William Harrison Ainsworth, a famous English novelist and friend and associate of Charles Dickens, was born in Manchester, in 1805, and died in 1882. He wrote about forty novels, some of them so extremely lurid that, had they appeared in yellow paper covers, would have been classed with the "dime novels." Nevertheless, many of them are very interesting and realistic. His "Old Saint Paul's" (1841), a tale of the plague year and the great fire in London, is one of his best. Most of his novels were illustrated by Hablot K. Browne (Phiz), consequently are collector's items.
REFERENCES: S. M. Ellis, William Harrison Ainsworth and His Friends, London, 1911, 2 volumes, illustrated.
Dime Library. Nos. 125, 1057