Title: Derrick Vaughan, Novelist

Author and Title: Edna Lyall. Derrick Vaughan, Novelist

First Edition: London: Methuen, 1889. 1 volume, post 8vo., 2s. 6d.

Summary: Narrated by a friend, the story concerns Derrick Vaughan the son of a violently alcoholic army major. From his early childhood he aims to be a novelist and he begins his first while at Oxford. Meantime, Derrick's twin Lawrence joins the army, goes to war, and returns a hero. Freda, the woman Derrick has loved since youth, warms towards Lawrence and agrees to marry him. When their father returns utterly broken down, Derrick selflessly cares for him and endures several indignities such as a broken arm and a burnt manuscript at the hands of his father. Derrick's first novel has no success, but his second becomes the unexpected novel of the season. At the father's deathbed, only Derrick appears which finally convinces the Major of Derrick's worth and Lawrence's selfishness. However, he dies before he can change his will. Lawrence refuses to share his inheritance with his brother, an act which finally show Freda Lawrence's true character. Freda and Derrick become engaged and Derrick goes on to become a successful author. Despite the gender of the titular character, this novel draws heavily on Lyall's own life. (TJB)

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References: BL; EC


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