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At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: James Alexander Maitland

Author: James Alexander Maitland (1827–1883)

Biography: James Alexander Maitland was born in 1827 in Folkestone, Kent. His parents have not been traced. One source reports he attended Rugby School (though he is not recorded in any of the printed registers). Maitland entered the Royal Navy as a midshipman and left the service as a lieutenant when he found the peace-time navy too sedate. He emigrated to the United States and entered journalism, working as an editor to the New York Dispatch by 1858 and later as an editor of a South Carolina newspaper. During this time, he wrote a handful of novels: The Watchman (1855), The Wanderer (1856), The Three Cousins (1857), The Sartaroe, and The Lawyer's Story (1858). During the American Civil War, Maitland traveled with the confederate army as a reporter, an experience that formed the basis for his story "Wedded in Death: A Tale of the Late American War" published in Belgravia (July 1874). After the war he moved to Canada then returned to England. Maitland turned to serial writing for penny publications: The Great Van Broek Property (1866) and The Mortons of Morton Hall (1868) for The Leisure Hour; and numerous stories for boys for The Young Folks' Weekly Budget. According to the census, he was married and widowed by 1881. He died in 1883 in London.

Author Tags:

References: Allibone; British Census (1871, 1881); William Hellier, "Some Famous Boys' Writers" (1920); The Round Table (24 February 1866)

Fiction Titles:

  1. The Watchman: A Tale.  1 vol.  London: Routledge, 1855.
  2. Captain Jack: or, The Great Van Broek Property. A Story.  2 vol.  London: Tinsley Brothers, 1867.