sons to write. During McCutcheon's childhood, his father had a number of jobs that required travel around the county in Indiana. McCutcheon studied at Purdue University and was a roommate of future humorist George Ade. During his college years, he was editor of the Lafayette Daily Courier and wrote a serial novel of satire about Wabash River life.
Although McCutcheon became famous for the Graustark series (the first novel was published in 1901), he hated the characterization of being a Romantic and preferred to be identified with his playwriting.
He was the older brother of noted cartoonist John T. McCutcheon.


Excerpt
Brock was breakfasting out-of-doors in the cheerful little garden of the Hôtel Chatham. The sun streamed warmly upon the concrete floor of the court just beyond the row of palms and oleanders that fringed the rail against which his Herald rested, that he might read as he ran, so to speak. He was the only person having déjeuner on the "terrace," as he named it to the obsequious waiter who always attended him. Charles was the magnet that drew Brock to the Chatham (that excellent French hotel with the excellent English name). It is beside the question to remark that one is obliged to reverse the English when directing a cocher to the Chatham. The Paris cabman looks blank and more than usually unintelligent when directed to drive to the Chatham, but his face radiates with joy when his fare is inspired to substitute Sha-t'am, with distinct emphasis on the final syllable. Then he cracks his whip and lashes his sorry nag, with passive appreciation of his own astuteness, all the way to the Rue Daunou. The street is so short that he almost invariably takes one to it instead of to the hotel itself. But one must say Sha-t'am!
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