Wallace Irwin (1875 - 1959)
Wallace Irwin (March 15, 1875 – February 14, 1959) was an American writer. Over the course of his long career, Irwin wrote humorous sketches, light verse, screenplays, short stories, novels, nautical lays, aphorisms, journalism, political satire, lyrics for Broadway musicals, and the libretto for an opera. With his The Julius Caesar Murder Case (1935), he created a subgenre within detective fiction, the mystery novel set in antiquity. A native of Oneida, New York, Irwin grew up in Colorado and went to California to attend Stanford University. As editor of two campus publications, he lampooned faculty in verse and was expelled, as he later boasted, for having a character that “savored of brimstone”. He moved to San Francisco and began his career as a journalist for William Randolph Hearst’s Examiner and other papers. With the encouragement of Gelett Burgess, Irwin branched into poetry with The Love Sonnets of a Hoodlum (1901), followed by Nautical Lays of a Landsman (1904), At The Sign of the Dollar (1905), Ballads of Chinatown (1906), and The Love Sonnets of a Car Conductor (1908). Between 1913 and 1935, fourteen of his novels or short stories were adapted by himself or others for film.
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