Edward Verrall Lucas, CH (11 June 1868 – 26 June 1938) was a famous English humorist, essayist, playwright, biographer, publisher, poet, novelist, short story writer and editor.
Born to a Quaker family on the fringes of London, Lucas began work at the age of sixteen, apprenticed to a bookseller. After that he turned to journalism, and worked on a local paper in Brighton and then on a London evening paper. He was commissioned to write a biography of Bernard Barton, the Quaker poet. This led to further commissions, including the editing of the works of Charles Lamb.
Lucas joined the staff of the humorous magazine Punch in 1904, and remained there for the rest of his life. He was a prolific writer, most celebrated for his short essays, but he also produced verses, novels and plays.
From 1908 to 1924 Lucas combined his work as a writer with that of publisher's reader for Methuen and Co. In 1924 he was appointed chairman of the company.
Lucas was born in Eltham, Kent, the second son of the four sons and three daughters of Alfred Lucas and his wife, Jane née Drewett. The Lucases were a Quaker family, and the young Lucas was educated at Friends School in Saffron Walden. His father's financial incompetence prevented Lucas from going to a university, and at the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to a Brighton bookseller.
In 1889 Lucas joined the staff of the Sussex Daily News. The following year he published, anonymously, his first volume of poetry, Sparks from a Flint. With financial help from an uncle he moved to London to attend lectures at University College, after which he joined the staff of The Globe, one of London's evening papers. His duties there allowed him a great deal of spare time, and he read extensively in the Reading Room of the British Museum. In 1897 he married (Florence) Elizabeth Gertrude, daughter of Colonel James Theodore Griffin, of the United States army; there was one child, Audrey, of the marriage. Elizabeth Lucas was a writer, and husband and wife collaborated on several children's books...
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