American Novelist Ken 5 Letters
American Novelist Ken 5 Letters – Pearl Zane Gray (January 31, 1872 – October 23, 1939) was an American writer and dtist. He is known for his popular adventure novels and stories associated with Western gre in literature and art; he idealized the American frontier. Riders of the Purple Sage (1912) was his best-selling book.
In addition to the success of his printed works, his books have had second lives and continued influence as adapted for film and television. His novels and short stories have been adapted into 112 films, two television episodes and the Dick Powell Zane Gray Theater television series.
American Novelist Ken 5 Letters
Pearl Zane Gray was born on January 31, 1872 in Zanesville, Ohio. His birth name may have come from newspapers describing Que Victoria’s mourning clothes as “pearl grey”.
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He was the fourth of five children born to Alice “Allie” Josephine Zane, whose Quaker immigrant ancestor Robert Zane came to the American colonies in 1673, and her husband, Lewis M. Gray, dtist.
His family changed the spelling of his surname to “Grey” after his birth. Later, Gray dropped Pearl and used Zane as his first name.
He grew up in Zanesville, a town founded by his grandfather Benjamin Zane’s brother-in-law, John McIntire (husband of Sarah Zane), which had been given land by Zane’s maternal great-grandfather, Ebezer Zane, an American Revolutionary War patriot. .
He was fascinated by history from an early age. He soon became interested in writing. His early interests contributed to his later writing success.
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For example, his knowledge of history made possible his first three novels, which described the heroism of ancestors who fought in the American Revolutionary War.
As a child, Gray often got into violent fights, probably due to his father punishing him with severe beatings. Although Gray was hot-tempered and antisocial like his father, he was supported by a loving mother and found a replacement for his father. Muddy Miser was an old man who approved of Grey’s love of fishing and writing and talked about the benefits of an unconventional life. Despite Gray’s father’s warnings to avoid Miser, the boy spent much of his five formative years in the old man’s company.
Gray was an avid reader of adventure stories such as Robinson Crusoe and Leatherstocking Tales, as well as dime novels featuring Buffalo Bill and Deadwood Dick. He was enthusiastic and crudely copied the great illustrators Howard Pyle and Frederic Remington.
He was particularly impressed by Our Western Frontier, a history of the Ohio frontier, which probably inspired his first novels.
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Zane wrote his first story, Jim of the Cave, when he was 5 years old. His father tore him to pieces and beat him.
Because of the shame he felt as a result of a serious financial setback in 1889 due to a bad investment, Lewis Gray moved his family from Zanesville and started over in Columbus, Ohio.
While his father tried to rebuild his dtaling practice, Zane Gray made phone calls to country houses and performed the basic extractions his father had taught him. The younger Gray practiced until the state board intervened. His brother Romer earned his living by driving a delivery van.
Gray also worked as a part-time usher in a theater and played summer baseball for the Columbus Capitols with aspirations of becoming a major leaguer.
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Eventually, Gray was noticed by a baseball scout and received offers from numerous colleges. Romer also caught the attention of scouts and wanted to have a professional baseball career.
Gray chose the University of Pennsylvania on a baseball scholarship, where he majored and joined the Sigma Nu fraternity; he graduated in 1896. When he came to Pn, he had to prove that he was worthy of a scholarship before being accepted. He rose to the occasion by coming on the field against the Riverton club, pitching five scoreless innings and producing a double in the 3rd to lead to the victory.
The Ivy League was highly competitive and an excellent training ground for future professional baseball players. Gray was a solid hitter and an excellent pitcher who relied on a sharp downward arc. When the distance from the pitcher’s mound to the plate was increased by t feet in 1894 (primarily to reduce Cy Young’s pitching dominance), Gray’s pitching effectiveness suffered. He was moved to the outfield.
He was an indifferent scholar who barely achieved the minimum average. Outside of class, he spent his time playing baseball, swimming, and creative writing, especially poetry.
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His shy nature and abstinence set him apart from other studs, and he did not socialize much. Gray wrestled with the idea of becoming a writer or a baseball player for his career, but unhappily concluded that dtistry was the practical choice.
During the summer break, while playing “summer nines” in Delphos, Ohio, Gray was accused of a paternity suit and was quietly settled. His father paid $133.40 and Gray continued to play summer baseball. He covered up the episode when he returned to Pn.
Gray wt would play minor league baseball with several teams including the Newark, New Jersey Colts in 1898
And for several years also with the Orange athletics club. His brother Romero Carl “Reddy” Gray (known to the family as “R.C.”) fared better and played professionally in the minor leagues. Zane Gray and Romer Gray played together as teammates on the 1895 Findlay Sluggers of the Interstate League. Romer played his only major league game in 1903 for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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After graduation, Gray established his practice in New York in 1896 under the name Dr. Zane Gray. It was a competitive field, but he wanted to be close to publishers. He began writing in the evenings to compensate for the tedium of his dtal practice.
He was struggling financially and emotionally. Gray was a natural writer, but his early efforts were stiff and grammatically weak. Whenever possible, he played baseball with the Orange Athletic Club in New Jersey, a team of former college players that was one of the best amateur teams in the country.
Gray oft wt is camping with his brother R.C. in Lackawax, Pennsylvania, where they fished the upper reaches of the Delaware River. While canoeing in 1900, Gray met seven-year-old Lina Roth, better known as “Dolly”. Dolly came from a doctor’s family and studied to be a teacher.
After a passionate and demanding courtship marked by frequent arguments, Gray and Dolly married five years later in 1905. Gray suffered bouts of depression, anger and mood swings that affected him for most of his life. As he described it: “Hya lying in wait—that’s my black magic! I conquered one mood only to fall victim to another… I wandered like a lost soul or a man aware of imminent death.”
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But I love being single. I can’t change my seats. The common man is content with a moderate income, a home, a wife, a child and all that. … But I am a million miles from being such a man, and no amount of effort will ever do any good … I will never lose the spirit of my interest in a woman.
After her marriage in 1905, Dolly gave up her teaching career. They moved to a farm at the confluence of the Lackawax and Delaware rivers in Lackawax, Pennsylvania, where Gray’s mother and sister joined them. (The house, now preserved and operated as the Zane Gray Museum, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.) Gray eventually stopped working in dtal to devote himself fully to his primary literary pursuits. Dolly’s inheritance provided an initial financial cushion.
While Dolly managed Grey’s career and raised their three children, including son Romero Zane Grey, Gray often spent months away from the family over the next two decades. He fished, wrote and spent time with his many lovers. Although Dolly was aware of his behavior, she seemed to see it as his handicap rather than a choice. During their life together, he highly valued her management of his career and their family and her solid emotional support. In addition to her considerable editorial skills, she had good business experience and managed all his contract negotiations with publishers, agents and film studios. All his earnings were divided with her; from her “share” she covered all the family expenses.
Their considerable correspondence testifies to his enduring love for her despite his infidelities and personal emotional turmoil.
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The Grays moved to California in 1918. In 1920 they settled in Altada, California, in a house later known as the ‘Zane Gray Estate’. In Altada, Gray also spent time with his lover Brda Montegro. The two met while hiking in Eaton Canyon. He wrote about her,
I could see her flowing mane of rav against the canyon rocks. I saw the red skin of the Navajo and the olive of the Spanish, but her… her skin looked as if her Creator had fashioned it just for me in that moment. I thought it was a revelation. He seemed to epitomize the West I portray in my books, op and wild.
Gray summed up his feelings about the city: “I found in Altada the qualities that make life worth living for.”
With the help of Dolly’s proofreading