O. Henry

The Cop and the Anthem and Other Stories
  • The Cop and the Anthem and Other Stories

  • O. Henry was a master of the short story and one of the most popular American writers of the twentieth century. This selection of tales from across his writing career ranges from New York apartments to the cattle-lands of Texas, taking in con men, clerks, hustlers, shop assistants, tramps and tricksters. They all highlight his ironic, comic eye, his gift for evoking speech and setting, and his unique approach to life's quirks of fate.

    The Penguin English Library - collectable general readers' editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century to the end of the Second World War.

O. Henry (1862-1910) had a short but colourful life. Born William Porter in Greensboro, North Carolina, he initially worked as a pharmacist before moving into journalism. In 1896 he was arrested for embezzling funds while working as a bookkeeper for a bank. In a moment of madness, he absconded on his way to the courthouse before his trial and fled to Honduras for six months. He returned to face trial after learning that his wife was dying of tuberculosis and served three years in jail. While in prison, he adopted the pen name O. Henry, and after his release he found great fame and popularity as a short story writer.


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