Edgar Wallace
(1875-1932)

Died aged c. 57

Richard Horatio Edgar Wallace (1 April 1875 – 10 February 1932) was an English writer. Born into poverty as an illegitimate London child, Wallace left school at age 12. He joined the army at age 21 and was a war correspondent during the Second Boer War, for Reuters and the Daily Mail. Struggling with debt, he left South Africa, returned to London, and began writing thrillers to raise income, publishing books including The Four Just Men (1905). Drawing on his time as a reporter in the Congo, covering the Belgian atrocities, Wallace serialised short stories in magazines and later published collections such as Sanders of the River (1911). He signed with Hodder and Stoughton in 1921 and became an internationally recognised author. After an unsuccessful bid to stand as Liberal MP for Blackpool (as one of David Lloyd George's Independent Liberals) in the 1931 general election, Wallace moved to Hollywood, where he worked as a script writer for RKO studios. He died suddenly from undiagnosed diabetes, during the initial drafting of King Kong (1933). Wallace was such a prolific writer that one of his publishers claimed that a quarter of all books in England were written by him. As well as journalism, Wallace wrote screen plays, poetry, historical non-fiction, 18 stage plays, 957 short stories, and over 170 novels, 12 in 1929 alone. More than 160 films have been made of Wallace's work. He is remembered for the creation of King Kong, as a writer of 'the colonial imagination', for the J. G. Reeder detective stories, and for the The Green Archer serial. He sold over 50 million copies of his combined works in various editions, and The Economist describes him as "one of the most prolific thriller writers of [the 20th] century", although few of his books are still in print in the UK.

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Commemorated on 2 plaques

Photo of Edgar Wallace blue plaque
Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Edgar Wallace bronze plaque
Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons

Edgar Wallace 1875-1932 writer lived here

6 Tressillian Crescent, SE4 Lewisham, London, United Kingdom where they lived

Edgar Wallace Reporter Born London 1875 Died Hollywood 1931 Founder member of the Company of Newspaper Makers He knew wealth & poverty, yet had walked with kings & kept his bearing. Of his talents he gave lavishly to authorship - but to Fleet Street he gave his heart.

Ludgate Circus, London, United Kingdom where they was