Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's the birthday of dime novelist Ned Buntline

The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor: It's the birthday of dime novelist Ned Buntline (books by this author), born Edward Zane Carroll Judson in Stamford, New York (1813) — probably, but not certainly, on this day. As a boy, he got in a fight with his father and ran away to sea. He started out as a cabin boy, but as a teenager he rescued the drowning crew of a boat, and President Van Buren was so impressed that he appointed the young man a midshipman, a low rank of officer. 

After a few years at sea, he decided to take up writing sensational adventure stories. He took his pseudonym, Ned Buntline, from the "buntline" knot that went at the foot of a square sail. He started out writing about gangs and violence in New York, then he took a trip out West, and realized that it was the ideal setting for the type of stories he wanted to tell.

1 comment:

Toby O'B said...

Burt Lancaster played him in the Altman movie about Buffalo Bill. And I saw Lloyd Corrigan play him on TV, in 'Wyatt Earp'.....