Hall Caine and the Isle of Man

Hall Caine (1853–1931), a novelist and playwright of the late Victorian and the Edwardian eras, was born in Runcorn, Cheshire, but his father was a Manxman, and Hall Caine himself is usually associated with the Isle of Man. Hall Caine’s novels were very popular in their time, but these days his work is virtually forgotten.

The clerihew below was inspired by Harry Graham’s poem Sherlock Holmes, which appeared first in the June 1905 issue of the (American) Metropolitan Magazine and later in the book More Misrepresentative Men, which is available in electronic form at Project Gutenberg.

In the poem, Graham makes fun of Hall Caine’s penchant for trimming his hair and beard to enhance his resemblance to William Shakespeare (or at least to the Stratford bust of Shakespeare); if people did not notice the likeness, Hall Caine was inclined to point it out to them. It’s fair to assume that this eccentricity owes as much to vanity as it does to reality.

Hence the clerihew:

hall caine

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