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Edmund Hodgson Yates, 1831-1894

Nationality: Scottish
Date of Birth: 1831
Place of Birth: Howard Place, Calton Hill, Edinburgh
Place of Death: Savoy Hotel, London


Edmund Hodgson Yates was a novelist and journalist. In 1853 Yates married Louisa Katharine Wilkinson, daughter of James Wilkinson a London sword maker. They had four sons.


In 1874 Yates founded, with E. C. Grenville Murray, the World which became one of the leading society papers with its investigative reports, gossip and intimate style of journalism. From 1878, Yates's gossip column (which he wrote under the pseudonym 'Atlas') regularly published JW's letters to the press and it was widely read by a middle-class audience that included many of his patrons and friends. JW conducted sparring matches with such figures as Harry Quilter and Oscar Wilde through the 'Atlas' column, with Yates frequently acting as ringmaster. Responding to the candidature of Quilter for the Slade Chair in the University of Cambridge in 1886 Yates wrote: 'What say you, my dear James? Why don't you speak for yourself sir?' (see #11400).

Yates was also a prolific author and dramatist. His published works include Hit him, he has no friends! A farce in one act (1860); Kissing the Rod (1866); The Forlorn Hope (1867); The Silent Witness (1875) and Fifty Years of London life; Memoirs of a Man of the World (1885).


Yates, Edmund, Edmund Yates: His Recollections, 2 vols, London, 1884; The World, 17 February 1886, p. 14; How, Harry, 'Illustrated Interviews. no. XXIV - Mr Edmund Yates,' Strand Magazine, July 1893, pp. 80-90; The Annual Register, 1894, p. 164; Boase, Frederic, Modern English biography: containing many thousand concise memoirs of persons who have died during the years 1851-1900 ... Truro, 1892-1921; Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004.