Charles E. Carryl

Charles Edward Carryl was born on December 30, 1840, in New York, the son of wealthy businessman Nathan Taylor Carryl. After attending private schools until the age of sixteen, he embarked on a successful business career, working as an officer and manager of various railroad companies until 1872, when he decided to become a stockbroker. He obtained a seat at the New York Stock Exchange in 1874 and kept it for almost forty years, writing mostly about stockbroking and business-related matters.

In 1869, he married Mary Wetmore in 1869, and together they had two children Guy (who later also became a writer) and Constance.

Carryl developed his unique “nonsense and fantasy world” stories while raising his children and published his first stories in the St. Nicholas magazine around 1884. They were collectively released as Davy and the Goblin; Or What Followed Reading “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderlandin 1885. The book met with immediate success and launched Carryl as the American “Lewis Carroll”. His style, however, was different than Carroll’s; it mixed the nonsensical bizarre with logical and real settings and included numerous poems and child-friendly verses.

Carryl’s second book, The Admiral’s Caravan was again published as a series in St. Nicholas in 1891 before appearing as a book in 1892 and is dedicated to his daughter Constance. His compilation The River Syndicate and Other Stories was published in 1899 and The Charades of an Idle Man in 1911.

Carry continued writing in the same humorous genre until his death in 1920 and some of his works were released after his death. The Camel’s Lament, a compassionate tale of a camel who complains about other animals being treated far better than her, was published by Random House in 2004 and features colourful artwork by the famous American illustrator Charles Santore.

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The Admiral's Caravan by Charles E. Carryl - Land of TalesThe Admiral's CaravanCharles E. Carryl
Davy and the Goblin by Charles E. Carryl - Land of TalesDavy and the GoblinCharles E. Carryl