Book Cover of Christopher Morley


Lifetime: 1890 - 1957 Passed: ≈ 67 years ago


American Journalist, Novelist, Essayist


United States

Christopher Morley

Christopher Morley was an American journalist, novelist, essayist and poet. He also produced stage productions for a few years and gave college lectures.

Morley was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. His father, Frank Morley, was a mathematics professor at Haverford College; his mother, Lilian Janet Bird, was a violinist who provided Christopher with much of his later love for literature and poetry.

In 1900, the family moved to Baltimore, Maryland. In 1906 Christopher entered Haverford College, graduating in 1910 as valedictorian. He then went to New College, Oxford, for three years on a Rhodes scholarship, studying modern history.

In 1913 Morley completed his Oxford studies and moved to New York City, New York. On June 14, 1914, he married Helen Booth Fairchild, with whom he would have four children, including Louise Morley Cochrane. They first lived in Hempstead, and then in Queens Village. They then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and in 1920 they made their final move, to a house they called "Green Escape" in Roslyn Estates, New York. They remained there for the rest of his life. In 1936 he built a cabin at the rear of the property (The Knothole), which he maintained as his writing study from then on.

In 1951 Morley suffered a series of strokes, which greatly reduced his voluminous literary output. He died on 28 March 1957, and was buried in the Roslyn Cemetery in Nassau County, New York. After his death, two New York newspapers published his last message to his friends:

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.

Books by Christopher Morley

In the Sweet Dry and Dry Cover image

In the Sweet Dry and Dry

Satire Fiction Humour
Alcoholism Prohibition

Written just before Prohibition to entail the possible troubles that might happen en route. Both sides of the argument, or battle as the case may be, strike out with various over-top methods like legislating most fruits and vegetables as unsafe or in...

Chimneysmoke  Cover image


Poems Glory Madness Classics Immortality

A collection of short poems on various themes by the author.

Mince Pie  Cover image

Mince Pie

Fiction Humour
Essay Humorous Fiction Sketches Poetry

Mince Pie is a compilation of humorous sketches, poetry, and essays written by Christopher Morley. Morley sets the tone in the preface: "If one asks what excuse there can be for prolonging the existence of these trifles, my answer is that there is no...

Religio Journalistici Cover image

Religio Journalistici

Society Life Short Works Journalism Memory

The essays likely focus on journalism and the role of the press in society."Religio Journalistici" is a collection of essays written by American author and journalist Christopher Morley.

Shandygaff Cover image


Non-Fiction Essays
Treasure Prejudice Philosophical Short Works Immortality Resilience Adversity

Imagine a literary gathering where ideas flow like a well-aged whiskey, humor sparkles like champagne bubbles, and insights dance like a vibrant tango. This is the essence of Christopher Morley's "Shandygaff," a delightful collection of essays and sk...

Haunted Bookshop Cover image

Haunted Bookshop

Roger Mifflin is the somewhat eccentric proprietor of The Haunted Bookshop, a second-hand bookstore in Brooklyn that is "haunted by the ghosts of all great literature." Beginning with the arrival of a young advertising man and the mysterious disappe...

Parnassus on Wheels Cover image

Parnassus on Wheels

Parnassus on Wheels is about a fictional traveling book-selling business. The original owner of the business, Roger Mifflin, sells it to 39-year-old Helen McGill, who is tired of taking care of her ailing older brother, Andrew. (summary from Wikipedi...

Kathleen Cover image


A group called the Scorpions, eight Oxford undergraduates, find a letter Kathleen wrote a letter to Joe at Oxford. They build up an image of Kathleen and Joe from the letter and set out to find and meet Kathleen. The competition between them leads to...

Pipefuls Cover image


A delightful collection of 48 essays on various topics of the human condition that caught his fancy. Witty, insightful and funny of course and on occasion thought provoking and even disturbing. From the preface "These sketches gave me pain to write;...

Modern Essays Cover image

Modern Essays

Thirty three essays by more or less well-known authors of Britain, the United States, and Canada, each fronted by an introductory paragraph. Early twentieth or late nineteenth centuries. “I think I can offer you, in this parliament of philomaths [lov...

Plum Pudding: Of Divers Ingredients, Discreetly Blended & Seasoned Cover image

Plum Pudding: Of Divers Ingredients, Discreetly Blended & Seasoned

Chrisopher Morley was an American literary luminary whose prolific writings included novels, essays, poetry, plays and great journalistic output. This collection of essays is wide ranging in topics, many with his characteristic wit. - Summary by Lar...

Plum Pudding Cover image

Plum Pudding

Christopher Morley: A modern humorist with the tang of an Elizabethan. Plum Pudding: Thus Mr. Morley entitles his new volume, in which he has occupied himself with books in particular, but also with divers other ingredients such as city and suburban...

Powder of Sympathy Cover image

Powder of Sympathy

Another collection of mostly short “soliloquys” from Christopher Morley, an American literary luminary, who introduces them thus: “… these pieces were written, day by day, out of the pressure and hilarity and contention of the mind. I have made no at...

Where the Blue Begins Cover image

Where the Blue Begins

Fiction Humour Philosophy
Explorer Exploration Animal Stories Animal Adventure Meaning of Life

A funny story by Christopher Morley, a regular dog named Gissing decides there's more to life than chasing bones. He wants to find the big answer, the reason for everything, which he calls "where the blue begins." The story follows Gissing's goofy ad...