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At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: Charles Aubyn Beach

Author: Charles Aubyn Beach (1826–1872)

Biography: One of the more well-traveled authors of the Victorian period. Charles Aubyn Beach was born on 20 December 1826 in Lockport, New York, the son of Moses Beach and his wife Anna (née Sherman). He studied law until following the gold rush to California in 1850. From there, he traveled to Australia. According to his application to the Royal Literary Fund, he spent fifteen years as a sailor in the merchant service, including time on whalers. In 1862, he settled in London, married Eliza Jane Kellick, and turned his various experiences into stories and articles for the periodical press, especially boys' magazines. As he writes, "At this business I succeeded very well until I got into the hands of John Maxwell and S. O. Beeton." That, and the failure of several magazines, led to his successful application to the Royal Literary Fund. Fellow author Mayne Reid counted him as a friend and assisted in helping his career, so much so that some contemporaries thought Beach was a pseudonym of Reid's. Beach spent a portion of his RLF relief on passage back to New York for himself, his wife, and his young daughter, arriving 23 August 1869. He returned to his parents' house in New York where he died on 9 February 1872 leaving a widow and two children. His last two works appeared posthumously. Note: Phil Harper traced Beach's death in New York.

Author Tags:

References: Allibone; pers inf (Phil Harper); Elizabeth Reid, Mayne Reid: A Memoir of his Life (1890); RLF (case number 1782); Times (11 March 1865); U. S. Census (1870)

Fiction Titles:

  1. Andrew Deverel: The History of an Adventurer in New Guinea.  2 vol.  London: Bentley, 1863.
  2. Lost Lenore: or, The Adventures of a Rolling Stone.  3 vol.  London: C. J. Skeet, 1864.
  3. Left to the World.  3 vol.  London: John Maxwell, 1865.
  4. Now or Never: The Trials and Perilous Adventures of Frederick Lonsdale. An Autobiography.  1 vol.  London: Virtue, 1868.
  5. The Way to Win: A Story of Adventure Afloat and Ashore.  1 vol.  London: Lockwood and Co., 1869.
  6. Waifs of the World: or, Adventures Afloat and Ashore.  1 vol.  London: Frederick Warne, 1874.