At the Circulating Library Author Information: James Ewing Ritchie
Author: James Ewing Ritchie (1820–1898)
Alternate Name(s): Christopher Crayon (pseudonym)
Biography: James Ewing Ritchie was born in 1820 in Wrentham, Suffolk, the son of congregational minister Andrew Ritchie (died 1849). He attended University College, London, before turning to journalism. He edited and owned some periodicals, including The Principality and The Illustrated News of the World. In addition, he was a prolific writer of books, especially biography (notably Cobden, Gladstone, and Victoria), history, travel, and memoir. He wrote a single novel, Crying for the Light (1895), about a country girl pursued by a bad baronet but rescued by an honest journalist. As a Liberal Unionist, he stood unsuccessfully for Parliament in 1885. Ritchie married Annie Elms and the couple had five children. Ritchie successfully applied to the Royal Literary Fund after he lost money on some of his periodical ventures. He died from asthma in 1898 in Clacton-on-Sea.
References: British Census (1881); Boase; Ipswich Journal (29 July 1898); RLF (case number 1698)
- Crying for the Light: or, England Fifty Years Ago. 3 vol. London: Jarrold and Son, 1895.