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Charles Lee (author)

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Subject: List of Cornish writers, Julia A. Moore, British novelists, Colley Cibber, Male dramatists and playwrights
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Charles Lee (author)

Charles James Lee (2 March 1870– 11 May 1956)[1] was born in London. He published five novels in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in addition to many short stories and plays about the working people of Cornwall.


  • Life 1
  • Works 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Charles Lee was born in London to an artistic family. He was educated at Highgate School,[2] was awarded a BA from London University in 1889 and published his first novel, Widow Woman, in 1896. Suffering from bad health, he visited Cornwall in 1900 for its better climate, and stayed in Cornwall for seven years. There he lived amongst the group of artists who formed the Newlyn School. His Cornish Tales had an introduction by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch.[3]

After relocating to the London suburbs, he worked as senior editor for J. M. Dent, where, owing to his talent for editing prose, he came to be known as "the man with the green pen."[3]


  • Widow Woman, 1896
  • Our Little Town
  • Paul Carah Cornishman
  • Dorinda's Birthday
  • Cynthia in the West
  • Chasing Tales: The Lost Stories of Charles Lee, editor Simon Parker, (Giss 'On Books, 2002, ISBN 0-9542150-0-1)
  • The Stuffed Owl: an anthology of bad verse (with D.B. Wyndham Lewis) (Dent, London, 1930; enlarged 1948; reisssued 2003, ISBN


As well as a number of short stories he wrote several plays, journals, and musical scores and a guide book of St Mawgan:- The Vale of Lanherne, ISBN 0-907566-45-6. In collaboration with D.B. Wyndham Lewis he compiled The Stuffed Owl, an anthology of bad (mainly inappropriate and bathetic) verse, a volume reisssued by New York Review Books Classics in 2003 with an introduction by Billy Collins.[4]

Despite contemporary acclaim, he is almost forgotten today.[3]


  1. ^ England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), online database,1956 p267. 
  2. ^ Highgate School Roll 1833-1912, Unwin Brothers Ltd 1913
  3. ^ a b c "Famous Cornish people: Charles Lee, author". Cornwall Calling. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Charles Lee".  

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