Bestsellers of 1926 slated for review here

In the next few weeks, I’ll be reviewing the bestselling novels of 1926.

The list includes some some still recognized novelists—Erskine, Galsworthy, Ferber—but most of the authors’ fame didn’t survive the Second World War.

Here’s the list and the date when you can expect to see my review:

  1. The Private Life of Helen Of Troy by John Erskine [June 7, 2016]
  2. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos [June 11, 2016]
  3. Sorrell and Son by Warwick Deeping [June 14, 2016]
  4. The Hounds of Spring by Sylvia Thompson [June 18, 2016]
  5. Beau Sabreur by P.C. Wren [June 21, 2016]
  6. The Silver Spoon by John Galsworthy [June 25, 2016]
  7. Beau Geste by P.C. Wren [June 28, 2016]
  8. Show Boat by Edna Ferber [July 2, 2016]
  9. After Noon by Susan Ertz [July 5, 2016]
  10. The Blue Window by Temple Bailey [July 9, 2016]

History notes on the novels

You’ll notice the list includes two novels by P. C. Wren. If Wren is remembered today, it is mainly because Beau Geste, his novel about the French Foreign Legion, was adapted several times for film.

Another author whose 1926 bestseller remembered mainly from its film version is Anita Loos.  Her Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was made into a 1953 movie starring Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe.

Loos had earlier adapted her novel for stage. The musical comedy, which included the song “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,”  ran for 740 performances on Broadway beginning in 1949. A second adaptation called Lorelei played on Broadway in 1974.

Edna Ferber is also probably better remembered for the stage and screen adaptations of her 1926 novel than for the novel itself. There were multiple stage versions of Show Boat, three film versions, and, most recently, an operatic version.

~ Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I read. I write. I think. I make big ideas simple. I help teachers teach expository writing to teens and adults. In my free time, I read and review old novels.

2 thoughts on “Bestsellers of 1926 slated for review here”

  1. I sometimes wonder whether we are still reading books from any given year that are considered classics but were not best sellers when they were published.

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    1. I regret to say I don’t think we read much these days that’s more than six months old. Perhaps we’re overwhelmed by too many choices.

      You may know I offer my reviews free for libraries and other literacy-promoting organizations to use. I’ve been surprised that no libraries have taken me up on the offer. When I began reviewing older novels, I found the big audience was among baby boomers who remembered seeing the books I was reviewing on their parents’ and grandparents’ shelves. Boomers are a big chunk of most libraries’ patrons.

      Go figure.

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