Edmund Hodgson Yates was born July 31, 1831, in Edinburgh, where his parents, who were both on the stage, were acting at the time. He was educated at Highgate and in Dusseldorf. In 1847 he obtained a position in the general post office at London, and by 1862 had risen to the head of the Missing Letter Department. He remained in this position, which apparently was a sinecure, until 1872, although most of his time was devoted to literary work.
He began writing in 1850, contributing to various periodicals. In 1853 he was married to Louise Wilkinson, by whom he had four sons. From 1854 to 1860 he was dramatic critic of the Daily News, and in 1855 conducted a column in the Illustrated Times. In 1858 he was editor of Town Talk, in 1860 of Temple Bar, and in 1867 of Tinsley' s Magazine. From 1879 to 1884 he was editor of Time. In 1872-73 he made a lecture tour of the United States and later was special correspondent to the New York Herald. In 1874 he was assistant editor of The World (London) and after 1875 its proprietor. Besides all this editorial work, he wrote numerous novels, which are in a style all his own. He died May 20, 1894.
REFERENCES: Edmund Yates, His Recollections and Experiences, 1884, 2 vols.; Allibone, Dict. Eng. Lit., and Supplement; Illustrated London News, May 26, 1894; Bookman (N. Y.), XIII, 1901, 155 (woodcut portrait); Publishers' Weekly, XLV, 1894, 828; Review of Reviews, X, 1894, 22 (halftone portrait, no text); there is also a portrait in Harper & Brothers' Select List of Publications with Authors' Portraits, New York, 1893.
Fireside Library. Nos. 98, 133
Waverley Library (quarto). No. 220