Vintage literary stature graphic from 1906

Posted to Infographics  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

Greg Ross highlights an old school graphic from The Strand Magazine, published in 1906. Authors are sized by how much the public read his or her work at the time.

The giant is Dickens, followed by Thackeray and the now largely forgotten Hall Caine. Lesser mortals, left to right, are Thomas Hardy, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Marie Corelli, Rudyard Kipling, Mary Augusta Ward, J.M. Barrie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stanley Weyman, Robert Louis Stevenson, Walter Scott, Henry James, Charlotte Brontë, George Meredith, Anthony Trollope, Charles Kingsley, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Israel Zangwill, Charles Reade, and E.F. Benson.

I’m guessing that the drawing is subjective, or did they have data on book sales back then?

[Futility Closet | Thanks, Craig]


  • They certainly had data on print runs, so it might not be subjective.

  • Interesting, although I notice for some reason Marie Corelli is bent over, so it’s difficult to guage her height correctly – she might actually be taller than Hall Caine were she standing tall.


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